Things you cannot say when you have a company intranet on Microsoft Office 365
In this blog we have given a spin on the information you may have seen elsewhere to make it interesting, engaging and more relatable. We have provided some day-to-day scenarios with a breakdown of what the possible problems are and how an intranet on Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) can alleviate them.
It brings out the frustration and dissatisfaction employees face when they don’t have cloud based tools to access their work, forms and documents are paper-based, manual tasks take up too much of their productive time, they are not privy to updated corporate/departmental information that affects their job, self-help tools are not in place and people they are dependent on become bottlenecks.
Sales Manager – “Hey Jane, I just realized that the presentation I took on my laptop is not the latest version. Please email me the one with the new price list so I have it when I reach the prospect.”
Problem: You don’t have access to work when you’re not in your office.
Solution: You need a cloud- based company intranet which gives you anywhere anytime access to email, announcements, reminders, contacts, projects, tasks, forms, etc.
The intranet should also be mobile responsive so you can view, modify, co-author, and publish documents, presentations, calendars, etc. from any mobile device (phone, tablet, laptop) as long as you have an internet connection.
A company intranet on Microsoft Office 365 is equipped with all the digital tools in the cloud, so your staff can be productive no matter where they are – at the airport, at home, or in a subway.
Communications Manager – “I’ve just emailed the employee on boarding video to you. Can you have it published on the intranet by tomorrow?”
Problem: Publishing content to the intranet is reserved for the IT department.
Solution: With a company intranet on Microsoft Office 365 you get built-in, powerful and easy publishing features, which usually involve filling a form, attaching the file and clicking Publish. Since it is so simple, anybody can do it and your dependence on IT is reduced.
It’s simple and intuitive features enable employees at all levels to quickly share corporate news, updates and upcoming events either with their teams or with the entire company. You can also easily publish rich media such as images, audio, and video that make your intranet more engaging for your employees.
Junior Project Manager – “I can’t have all the reports ready in an hour! It usually takes me a day to gather all the project details from the weekly emails and consolidate the data.”
Problem: Dependency on spreadsheets and email to track and manage tasks.
Solution: Microsoft Office 365 based intranet makes it super easy to create project spaces where teams can share the plan; create, modify and assign tasks; connect and collaborate with each other.
It allows project managers to track all the projects in their portfolio and they can easily export individual project status reports with a click of a button. They can also see data presented in charts and graphs by simply switching “views”. No more wasting time rummaging through old emails looking for updates from various members, consolidating them in a document and struggling to create visual representations.
Additionally, company intranets also include document libraries that promote online file sharing, content collaboration and discussion boards that help team members quickly communicate in real time. Voice and video conferencing also provide connectivity across geographical borders.
Accounts Manager – “I’m so sorry but I have misplaced your reimbursement form. Please re-submit a new one to me for approval.”
Problem: Paper forms get easily buried or lost if not attended to immediately.
Solution: A company intranet on Microsoft Office 365 provides digitized forms with automated approval features which save a lot of time and avoid errors. Since the forms are electronic, they can never be lost or misplaced, and are easy to locate through a quick search.
It also provides a forms dashboard where managers can see which forms are pending approval, send back forms if they have errors, and approve them to complete the workflow. Managers also get notifications when a form is submitted to them and reminders for approval delays, which helps to keep things on track.
With a company intranet employees can track their forms online to see where they are in the approval process, receive notifications when a form is rejected, and even change the route if their manager is on leave.
It allows you to create intelligent workflows which are criteria based; for example, route to a different set of people depending on the dollar amount to be approved. It is also a big time and paper saver.
CEO – “I understand the benefits of an intranet, but we just don’t have the time or budget to plan and implement one right now.”
Problem: Building an intranet from scratch is a very involved and daunting endeavor, which is expensive and time consuming.
Solution: Choose a ready-to-go intranet built on Microsoft Office 365 for your company as it can be implemented quickly and inexpensively. And since most of these solutions are available for a monthly subscription, you pay as you go which makes scaling your plan up or down very easy.
Another benefit is that since these are cloud solutions, the vendor is responsible for hosting, maintaining and upgrading the system. This means you don’t have to incur any capital expenditure!
A ready-to-go intranet installs easily and connects instantaneously to your Microsoft Office 365 environment and is available to start using in a matter of days. And some of these ready cloud-based intranet solutions offer added functionality like Employee Management, Form/Document Approvals and Project Management, which are very attractive to companies that need these tools but do not have the bandwidth to develop or purchase expensive licenses for them.
IT Manager – “We put all these resources and efforts into upgrading the intranet, but engagement is poor.”
Problem: Just putting in place an intranet is not enough. It should be easy-to-use, have the essential tools your users need, and provide new, updated and interesting material to keep them coming back.
Solution: A well-built and well thought out company intranet on Microsoft Office 365 provides employees with all the information and tools they need for their daily work. It makes pertinent news and information readily available, automates manual tasks, and provides social features and self-help tools to streamline work, make it productive and engaging.
When all the applications and data your employees need are consolidated on one platform – the company intranet – it becomes a go-to place. Employees can stay organized and on-track with their tasks, get their daily dose of news, collaborate with their team on a project, author documents and have them approved, engage with their co-workers, etc.
Making sure there is a place for rewards and recognition, quizzes, surveys, etc., will keep it interesting. And it is very important for leaders and stakeholders of the company to set an example of intranet use. Harvard Business Review found that where leaders model the desired behavior, employees are 55 percent more engaged.
As you hopefully saw in the examples above, it is becoming more and more important for organizations to focus their attention on technology and its advances, and to utilize it to alleviate current problems in work culture and engagement, and at the same time be better prepared for the future.
Employee engagement plays a very big role in the success of a company and there is ample proof that a company intranet, when done right, can drive the efforts of an organization in the right direction. So, it is worth it to invest some time and effort toward making your intranet user friendly, pleasant and attractive, with buy-in from your super users so it includes capabilities and tools that employees deem important. Because, after all more power to them is more power to you!