Oct 2021
5
Mins read

10 Essential Features your Google Intranet must have

Does your organization run Google Workspace? Are you looking for a better way to operationalize your apps and services, heighten productivity, collaboration, and effective communication, plus enhance knowledge sharing and give your employees a branded online workspace? Then implementing intranet software that leverages Google Workspace is the right solution for a better digital experience.

What is Google Workspace for Business?

Google Workspace for Business is a collection of cloud-based apps and tools that are helpful for businesses, a productivity suite not unlike Microsoft Office. However, it’s just that - a set of apps. Unlike an intranet, which provides a jump off point for apps as well business information discovery, news, and intra-business functions like training and forms, Google Workspace alone is just the apps themselves.

Why is an Intranet for Google Workspace a good idea?

Google’s apps are great. Businesses are now built on repositories of data from Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, with Gmail the default email of SMBs worldwide. Google apps have simple and easy-to-use UIs and come with inbuilt user familiarity due to personal use. Single Sign On makes access easy.

However what these apps lack is centralized management, functionality, publishing, and discovery system to use within organizations - hence why an intranet is an ideal overlay.

Are Google’s sites good enough for business Intranet?

Google does have Google Sites - the Google app that can be used to build websites and intranets easily. However if you take a look at the examples of the sites built and published on their own webpage, you’ll see a collection of dead links, out-of-date looking websites, and not very impressive content. As far as intranets go, they direct you to Google’s own Sites publishing service. In short, the Google Sites product isn’t yet mature enough for most businesses to use for an intranet builder - but if you just want to publish a basic ‘site on a page’ it’ll do just fine.

Ten Essential Features you must have:

1. Sync, Search and Manage Google files

Google Drive is the app where you can sync, search and manage Google files, however having the ability to do this from within your intranet too is a must-have.

Rather than heading externally, users can search for company Google file types centrally, access, view, and modify their personal Google Drive folder and contents, alongside shared folders - with automatic sync. 

2. Search for Knowledge and files

Your work assets will span across other file types and knowledge bases as well - not just Google files. Your intranet should allow you to search across other assets such as PDFs, Word documents, forms, etc. Built within the intranet, you’ll be able to surface knowledge-base articles, news, events, learning modules, and more.

3. Team Directory and organization chart

Know who’s who in the zoo with a team directory. A team directory allows employees to find the right people at the right team and get in contact for quick Q&As or in depth meetings. A team directory is even more essential in the current climate where working from home has become standard place and you can’t walk around the site to see where people are grouped.

With a proper team directory, you’re able to display an organizational chart that shows who reports to who, where various groups live within the organization, and even put faces to names. 

4. Sync with Google Calendar

Within-organization open and private group events, meetings, and workshops should be easily viewable and browseable for users, with all the relevant details available on an intranet calendar and dedicated events space. 

Calendar sync is a critical feature for a Google Workspace-based workplace so that people within the business never miss an event or have to copy and paste events across platforms. Get a calendar synced across apps.

5. Share Corporate Communications

Email newsletters may never be opened. SMS blasts lack any sort of depth of information. Do internal communications like the news feed, pushing your most important internal stories to the front of your employees’ reading space. Use the front page of your intranet and notifications for the most critical of your newsworthy news. When developing your corporate communications strategy remember: items need to be seen to have an impact.

6. Share Social Communications

Your intranet doesn’t need to be a stuffy and dull place, it can somewhere social - more aligned with social media practices, such as liking, commenting, and sharing.

By opening up content on your intranet to be more interactive, it gives you a chance to gauge the impact of internal employee experience campaigns for better social intelligence, learn about which sections of the business are more interesting to readers, heighten social awareness, and allow people to get help on topics more quickly.

7. Tasks - onboard new starters 

Onboard quickly by having a jump off point for new starters containing forms, informational videos and training, company information, security and OH&S tests, and more. Create templated tasks and add due dates that are personalized for each department, team, or role, so that each employee has a smooth, complete, targeted, and always up-to-date onboarding program. Managers can easily view task completion status for each onboarding process activity.

Digitize all onboarding activities and automate new hire checklists to ensure they’re up to speed within the right timeframes. 

8. Forms

Instead of having separate systems, email workflows, and forms submission, why not have everything live in one spot? With business-related forms creation, organized into categories (e.g. leave requests, notification of personal details updates, purchasing requests, etc.), and the ability to submit through the portal, everything is easy to find and complete. Create approvals for when other team members need to check over a form and trigger follow up notifications so nothing gets missed. You can even display a relevant landing page for intranet logon on the approver’s account.

9. Requests, Workflows and Notifications

Automations need to be inbuilt into a modern intranet platform, allows admins and users to get more done in less time, eliminating repetitive manual processes. 

We can add requests, workflows, and notifications to any document on the CentricMinds intranet, be it a form, Word Document, or any other filetype. These workflows form an approvals process, which can be directed to one or more people within the organization. Workflows may also require a multi-step process, for example approval through Marketing, Sales, and HR. A workflow itself may be specified for certain roles or groups.

10. Dashboards - to see the status of tasks, requests

Organizational insights are a key feature for administrators in an intranet platform like CentricMinds. This allows you to view active vs inactive users, groups, and last online. Project dashboards will also should the number of workflow requests and approvals, number and status of tasks (whether completed on time, overdue, or in progress) plus assignees and managers. 

See the performance of intranet pages, where people are visiting, and more.

Try our Intranet Software for yourself

We’re ready to show you all the possibilities of the CentricMinds intranet - and how we integrate seamlessly with Google. Let one of our reps demo our platform and you’ll see for yourself the benefits for your business. Call or email us to set up a suitable time for you.