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3 Successful Intranet Design Examples to Inspire You

by Siv Rauv

07 Jun 2017

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Each organisation is unique, and in turn, each intranet should be unique - with its own design and mixture of features and functionality. However, there is a common element found in successful intranet solutions - they all improve collaboration, communication and connection for fellow employees and your organisation as a whole. This is crucial in a time when more employees are working away from the office. Here are 3 intranet examples that have successfully helped to craft a high performance culture to inspire your intranet design or redesign.

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Northcott - Desktop

Northcott is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability service organisations, providing services from 160 metropolitan and regional locations throughout NSW and the ACT.

The main driver for a new intranet came when our staff doubled overnight after we acquired over 100 specialist disability accommodation services from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. These frontline staff members work remotely with customers and couldn’t find critical information. This was realistically affecting their ability to efficiently and safely support their customers.

Northcott engaged an external consultant, who undertook a rigorous research process, interviewing people from different areas and roles to gather pain points to be addressed in the intranet.

The new intranet Nula. It is heavily driven by Elcom’s flexible taxonomy feature. They can upload content once and add metadata. This content is then dynamically displayed on relevant pages. For instance, as a high compliance organisation, policies and forms have been given their own area on the site. If you work in a centre, you will see policies related to that location. Relevant policies can also be found in other areas, such as the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) workspace.

The ECEI team works in centres away from head office and workspaces gives them a dedicated area to collaborate. It features relevant policies and procedures, a calendar, key contacts, tools, related resources and a forum to share and request information from each other. Key metrics such as the number of children seen and plans completed, are also prominently displayed on the page to highlight the positive work the team have done.

As a result of the acquisition of over 100 accommodation services, Northcott needed to efficiently manage the quoting process to request funds from NDIA for their SIL customers. Elcom’s online form and workflow tool enables them to automate this complex process. This workflow has numerous paths and touch points of approval through it, before it goes to the NDIA. Administrators can easily monitor all forms submitted and see where each form is in the workflow. It provides governance that the right people are approving it at different points along the way.

Key takeaways

  • Identify common pain points and opportunities where the intranet could provide value by undertaking extensive interviews and research gathering from end users.
  • You must understand your internal audience (end users). Ask yourself how can the intranet deliver real value and address key pain points? What intranet features and functionality do they actually need?
  • Tie your intranet to real business objectives such as reducing the volume of calls customer service team (CST) frequently handles.

Taking Shape

 Taking Shape Intranet Showcase

Taking Shape is Australia and New Zealand's leader in plus-size clothing, operating for over 28 years across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom with over 100 standalone Boutique stores, 50+ Concession stores within Myer & globally online.This firm has more than 900 employees.

Prior to using an intranet, supervisors sent most information via email. This included massive quantities of forms, sales goal updates and human resources documents as attachments.

Key representatives across various business functions were involved in the intranet design and development process to ensure it truly met their needs, and created a sense of ownership and shared commitment to the success of the intranet.

The intranet was key to offering a single resource hub where employees could easily find all of the latest material.

The intranet integrates with sales management system to graphically present sales targets and results unique to each store with an aggregate view for their Retail Support Centre (RSC). The combination of the Corporate Directory and Active Directory integration also enables new stores and staff to quickly access systems and the intranet while reducing admin overhead.

Frequently updated goal data is delivered to stores and makes it simple for workers to access current documents. Office and store employees have increased productivity because they no longer need to organise email attachments.

Key takeaways

  • Turn intranets into a true resource hub for employees by integrating with key business systems.
  • Work closely with departments to scope and plan the intranet project to understand what is needed to support all the different business functions e.g. marketing, HR, retail operations etc.
  • Involve staff throughout the intranet design and development to embed a sense of intranet.

Raine & Horne

 Raine and Horne Intranet Showcase

Raine & Horne has been operating in Australia since 1883 and is one of the largest real estate groups in the country. 30 staff in the Sydney-based corporate office service the 3,000 employees within numerous franchised real estate agencies across the country. The intranet needed to reach each person in every franchise, from Gen Y to retirement age.

Just as Taking Shape did, Raine and Horne turned Scout into an important resource hub for staff. Agents can register for training sessions on Scout. They also use it to access the latest policies, instructional content and promotional materials.
Raine & Horne engaged in a range of strategies to ensure high adoption rates of their intranet including:

  • A competition set up to name the intranet (Scout) which helped generate early interest in the platform.
  • Adding all important updated industry regulations, compliance policies and documents on the intranet. Where appropriate, requiring them to digitally tick that they have read the information.

Also, during the discovery phase of the project, Raine & Horne realised that their key audience, real estate agents, had a strong drive to outperform each other. This led them to integrate the intranet with their CRM rhCompass and pull through and display agent rankings on the intranet. Agents enjoy being able to quickly see their rankings compared to other agents, as well as click through to view agent profiles.

Key takeaways

  • Understand what motivates your end-users in order to create an intranet that engages them.
  • As part of the discovery phase of the building or improving an intranet project, create strategies that assist generating high adoption rates.
  • Design for all levels of technical savviness.

The Value of Intranets

These impressive intranet examples show that high-quality systems can deliver a wide range of benefits. The same accurate data becomes available to authorised users in every office. A sophisticated search engine simplifies the process of finding this material. Employees can upload, edit or remove information with ease. They also use the system to offer feedback for managers and discuss ways to solve problems.

  • Consolidate vital data in one convenient, searchable place
  • Achieve greater productivity by making it simple to find files
  • Securely and easily distribute internal company news without email
  • Create an exclusive, work-focused social network for employees

When organisations lack intranets, workers often resort to holding discussions on social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. Intranet communication tools provide a more efficient solution without the distractions of advertisements or non-work messages. Studies reveal that greater engagement and information substantially boost productivity and earnings.

Effective business communications and engaged employees increase performance by approximately 50% to 200%, according to Intuit. Staff members become more focused and less worker turnover occurs. People send and receive fewer email messages because they can simply search for the information they need and view it. 

The value of an intranet really does speak for itself.

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