Martyn Green

7 Ways your Intranet can Support Inclusivity

Creating an inclusive workplace means nurturing an environment and culture where every individual can feel safe, a strong sense of belonging and empowered to achieve their full potential. This means going above and beyond the legal requirements of ‘avoiding exclusion’, but instead ensuring each person feels that they can be their true selves and that all their unique characteristics are accepted. The intranet is vital to achieving this. Here are seven ways your intranet can be used to support inclusivity throughout your organisation.

1. Reaffirming values and accepted behaviours – The company’s values and how employees are expected to behave should be reaffirmed across the intranet, including the need for acceptance, tolerance and understanding. Above and beyond having a company ‘values page’, this means living and breathing inclusivity, such as by showcasing employees from across the business who have demonstrated the right behaviours (teamwork, understanding etc.). In fact, employees from all departments, and with different backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, religions and ethnicities should have their efforts, achievements and behaviours regularly recognised.

On top of this, news items should highlight successes and milestones of diverse teams and individuals; and awareness days and occasions such as International Women’s Day, Pride and Eid should be recognised and celebrated throughout the intranet with banners, blogs and various insights. It’s also important to ensure that any discriminatory interactions on the intranet are called out with those responsible reprimanded, otherwise the company’s values and inclusivity efforts will be seen as hollow and worthless.

2. Equality of information – ‘Knowledge is power’ and so if some individuals gain access to information before their co-workers, this smacks of favouritism. This could be in-office favouritism (or ‘proximity bias’) in which those employees who are physically in the office learn news before their hybrid and remote working colleagues. It could also be due to discrimination with those of a certain background, gender, ethnicity or religion, consistently learning information and news at a different time to their colleagues. The intranet should be used to ensure equality of information while helping to stamp out favouritism and discrimination, with everyone signposted to the intranet to learn company-wide news at the same time.

3. Supporting equal opportunities – All employees should be given equal opportunities to grow and develop with the intranet used to advertise jobs, training courses, volunteering opportunities and secondments, opening-up these opportunities to everyone at the same time to ensure a level playing field. Employees could also complete their applications through the intranet, providing a transparent audit trail.


4. Polls and surveys to measure inclusivity – Organisations may want to gain a better understanding of how inclusive their workplace community is, and so use intranet polls/surveys to gather feedback. Regular and concise surveys with about 15 questions for monthly or quarterly ‘pulse surveys’ is best. The questions need to be well thought through so that they can be easily analysed and then actioned, with typical questions including: Do you feel a sense of belonging at work?; Do you feel that your leader treats you as an individual?; Does everyone in your organisation have equal opportunities to advance their careers?; and so on.


5. Encouraging inclusive two-way communications – True inclusivity is when everyone can be their real selves at work and enjoy a strong sense of belonging. As part of this, all employees must be encouraged to share their thoughts, and asked to feedback on plans, ideas, news and opinions. The intranet is the perfect platform for this, enabling two-way interactions so that everyone can feel ‘heard’ and that their opinions count.


6.Inviting employee voices from across the business – The intranet can be used as a platform for diverse voices across the organisation. Key to achieving this is by inviting all different types of employees, including those from minority groups, to contribute blogs to the intranet (and in doing so helping to tackle stigma). Blog topics might include ‘Life as a transgender person’, ‘The challenges of being Muslim at work’ or ‘How to support a new mum returning to work’. As sensitive/taboo subjects are tackled more regularly, there’s a greater chance of barriers being broken down. Employees will also become more understanding of others, seeing colleagues more as individuals rather than defining them by their looks, gender, sexual preference or religion.

7. Creating DE&I groups and forums Organisations should encourage employees to set-up online groups that they can identify with, and which can provide advice and support. LGBTQ, employees of colour and mental health groups, for example, can not only help in raising awareness of issues, challenges, differences and indeed similarities, but can offer guidance to organisations so that unintentional discrimination is avoided. These groups may also run online events/webinars and perhaps intranet forums to allow online conversations around a range of diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) topics.


Let your intranet drive an inclusive culture

A company intranet can provide so many opportunities to bring people together, give everyone a voice and break down barriers. It’s vital that it’s harnessed as part of each organisation’s DE&I strategy, with the impact of doing so leading to a fairer and more tolerant culture, and ultimately a thriving and prosperous business.



Martyn Green

Martyn is our Intranet Success Director, his intranet knowledge is extensive, having worked with hundreds of clients, he helps understand what your intranet needs are and supports you in creating your intranet structure and content requirements.