6 Reasons To Update Your Council Or Government Intranet

by Yvonne Harris

Outdated, impossible to search for documents, and a dumping ground for internal information. If that sounds like your government or council intranet, it’s time to discover the modern intranet.

Like in the private sector, government agencies and public sector organizations need a centralized content repository to act as a single source of truth. They also require a communications tool to increase transparency and destroy silos. An intranet can do both. Modern intranets can do a lot more.

But from discussions with our clients, we have come across many government agencies, especially councils, relying on outdated intranets.

Why are legacy intranets problematic?

These are some of the most common problems our public sector customers faced (before coming to Powell Software, of course):

  • Their legacy intranet was only accessible on-premises or from a desktop, which isn’t ideal for remote workers or frontline staff.
  • The intranet interface was not user-friendly, and it was hard to search for and find information.
  • Communications were lost between departments, and it was difficult to communicate important information quickly in a space accessible to everyone.

The intranets we come across in some public sector bodies are far from the modern intranet. Intranets today are easier to navigate, more engaging, and aesthetically pleasing than ever before and can be accessed from anywhere.

The benefits of a social intranet that connects staff are evident:

  • Connected teams are 20-25%more efficient


  • Unless it’s properly designed, fewer than 50% of employees will use the intranet daily.

If you’re looking to update your government or council intranet, we’re guessing it’s not your favorite workplace tool. That’s because you haven’t experienced the new kind of social and customizable intranets on offer.

EN - Success Story : Bass Coast Shire Council (TORI)

Why should public bodies update their intranet?

From our experience of implementing intranets in public sector bodies we can confidently share six reasons why it’s worth updating your government or council intranet:

  1. Improve communication & increase staff productivity

Ineffective communication impacts productivity, according to 86% of executives. Having a dedicated communications platform, like an intranet, streamlines information sharing.

An intranet helps:

  • Reduce email use– did you know the average employee spends 1 hour daily on emails? An intranet provides more attractive options for company-wide sharing
  • Allow for quicker responses on small to medium issues– FAQs, helpdesk, and resources are accessible to everyone in one location
  • Make information easy to find– an intranet is a knowledge management tool to avoid information overload. Easily share information from council meetings or updates from the Mayor.
  • Give staff access to all the tools and information they need to perform in their role effectively
  1. Simplify collaboration & promote transparency

From 55% in 2019 to 79% in 2021, the use of collaboration tools is rising. With the mass move to remote and hybrid work, it’s no surprise. But whether staff is in the same location or not, a modern intranet makes it possible for your team to:

  • Communicate freely– Contributors can share company news, Microsoft Teams integrations make conversations seamless
  • Easily exchange ideas– Especially if your company intranet has a dedicated idea management tool
  • Share documents with one another– Every department can store critical documents like HR policies and user guides
  • Complete work together– With an intranet on Microsoft 365, you can collaborate in real-time
  • Interact with different departments and remain aware of what everyone is working on.
  1. Build a solid & inclusive internal culture

Modern social intranets foster an environment where every staff member can interact and get to know one another, especially if you:

  • Incorporate a social element into your intranet– From social media feeds to recreating water cooler chats, the intranet is a social space
  • Use the intranet as a space to publish news and announcements– Avoid getting lost in overflowing inboxes, and post where employees will see the message
  • Communicate company culture– Keep the culture alive, bring corporate messaging to the intranet
  • Recognize employees and teams– Give shout-outs, and keep everyone in the company aware of achievements
  • Make the intranet accessible to everyone – To build an inclusive culture, consider moving to an intranet that is accessible from your mobile browser of Microsoft Teams.
  1. Share information & build collective intelligence

In an era of information overload, the intranet is a single source of truth for all internal communication. It provides one central place to store all your council or agency documents so that they are always up-to-date and can be accessed by anyone.

Why is this so important?

  • It ensures that staff turnover doesn’t affect access to knowledge.
  • Employees find the information they need to perform their jobs, especially with tools like search to help
  • It helps reduce silos. People are more aligned when each department can access documents, see the latest news, or view new policies.
  1. Engage & connect staff to improve retention

Staff retention is becoming a hot topic. Employees are looking for organizations that better meet their needs – from increased flexibility to focusing on mental and digital wellbeing. Public bodies that don’t keep up with future work trends risk losing good staff.

A well-designed and modern intranet transforms the employee experience to promote efficiency, growth, innovation, and connection – all critical ingredients to retaining employees.

Updating your government or council intranet can help retain employees by:

  • Increasing transparency, improving internal communications, and ensuring employees are aware of what is happening.
  • Creating a culture where every employee is included, even those without ‘desk jobs.’
  • Facilitating flexibility through remote access to information, allowing staff to be productive from anywhere.
  • Increasing employee recognition, especially if the intranet has a recognition system like giving ‘Kudos.’
  • Empowering staff by giving them a voice and ensuring their ideas are heard.
  • Creating a better onboarding so employees first days on the job set them up for long-term success.
  1. Secure & scale across departments and agencies

Old intranets were hard to build, hard to design, and hard to update. They quickly became stagnant and involved too much work to roll out across departments or to other agencies. It’s no wonder IT departments didn’t fall in love with the intranet.

A modern intranet, like Powell Intranet, is a game-changer. Why? It’s easy to build, deploy and update at scale.

As a cloud solution built on SharePoint, Powell Intranet allows your IT department to:

  • Build, personalize, deploy and maintain intranet portals for local agencies, cities, departments, or regions. Your IT department can easily replicate an existing skeleton that can be locally adapted and personalized. For example, with different branding, targeted information, and documents based on user roles and location.
  • Meet data security and compliance concerns. When you choose an intranet on Microsoft 365, you benefit from Microsoft security. With Powell Intranet, 100% of your data remains securely stored on your tenant.

Thinking about upgrading your intranet?

At Powell Software, we have helped dozens of public sector organizations create a modern intranet adapted to their needs. We know your pain points and how our intranet solution, Powell Intranet, can help. Download the success story to see how an intranet can help public sector organizations like yours.

EN - Success Story : Bass Coast Shire Council (TORI)

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