Intranet Permissions and Approvals. Do they Matter?

There are two common questions people often have when considering an intranet. “How can I ensure confidential documents don’t end up in the wrong hands?” And, “How do I make sure I review and approve any potential content before it gets posted?”

Understanding Permissions

Permissions basically allow users to access the resources needed. For example, some of your employees may need access to certain HR documents, while others don’t. You would set up a permission to allow this. There are various permission levels. You can assign full control, which contains all available permissions and editing, or you can restrict access to view only. Creating permissions doesn’t need to be complicated and you don’t need to assign them individually. You can assign a lot of them at once by creating groups.


Content Approval Basics

Content approval is a process that helps you restrict document access to certain viewers until it is published. This approval workflow is specifically designed for approving documents. Setting up a content approval process can actually decrease a lot of the work of a content manager because rather than creating all the content, you can just assign contributors, and then approve when necessary.

There are a few scenarios where both an approval process and permission settings are useful. Here are some examples:


Confidential Information

Do all your employees really need access to all the same information? Probably not. Permissions help companies protect confidential information from getting in the wrong hands. Also, if you are in an industry with strict compliance, there may be stringent regulations on who can access certain documents and who cannot.


Company Size


When you have a few employees it’s easy to manage content and workflows. When you have a few hundred employees, chaos can quickly escalate. Different scenarios work for different companies, but as a general rule of thumb, if things feel out of your control, it’s probably time to get some structure in place. Start off slow and play around with different levels. You will learn fast what works and what ends up creating another roadblock.


Brand Consistency

If you work in an organization that prides itself on a strong brand, you will want to carry this consistency through to your internal communications and documentation. By setting up an approval process you can ensure that all documents and content added to your intranet align with your corporate brand. For example, is your logo consistent on all your documents? Depending on the size of your company, you might want to assign someone in marketing to oversee this function.


Employee Relations


Finally, sometimes we realize the value of an approval process or permissions too late; like when an employee says or does something inappropriate. Not that we ever expect employees to do or say anything inflammatory, but it can happen. If you have any concerns over employees’ behaviour, it might be a wise idea to have a rigid approval process and specific permissions from the moment a new employee starts.

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