One of the many questions we constantly get asked here at Bonzai is — "How will my Intranet provide value to my organization?" We also get a lot of questions about what exactly an Intranet is, and what it's used for!
An intranet is basically a website site that's only accessible to those within the company. It offers multiple capabilities designed to increase collaboration, communication and employee engagement, but most commonly, it contains the following:
- All the policies, procedures, forms and documents an employee needs in their day-to-day work
- Various types of communication such as news, events, employee spotlights, campaigns and anything that an organization feels would be of value in keeping employees up to speed on what's going on in and around the organization
- A set of tools that helps employees be more productive and connected, like an employee directory, location directory, marketplace and others
- A centralized set of links to external applications such as timesheets, HR systems and other applications that are used daily
Intranets aren't only useful as a document management portal — they also help share information from the top, like long and short term company goals and objectives, with staff in every department and office. These goals provide transparency and a sense of ownership with the organization, and also cut down on the amount of non-interactive emails flying around.
Being able to target content to specific people and groups within your organization allows you to streamline communications. Intranets simply make it easier to communicate, which leads to less confusion, saving time, money, resources and reliance on email. Let’s explore further the various ways Bonzai Intranet for SharePoint and Office 365 provides value to your organization.
Cut Down on Rumors and Misinformation
While everyone enjoys a good water cooler conversation, in larger organizations word of mouth communication can become disjointed. This disconnection can cause errors and miscommunications that can cause major problems. For example, in one organization we know, a developer commented that a new feature in a soon-to-be-released product wasn't working properly. Within 24 hours, the news had circulated to their European and Australian offices, and the product launch was put on hold. It turned out that the developer was referring to a feature in the next release they were working on, but the casual comment threw the whole organization into panic mode, wasting time and creating confusion.
The more distributed an organization is, the more important it is to have a central hub where all employees can go to find current details on events, policies, procedures, important documents, HR information, corporate retreats, and company announcements. This method ensures everyone gets the same information, gossip is reduced and new employees have a stable, consistent experience during the on-boarding process.
When your company has many branches or offices, finding location and contact information fast is essential to your business. Bonzai has an amazing employee directory that allows you to not only search for people by title, location or number, but you can also customize those search options to match your organization’s needs. Our Information Architect Raymond wrote a great article on search customization.
Central Document Management
Keeping everything online and on your intranet by using the various document management features that an Intranet provides such as versioning, additional metadata and automated review before publishing content. Set user group permissions and control who can read and modify specific documents, this content can be organized into sites and folders which allows for quick access of information.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Intranets can help reduce the time spent by customer-facing employees looking for specific documents. Customers no longer waste valuable time while an employee searches for their records. Centralized information result in better business decisions, handling times, and an increased level of service. Information that is readily available will also help increase profits by giving your employees the tools to upsell or market particular items based on your clients specific needs. Are you hooked yet? If not, it’s important to understand that this is way business will be done by the majority of companies sooner rather than later. We no longer live in a world where information sits only at the top. Communication is progressing faster than ever, and to stay competitive it's essential to evolve above the noise.
Being an effective leader means meeting the needs of your employees by providing them with the right tools to do their job in the most operative way possible. At the end of the day, you want the information to flow directly from the source, and an intranet is the perfect way to reinvent corporate communication.
Want to learn more about how a Bonzai Intranet will solve your business problems? Schedule a demo with us today!