Internal Communications

Intranet

An Intranet is an internal web site available to the staff members of the agency. In some agencies, 

the intranet can also be accessed by staff employed by contracted providers. A good Intranet will 

provide staff with tools needed to complete everyday tasks efficiently and effectively. While many 

of the design guidelines for developing an Internet web site should be followed, content of the 

Intranet should reflect that the audience is internal and not accessible by the public.

 

An Intranet allows the most up-to-date information, important to the staff of an agency, to be 

accessible to all employees and helps to ensure consistent and mission-aligned service delivery to 

children, youth and families.

  • Policies, in particular, are critical to keep current. By including policies on the Intranet, there is one, unimpeachable source for the most current written policies.

Other information supports a high quality work product.

  • Letterhead and forms needed in the execution of job responsibilities can be made available on the Intranet. By requiring that staff access the most up-to-date templates from the site only, no outdated forms or letterhead will be used.

Centrally locating human resources information improves efficiency.

  • Posting up-to-date forms related to human resources (e.g., benefit time, expense reimbursement, travel requests, technology resources requests) streamlines the processing of employee paperwork and helps to keep employees’ needs met in a timely way.

Still other information keeps staff up-to-date.

  • Important announcements involving specific staff members or the entire agency can be included on the home page of the Intranet site. This is a particularly effective means of communicating if the Intranet homepage appears as the default when the Internet is accessed.
  • Staff directory information is helpful to have included on any Intranet site. Because of frequent changes in staff, hard copy directories are often outdated soon after they are printed.
  • Agency initiatives provide a lens though which the priorities of an agency may be revealed. By including a list of current agency initiatives, staff will be kept abreast of important advances.

The Intranet is also a valuable tool to store disaster, emergency and crisis information.

  • Since September 11, 2001, states and counties nationwide have developed Severe Emergency Response Plans (SERP). By including the relevant SERP on the Intranet, staff will have a quickly accessible resource during an emergency.
  • Public child welfare agencies are commonly located at multiple sites in the community. Emergency procedures at different sites often vary from each other. The Intranet provides an accessible, common location for all plans needed by any staff member in the case of severe weather emergencies or man-made emergencies.
  • Information about devising a “Family Safety Plan” is also a valuable inclusion on an agency Intranet site. Public child welfare agencies work 24/7 and adequate staffing is needed to protect children regardless of the breadth of a disaster. Staff members who have planned for personal needs are better able to shoulder work responsibilities during a disaster or emergency.

An Intranet can also include:

 

Employee Blog

Designated staff member(s) might use an Intranet-based employee blog to inform, foster camaraderie 

and recognize achievements.

 

Message Board

Staff members can post questions and answers or exchange information with one another. It also 

allows seasoned staff to share work experiences with newer staff and offers staff support.

 

Chat with the Director at Prescheduled Times to Facilitate Two­Way Communications

Staff can ask the director questions in a more informal venue. It helps the director remain mindful 

of the needs and concerns of line staff, encourages engagement and increases the understanding of 

pressing issues at all levels within the organization.

 

Online Training Sessions

Allow staff to participate in training sessions off-site (away from training location, including at 

desk), either lead by instructor (group participates training at a set time and pace) or self 

guided (staff individually participate at own time and pace).

 

Employee Newsletter

Periodic publication that keeps staff informed with current events, announcements and important 

information.

 

Web­Based Applications

Web-based applications can help an agency run smoother by allowing staff to submit work-related and 

Human Resources documents directly from their computers, both on- and off-site.

 

Hosting an Intranet can be done internally, on servers only accessible through an agency’s network, 

or externally, through a hosting provider using password protection. Before developing and 

launching an Intranet site, consideration should be given regarding the availability of needed 

support from an agency’s Infor  ation Technology or Computer Department to keep it current.

An outdated Intranet site can be worse than no Intranet site at all.

 

 






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