Your credit union’s culture, collaboration, and consistency aren’t things you can leave to chance. An intranet (an “internal” website accessible only to employees) is an important way to keep everyone in all locations pulling in the same direction.
A well planned intranet is an important part of building and maintaining a credit union’s internal culture across many departments and locations. It has the power to communicate important objectives and priorities, preserve organizational knowledge, share resources, and to build a stronger shared culture.
Unfortunately, way too many credit unions share information with a patchwork system of network hard drives, email, occasional all-staff meetings, break room posters and thumbtacks.
Of course, you’ll always need all-staff meetings, email, and probably even break room posters.
But an intranet is a fantastic way to keep everyone on the same page while they work, not by interrupting their work.
And because it’s web-based, updating and using an intranet is as familiar as any other web-based tool or service.
Every credit union is different, but we’ve found the following are the essential elements of any credit union intranet:
Communication and Sharing
The most basic use for an intranet is to quickly communicate news, updates, current/upcoming events and marketing promotions. No matter where they are, everyone sees project and product updates, changes, reminders, and other day-to-day announcements like security reminders.
It’s also important to share. Sharing news about each other, not just the work, helps strengthen the bonds between employees and gives everyone an important added support network. You can share galleries of photos or videos from CU-sponsored community events as well as baby pictures, weddings, birthdays, promotions, graduations, and other important events in your employees’ lives.
Resources and Documents
Document management (or the ability to integrate with cloud-based systems such as Dropbox or SharePoint, if that’s what you prefer) is another essential part of every credit union intranet. This means making documents, forms, procedures, and other essential information easily and consistently available and searchable.
You can reduce errors and frustration by making sure everyone is always working with the latest versions of things like:
- Printable and online operations forms
- HR forms and disclosures
- Compliance forms and guidance
- Training and certification materials
- Operations procedures
- Branding manuals and resources
- Emergency and disaster preparedness documents and procedures
- Staff and building directories
Of course, the possibilities don’t end there. There are quite a few features that can be added to your intranet as it’s built or later on, such as:
- Custom branding to match your website, brand visuals, and marketing materials
- Online training and testing tools
- Online forms and e-signatures
- Support ticket system (for internal and member-facing problems)
- A regular blog, advice column, or even cartoon or photo of the day.
- Social and messaging tools to build community internally, and share team-building kudos. For example, you might choose to have your own internal “CUBook”, a forum, instant messaging, or even an employee-to-employee marketplace.
- Collaboration and project management tools such as calendars, visual task management tools, and file sharing
- “Gamification” elements to track and encourage sales and service goals, and give recognition and feedback
- Polls and surveys to gather feedback from staff
- Safe reporting for dangerous behaviors, harassment, etc.
- A password-protected Board or Management portal to handle sensitive materials and discussion
Make it Yours
Every credit union has its own unique brand and culture, and its own unique mix of ideas, needs and wants. So it’s important to actively manage your intranet; listen to feedback, encourage participation, be willing to experiment, and add capabilities when needed.
If it’s a resource they can trust and that adds to their job satisfaction, your credit union’s intranet will soon be an indispensable part of everyone’s workday.