Company and organization intranets can be boring places. Some employees praise their workplace intranets and find them very useful, while others call them bland and stagnant.

It’s interesting that emphasis is often placed on external communications, while internal communications suffers. Don’t let your intranet be relegated to the tools-that-aren’t-very-useful category at your workplace. An intranet is an essential medium for communicating about a company or organization to employees.

Here are five ways to get your intranet back on track to being useful for internal communications:

1. Do an audit.
It’s not uncommon for a company or organization website to look slick. But then there’s the intranet. It’s ugly. It’s not user-friendly. Why does this happen? There’s no need for intranet to be the Internet’s ugly cousin. Both should serve the same need: help people find the information they need and do it in an appealing, user-friendly manner. Survey employees to find their likes/dislikes about workplace intranet.

2. Add some fun. Everyone likes a little levity at times. Post a daily quiz or fun exercises. These can help employees learn about their organization, its mission statement, and its audience.

3. Build pride. Add a short video of a customer talking about your organization. This can really drive home the impact your employees are having out there in the real world. Sometimes we all need to hear from our customers to remind us of all the good work we do.

4. Messages from the top. Don’t let your top executives be little more than signatures that employees see on occasional memos. Post short videos and/or podcasts featuring top executives speaking about the organization/company. This is a great way to reinforce your brand, applaud staff, and deliver news.

5. Key information that’s easily accessible. Employees get frustrated when they are told they need to fill out a particular form, and they need to see so-and-so to get one (but, of course, so-and-so isn’t in the office at the moment). The same goes for information about health benefits, pensions, forms for noting sick days, etc. Make sure information about all of the above is posted on your intranet, complete with easy-to-download forms, or links to the service providers for company health plans. Having this information is such a simple implementation, yet it is rarely included. Having an intranet with these items will alone guarantee regular visits by employees.