Do you want to improve internal collaboration and the flow of information in your company, particularly by using digital tools? Good news, a solution is already included in your Microsoft 365 subscription to meet this challenge!
This article presents you all the steps to follow to create a SharePoint intranet in a quick and simple way.
Follow the guide.
What is a SharePoint intranet?
The intranet is a private communication network based on the same technologies as the Internet, with the difference that it is for the exclusive use of a company or organization. Its purpose is to make information, documentation and websites available to all employees.
The term "intranet" was first used in the 1990s. Initially rudimentary, the intranet has gradually evolved to become a true digital workspace (also called the Digital Workplace).
Today, it promotes collaborative work, strengthens the corporate culture and helps maintain employee engagement. Teams that are connected to each other (thanks to a better flow of information) are 20 to 25% more efficient.
Moreover, when we know that 16% of millennials have already left their job because they thought that the technology used by their employer was inadequate, we understand that a modern and dynamic intranet is very important in a context of "war for talent".
To create an intranet, several solutions are available. One of them is to use SharePoint, whose main advantage is to be a solution integrated into the Microsoft 365 suite (you probably already pay for this service) and to benefit from a very high level of security. Many applications and plugins are also available, which allows you to add many features and customize your intranet as much as possible.
In addition, evolutions are regularly made by Microsoft, which allows companies to benefit from one of the best technologies.
In summary, SharePoint gives access to an infinite number of possibilities and types of intranet (see our article on the different possible use cases), for all companies and for all needs.
✅ To go further, discover How to turn SharePoint into a collaborative tool?
How to create an intranet in SharePoint 365?
Let's go step by step.
1. First of all, it is necessary to choose the right type of site.
SharePoint allows you to create 2 types of sites: team sites (used for project management), and communication sites. The latter are particularly relevant for the creation of an intranet, since they allow you to share content with thousands of people and to assign the role of contributor to the relevant people.
A team site, for example, allows a given team to collaborate on a project (e.g., through a shared calendar and defined task sharing), while a communication site is used to share news and information on a large scale.
2. Then you have to create the tree structure and plan the intranet of your choice.
The objective of this step is to help you create a customized intranet, fully adapted to your needs and wishes. To create a good tree structure, identify the way you want your intranet to be used, then list the pages that should be most easily accessible and the different features that should appear on these pages. You can then add pages and sub-pages, just like on a classic website.
Do not hesitate to call upon an integrator to carry out this mission.
⭐️ Lacking inspiration? Discover the different possible use cases for a corporate intranet
3. Then create your pages and customize the design with your company's colors.
If you plan to reuse the same site for multiple business units, you can create site templates and replicate them with Mozzaik365's "Site Factory" feature.
Mozzaik365 is an extension of SharePoint, which allows you to add features to easily customize your intranet and offer a fluid and impactful design .
If you plan to create content with a uniform page design , you can create page templates to allow your contributors to add articles with a few clicks.
Then, if you wish, you can customize your intranet.
4. Add features to build a custom intranet.
SharePoint allows you to add functional blocks to sites: these are called WebParts. A Web Part is simply a feature.
The features proposed by Mozzaik365 thus make it possible to meet companies' needs in terms of :
- Internal communication
- Knowledge management
Here are some examples of features that can be added:
- Displaying the company's latest Linkedin, Twitter, Yammer (or any other social network)posts and allow likes and comments (via the Social Network Wall feature) ;
- Displaying the latest news;
- Introducing newcomers;
- Search bar to easily find all the information on a specific subject;
- Shortcuts to the company's other sites;
- Who's Who to find the right person and contact them in a few clicks;
- "Unified experience" navigation bar to easily navigate through all the company's sites.
💡 To learn more, discover The must-have features of a good corporate intranet
How to integrate your intranet into your IT environment?
As we have seen, having an intranet has many advantages. However, if nobody uses it, it obviously loses all its interest. Thus, a badly designed intranet is used daily by less than 50% of the employees.
After making sure that the intranet is a logical and easy-to-use tool with useful features for your employees, make sure that it is well integrated into the company's IT environment and/or the Digital Workplace. To do this, it is important to create a fluid user experience where the employee can navigate easily, without having the impression of being constantly redirected. This is what we call "a single seamless environment" at Mozzaik365.
To achieve this result, you can for example:
- Use the "unified experience" Webpart (feature), which allows the user to access the rest of the Digital Workplace regardless of their entry point. Specifically, this is a bar that allows the user to navigate easily between the different sites;
- Pin the intranet to the top of the most relevant Teams channel to ensure it is viewed;
- Target communications to get the right information to the right people.
It is also important to accompany the users in the new digital tools set up by the company. This final step is essential: it is what will make your intranet a success (or not). For that, think of communicating upstream to know the expectations of the employees, to collect their feedbacks to adapt the features of the intranet to their needs, and finally to train them if it is necessary.
In addition, think about ensuring the security of your intranet by training your teams in good cybersecurity practices (see our dedicated article). And don't forget: to be effective, training must be continuous.