Why intranets create workplace productivity

In the business world, companies are 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.

The bigger questions is how do you make them more happy? When you think of a happy work environment, it’s about being collaborative, sharing ideas, having the same goals, giving employee recognition and having overall clarity of purpose.

A great way to accomplish this and be more productive is having a company Intranet. Providing your staff with an Intranet portal to access important company information can be an effective and inexpensive way to make a big impact in the way your employees work. But, it can’t be just any Intranet.

The Intranet platform should allow companies to think with one mind and speak with one voice regarding corporate and departmental goals, marketing and social messaging. All of these capabilities drive results and employee satisfaction.

Here are some of the top features of a company Intranet that will help employees be more productive:

Search Directory (By person, department and skill set): Your Intranet portal should have a search feature that gives employees the ability to find a person by name, location, department as well as by a specific skill set quickly.

For example, maybe you are looking for someone that can assist with Excel or PowerPoint. If those skill sets are listed on an employee profile, they will show up in the results for those keywords. After they locate that person, they should be able to Instant Message, phone and email that person from the portal.

Events Calendar:  Many companies would like to share, in a common place, upcoming company and marketing events. The ability to share marketing and/or corporate event calendars is a must.

To have one place for upcoming company events is key. For example, a sales team would see value in having quick access to the marketing calendar so they can see what may be coming up in their area to promote with their customers.

Social: An overall theme throughout our discussions with customers is that they wanted their intranets to be social, meaning they want  the ability to Like, Follow, Share and give “SHOUT OUTS” and recognitions to and with their peers.

They want the ability to know whose birthday it is, whose work anniversaries are coming up, and recognize a job well done.

Having your social site on the Intranet enables employees to see the activity in your social feeds without having to go to each site such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Department Requests and Workflows:  Having an Intranet that is self-service is very important. With employees residing in different locations (i.e., mobile workers, branch offices, etc.) and working in various departments, having a departmental workflow will greatly improve your teams productivity.

Provide your team with a way to request something from a department by category and have the requests get routed to the appropriate department.

The user who brought up the request should be updated to the progress of their request throughout the process. Managers by department can see open, in progress, and closed requests by category and person.

We have found that by improving processes by automating cross-departmental workflows, eliminates unnecessary steps so you can deliver your product or service faster and more effectively.

Having a departmental workflow request will also drive the adoption of your intranet site. 

Device Responsive for the “On the Go” Worker: The world is mobile. So, employees need to be able to work off of their devices, not just their desktop. Having an Intranet site that is fully device responsive is key to staying productive on the go. Being able to access what they need, when they need it will boost productivity

In short, all the important information employees need should be at their fingertips to help them be more productive. When employees see their co-workers using the Intranet, it will encourage further adoption for a more productive work environment.

Christopher Pyle is president and CEO for Champion Solutions Group,  a $100 million organization and one of the most respected solution providers among top technology manufacturers including IBM, Microsoft, VMware and NetAppMost recently, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps, which has designed a easily deployed and administered SharePoint Intranet Platform for Office 365 called ROOT so businesses can unify messaging and access tools they need to be more productive.