Communication and collaboration are critical in modern business, and despite the influx of technology, it can remain a challenge to facilitate these objectives. One of the reasons is because employees are scattered location-wise. This is the case even in small businesses.
Employees might spend much of their time traveling, or they may work remotely some or all of the time.
That can leave businesses wondering whether or not an intranet might be right for them.
There are different ways to build an intranet including the use of Microsoft SharePoint, which also offers a number of third-party apps for employee engagement and productivity.
So, is this a good option for your organizational needs? The following are various things to think about.
Are You Using Different Collaboration Apps?
What’s happened in a lot of businesses is that the proliferation of new apps and technologies, all promising to facilitate better communication and collaboration, has made issues worse. If you have collaboration defragmentation, in that you’re using a handful or more of tools for collaboration, it’s going to be problematic for productivity.
Utilizing an intranet is actually a way to eliminate this productivity-killing defragmentation in small and large businesses.
The use of an intranet like SharePoint will provide different collaboration tools controlled and managed under a unified dashboard.
This is excellent for working across departments and sharing data seamlessly and efficiently.
With the example of SharePoint, you would create an intranet portal, and then within that portal are individual workspaces. Within the workspaces is access to different collaborative tools.
Connection Across Locations
This was touched on above, but having employees who are geographically dispersed is increasingly common, including in small and medium-sized businesses.
This means different time zones as well, and it’s challenging for organizations to bring team members together when there are differences in location.
With an intranet, it’s a centralized hub—almost like a virtual office—where you can encourage not only communication and collaboration but also share company news and events. It gives everyone a picture of what’s happening within the company regardless of their location.
In the modern workplace environment where employees are all over the place and talent acquisition and retention are challenges, focusing on culture isn’t an option.
An intranet can help you foster and strengthen a positive company culture in a few key ways.
First, it keeps everyone in the loop and builds the sense of a unified team. It can also make it easier to onboard new employees because everything they need to access is in one location.
Additionally, an intranet is an excellent way to recognize employees and their contributions.
Recognition costs nothing and goes a long way toward a positive workplace and reducing turnover.
You can also brand your intranet and reinforce company values consistently across the board. You can share content from outside the organization that reflects your values and you can get employees to provide their own feedback as to coworkers who are excelling or examples of corporate values they see in action.
Your intranet can become the ultimate reflection of your corporate culture or the culture you aspire to.
Features to Implement
If you’ve decided an intranet is right for your organization, there are some key features it should have to maximize the benefits of its presence.
A direct chat feature is an important one. It’s more direct than email or other forms of communication, and you might be able to add within your platform the option to create group chats, and archive old conversations for easy reference.
Having these chat features within your intranet portal can cut down the need for meetings and other potential productivity-killers.
You’ll also want to ensure that it’s easy to collaborate in terms of document sharing and management.
Project management features should let you track progress in real-time and monitor departmental or individual staff progress on milestones.
Since one of the perks of an intranet is that remote employees can access it as well and make sure they’re on the same page with everyone else, it would make sense that the features would allow for remote work capabilities.
Overall, an intranet can be a great way for modern businesses to address common challenges ranging from the breakdown of silos that hamper communication and collaboration to the retention of employees. An intranet portal can also be a cultural asset that reinforces your core values and recognizes employees for their achievements.