In today’s fast and increasingly complex business environment, everybody is looking for tools to organize and simplify work. Some organizations are deploying different tools to manage different aspects of their business and others are allowing their employees to use whatever tools and apps they like, as long as they are Okayed by the IT department. But in both these cases, information gets scattered in different applications and affect searchability and manageability of information.
A corporate intranet is a solution that can play a central role in enabling people to have one place to access their company’s information, people and applications. It can unify all your efforts in one place; storing and sharing of documents, dedicated department spaces for managing and assigning tasks, tracking projects, processing forms, on-boarding staff and conducting appraisals.
Below are a few elements that corporate intranets of successful businesses would surely include to create a more engaged, productive, unified and collaborative workplace.
1. Collaboration & Communication
Global businesses often find it harder to bring an increasingly dispersed workforce on the same page. A corporate intranet can help you reach and engage your entire workforce and provide your employees a centralized platform to collaborate, get personalized company news and easy access to corporate communications.
Instead of cluttering your mailboxes with project discussions, questions, sharing information or documents, and exchanging ideas; a corporate intranet can become a forum where all of this communication can take place. Apart from reducing the back and forth of email it also makes sure that all knowledge is captured and secured in the intranet. Additionally, the corporate intranet can also host an FAQ where employees can find answers to common questions and post new questions.
It is also a really good platform where top level management and stake holders can share news and information about their vision, company financials, mergers, acquisitions, or offer encouragement and appreciation to the staff.
A corporate intranet promotes a two-way dialog between employees and the executive team, which is important for today’s modern businesses.
2. People & Information Management
According to a McKinsey study, employees spend nearly 20 percent of the time during their work week looking for information or people (colleagues) who can help with specific tasks. And the fact that digital workplaces are becoming more dispersed and remote only escalates this problem.
Businesses need a solution which centralizes and organizes all content – documents, knowledge, tasks, and people – in a meaningful manner so it is easily accessible. A corporate intranet offers team spaces, document libraries, content lists, employee directory, all which help with the organization and quick availability to these assets.
3. Business Process Automation
A corporate intranet makes tools available so you can easily automate your business processes, workflows and tasks. It helps you simplify employees’ lives – easily and inexpensively.
Form and document approvals are the most common tasks that generate manual, time-consuming work. Automated approval systems save a lot of time and avoid errors. You can set up reminders and notifications to be sent in case of approval delays and forms can also be set up to route to different people depending on the dollar amount that has to be approved, for example, IT purchases.
The on-boarding process can be set up such that a list of tasks that need to be completed before the first day of joining are created and assigned to various users and notifications are sent. Document governance processes can be set so that IT doesn’t have to keep track of the thousands of documents and the dates when they have to be moved into archives or be deleted.
All of this automation saves a lot of time and of course, money!
4. Employee Engagement
Employees are bound to access the corporate intranet to create or access documents, to assign or change the status of tasks, to submit forms and of course for collaboration purposes. But this doesn’t mean that the intranet is interesting and engaging. Employees are coming to it because their work mandates it.
A corporate intranet provides you the tools to make it appealing and attractive:
- Create surveys and polls to gauge how the staff perceives the intranet, what they like about it, what areas can be improved, what other features they would like, etc., which can guide you with requirements for future upgrades.
- Appoint content creators for each department, who will publish new material every week. This will keep content fresh, vibrant and relevant to each department.
- Recognize employees with achievement stories, publish feeds about birthdays and work anniversaries (very easily achieved if employee profiles are complete), and stories about happy customers.
- Have personalized employee workspaces where the logged in user sees his bookmarked sites, documents, conversations and people, his upcoming tasks and reminders, calendars, etc.
- Have social features so users can like, comment and share an article or blog, or have a discussion on matters that interest, influence and affect your organization.
5. Unified Experience
Many businesses invest in a number of solutions which they use for different purposes. For example, a separate document management tool, project management software, chat and communication apps, etc.
Apart from causing an overload and being expensive, each tool will have separate logins, require staff training, and need periodic maintenance and upgrades. This also means that the information is dispersed across multiple systems and that users have to switch between applications to complete one task. This results in a loss of productivity, high costs, and more burden on your employees and IT.
A well-built corporate intranet unifies all your useful and relevant applications in one power-packed solution. It serves as a one stop shop to access your Department sites for collaboration, Documents, News, Announcements, and Employee Directory. It also provides modules for HR and Employee Management, Goal Management, Project Management, and gives access to common office forms; digitized and ready to use.
To sum up, a well-built corporate intranet helps promote your company culture, enhances your brand, and provides tools to keep everyone in the loop. It establishes connections between teams and colleagues and streamlines routine and complex operations. It also helps your employees track projects, tasks and deliverables, manage meetings and events with calendars.
A corporate intranet enables employees to make use of state-of-the-art tools to establish connections between teams and colleagues with chat, social, and video conferencing features. It acts as a single point of access which integrates external applications and systems to have a unified and simplified experience.
BizPortals 365 is an industry-leading, comprehensive corporate intranet and digital workplace solution for Office 365. It includes all the above must-have solutions and features of a corporate intranet.