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5 Simple Ways to Spice Up Your Intranet Homepage

From employee kudos to video, try these simple tips for drawing employees to your intranet

You know the expression: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Such is the case with your company intranet. The homepage is the front door to your content, so whether you are just launching an intranet, or you've had one in place for several years, here are five tips to jazz it up:

1. Keep it fresh
It seems simple, but the best tactic for drawing repeat visitors to your intranet is to provide new and updated content regularly. Whether it's updating an existing post or news item with new information or adding a new calendar item, make sure you are giving employees new content on a regular basis.

2. Talk about your employees
People love to talk about themselves, see pictures of themselves and read about themselves. Include content that keeps your employees front and center.

For example:

  • A "Kudos" corner: Acknowledge employees who go above and beyond
  • Photo carousel: Feature photos of employees from company events
  • Q&A with employees: Let employees submit answers to questions about them, such as the last book they read, charities they are involved in, their families, vacations, etc.
  • Welcome new employees: Give new employees a great first impression of the company, while introducing them to the rest of the organization by publishing their photos and fun facts about them on the homepage.

3. Give employees a voice

Analytics are great, but the best way to gauge the success of your intranet is to ask employees for feedback. Include an electronic suggestion box on your homepage or publish periodic surveys asking employees what they would like to see on the intranet.

4.  Keep it simple
Attention spans are short, and the time employees have to read the intranet is even shorter. So keep your homepage clean and easy to navigate. Don't clutter your site with too many links or make employees search for relevant information. For example, if you are announcing a change to a policy, include the link to the policy. If you want employees to sign up for an online race, provide them with the date and the time in the post, but also give them a link to the registration form.

5. Make it visually appealing
Use color on your site. I like bold colors. I always have. Show me two pictures side-by-side – one in muted tones and one that is royal blue – and I will pick the royal blue image every time. But don't go overboard – hot pink  and neon green are probably not appropriate for a corporate site. In fact, I would almost always advise against that. However, use color on your site.

Other ways to visually engage visitors:

  • Video: Include video – either your own video or links to external videos, such as TED Talks or news clips about your company or industry.
  • Images: Include banner images and photos. This intranet real estate can also be used to make announcements or publicize events. Rotating images are also a nice touch, and they enable employees to interact with your content. As mentioned in tip No. 1, just make sure you change your images frequently.
  • Brand it: Give your intranet its own personality by giving it a name. For more employee buy-in, have a contest to let your employees submit names and then let them vote.

Jaime Jordan is a vice president and director of Corporate Communications for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.