Every business is always looking for ways to help boost the productivity of its employees. Business owners, executives, departmental managers all want to get more from their employees without compromising morale. It is a known fact that happy employees are more productive.
So, how do you make your employees happier?
Give them a work environment that is collaborative and connected. One where they have all the tools they need to do work, without wasting time on manual, repetitive tasks. A place where they can share ideas, connect with like-minded people, and have access to updated information when they need it.
Fortunately, technology is a productivity driver, and the technology platform that powers productivity is the corporate intranet. BizPortals 365 is a modern digital workplace on Office 365 that has been carefully crafted to provide all the tools and solutions that your employees need, in one central location, which helps boost your profits.
In this article we have picked six of our favorite features of BizPortals 365 that can help you positively affect your employees, driving up your productivity.
1. Bring your digital tools on one platform
Most companies use a number of tools, like CRM, ERP, SAP, etc., to achieve their work goals. It is important to give your users a starting place from where they can access all the tools they need and where they can find all the information and resources they need to accomplish work. They need to find ways to unify and consolidate their work efforts on a common platform that allows safe communication and sharing of documents and information, keeps everybody updated about corporate news and events, uses cloud technology to be mobile friendly and reduce IT costs, and incorporates a social feature to allow users to share ideas, brainstorm and find solutions quickly.
BizPortals 365 brings SharePoint, Office 365 tools, and external business applications together in one place so that your users have access to everything they need at their fingertips.
2. Streamline your business processes & workflows
Although most organizations today are technology driven, many businesses still rely on paper forms and manual approvals. This is a big time waster. For example, imagine the time and effort it takes to find the latest version of a form, filling it, printing it, scanning it and emailing it to your manager for approval. Now if the form is on the intranet and the process is automated, it would take one click to open the form, fill in the details, and another click to submit it for approval.
Most forms can be easily digitized and BizPortals 365 comes with pre-built forms for common uses such as purchase requests, expense & mileage reimbursements, time sheets, and time-off requests. The routing and approvals are automated, and notifications are set up to remind managers of pending requests. All your forms show up in one place and you can see their status – approved, rejected, or in-progress.
Document approval processes can also be automated in the same way. For this the workflow piece will rely on the document management system to make sure that when the manager is ready to approve, he is looking at the latest copy of the document.
Your intranet can be a powerful tool to streamline business processes that are repetitive and predictable.
3. Reduce search time
Search has always been a sore point for intranet users. Search results have been clunky, not up-to-date and very often not even relevant. More often than not, users have to rely on their memory to be able to find a specific document or piece of information or conversation. They may be successful when the search is confined to their personal computer. But it is not easy when they have to find a particular document in a digital workplace which hosts 30 department sites and 100 project sites, each with their own document libraries which have their folder hierarchies. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
These days, users are accustomed to be able to find pretty much anything on Google. Sites like Netflix and Amazon are serving up content based on a user’s previous searches and purchases.
It is possible to give users the same experience with an intranet solution on Office 365 using MS Graph. Graph is a tool that supports Office 365 search functions. It tracks content interaction, using machine learning to draw links between people, content and activity within an organization. Graph’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities pulls up more relevant and useful content when a user conducts a search.
A digital workplace should have these features to decrease the time it takes to search for information:
- Information should be well-organized in sites with drop downs leading to further organized sites
- Users should be able to mark frequently accessed sites, documents, people as “favorites” so they can get to them quickly
- Document libraries must provide a way to categorize and tag documents for easy discovery
- Users should be able to save their searches so they can run them again, at a later time
- Provide a universal search field where a search term can be entered to find documents, sites, people, email, etc.
BizPortals 365 provides all the features listed above, which helps in cutting down search times drastically.
4. Provide task management
A lot of intranet providers do not include a project or task management tool with the base solution. Such a tool, however, can be added on for an additional cost. It may also be possible to integrate a task management software that you are already using with the digital workplace solution to give you a consolidated view.
A task manager gives you the ability to create tasks, assign employees to complete the task and set a deadline, while having an overall view of the impact these decisions will have on the project’s schedule and on team members’ workload.
BizPortals 365 comes equipped with a Project Management module which allows managers to create projects and to create and track tasks, issues, and actions items for each project. Custom lists can be created to track items specific to your business. Managers get a dashboard view of all projects in progress so they can quickly see the ones on track and ones lagging behind.
Users have a consolidated view of all their tasks, across projects, with their due dates so that they can prioritize and plan their work day so as to complete them on time.
When employees do not have to search through their email or look for project related documents or scan long spreadsheets to find what they need to work on, it saves time and improves productivity.
5. Bring dispersed teams together
If you are an outfit with offices or employees around the globe who are working in different time zones, with different work schedules, it becomes very important that these employees have a central location where they can come together and collaborate.
There may be times when a team is made up of users working in different locations, working remotely or are travelling. A digital workplace is where they can view progress, discuss problems, troubleshoot, assign tasks, and share information. And the amazing part is that each person can do all of this at their convenience!
With BizPortals 365 with a few clicks you can set up a project space, appoint team members, and set access permissions. In this space you can maintain all the documents, tasks and conversations pertaining to the project. Bringing this information together, helps users get to their work quickly without having to spend hours looking through emails for attachments and directions.
6. Make knowledge management easy
For content driven companies like law firms, financial institutions, and health services; knowledge management can be complicated and dispersed. There may be multiple options for creating, storing and sharing content. Maybe each department uses a different system, which can result in duplication of work and also different versions of the same document sitting in different places.
As information continues to grow at exponential rates, there are times when users don’t know where to find what they need. When these dispersed systems are consolidated via a digital workplace solution, a productivity increase is evident.
Sometimes employees may need to pool their knowledge and expertise to create content. An intranet must allow for collaborative content creation and approval. This helps eliminate the need for scheduling face to face meetings, exchanging long emails, or the sending of documents back and forth for comments and amendments.
With BizPortals 365, all knowledge (documents, videos, images) can be stored in department libraries and content creation is really easy. In fact, the OneDrive integration allows you to drag and drop entire folder hierarchies into specific libraries in BizPortals 365. You can tag your documents with categories, sub-categories and keywords. Users can search for information across all departments and get back results depending on their access level.
If you are an organization that would like to take advantage of the benefits that a modern digital workplace solution offers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help.