There are times when every business needs to evaluate how things are currently going. Even the most well-run organizations are prone to running into issues.
However, it's less important to reinvent the wheel than it is to simply make tweaks that affect internal processes and workflow in a positive way. In many cases, implementing company intranet software can be just what the doctor ordered.
Intranet software allows employees to work more efficiently with one another, even if they're located in opposite parts of the world. Users can share documents/files, bounce ideas off of one another, create discussions, contribute written content to an internal knowledge base and more ... all without having to leave the comfort of a singular virtual space.
As more and more businesses continue to embrace intranet software, it's becoming increasingly apparent that these tools are here to stay.
Determining whether or not your business might benefit from implementing social intranet software is leasier than you might think.
Here are eight signs that should never be ignored.
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful business. When your employees don't have a way to communicate with each another in an effective way, issues are sure to arise and can have far-reaching consequences. Unfortunately, this is a common issue that businesses of all kinds face on a daily basis, and in many cases, it never gets addressed.
Fixing issues related to internal communication is a simple process when intranet software is a part of the equation. You can message anyone in your organization at the drop of a hat, whether you're striving to create individual conversations or group discussions.
Best of all, company intranet software stores all of your important conversations so that you never have to worry about forgetting details that could make or break a project or task. Many organizations find that once they get used to using social intranet software for communication purposes, they rarely feel the need to return to the hassles of email.
No business can expect to operate in a successful manner if its employees aren't fully-engaged throughout the day. Increasing and maintaining employee engagement isn't as easy as many people think and can be quite a frustrating process. While there are a number of ways to make your employees feel as if they're an important part of the organization, sometimes it can feel like a losing battle.
When you implement company intranet software, you're doing a huge part in helping your employees feel more engaged in their roles.
Working on of a social intranet platform plays a large part in employee engagement, because your staff will have opportunities to contribute and gain value of the content and conversations that take place.
You can also utilize the system to assign tasks to specific individuals, ping them on project status updates, and more. The result is a more engaged workforce, which can have a number of positive implications on your business, regardless of the industry you find yourself in.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your organization. There's nothing more important than providing them with the best possible support.
Customer service can easily fall when things aren't operating up to par. Once your customers begin to display signs of unhappiness, they may decide to look elsewhere for their products or services.
As if customer retention isn't enough of an issue as it is, it's common for those who are displeased to take to the Internet and share their gripes publically, which can have lasting negative repercussions for your business.
Company intranet software is the perfect platform for taking your customer service efforts to another level. You can create a knowledge base of information for customers and clients to browse when they need. It's a great way to decrease the amount of time your staff might be spending handling phone inquiries. If they run into problems that can't be solved, they can open up cases in the intranet that your staff members can handle. The result is a far more personalized form of customer service, and it makes quite a difference.
Many businesses rely on sharing of documents and files throughout the day to complete projects and tasks. While there are a number of applications that allow for this to happen, finding one that fits the needs of your business can be a difficult, time-consuming process. Some try to incorporate free software into their organization in an attempt to save money, which can create a host problems and should never be viewed as 100% reliable.
One of the biggest perks of using intranet software is that it makes sharing documents and files so easy that anyone can do it. Files can be uploaded and tagged by users for easy retrieval. Your employees can also "like" files, which helps to rank them and ensure that the most important documents end up towards the top of the list. It's document management at its very best.
Modern business has become more and more reliant on technology, and these needs aren't going to disappear. One of the biggest issues that today's businesses run into is the need to juggle a number of different applications each day. One for communication. Another for document sharing. Another for a knowledge base. Etc. And this becomes a big pain in the ass.
The issue of juggling applications goes away when you incorporate social intranet software into your business. Company intranet software pulls together all of your processes into a single space that you log into, allowing you to manage documents, schedule meetings, create new projects and more. All this without having to remember 5 different logins. It can seem too good to be true at first, but the benefits of bringing everything together into one place become clear rather quickly.
Great ideas are what successful companies are built upon. They are necessary to create the solutions your clients and customers need. The sad fact of the mattet, is that the flow of ideas can easily slow down if you're unorganized. This can result for a number of reasons, but it most often has to do with employees having difficulty collaborating with one another. When collaboration falls apart, so too does the creation of new ideas.
With intranet software, your employees can post ideas. Which can be debated, built-upon, and discussed by other members of the community. Opening up a conversation is the best possible way to improve the flow of ideas, and it can produce quick results that can elevate your products and services to another level.
Great business owners pay close attention to productivity. Measuring progress helps to give you an idea of the current health of your organization. It can be depressing to watch productivity levels begin to drop. This results in wasted time and spending more money to achieve your goals.
While there are a number of reasons why business owners embrace intranet software, increasing productivity is one of the biggest. Users often find that processes which once took a great deal of time to complete are made exceptionally easier when they use social intranet software as a vehicle. And since everyone in the organization is working off of the same platform, getting in touch with someone to ask a quick question takes only seconds.
Once you recognize the positive impact intranet tools can have on productivity, it often becomes difficult to understand how your staff ever got things done without them.
In today's world, it's becoming easier than ever to operate a business from the comfort of your home. When you don't have the right tools on your side, handling a remote staff can be quite a challenge. This often results in a all kinds of problems.
In many ways, company intranet software is designed for businesses that embrace remote working. It can be used by businesses that operate out of a physical office, but a social intranet can be viewed as a virtual office for those which do not.
Employees can collaborate with one another as if they were sitting right in the same room, even if they're in completely different time zones.
When you use intranet software, many of the hurdles associated with running a remote business tend to disappear.
When setting out to find the right intranet software for your business, bear in mind that there are countless options available on the market, many of which are unique to themselves.
It's important to weigh your needs and put a fair amount of time into locating the best possible candidate for your business, as you don't want to be stuck with the wrong software.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can take into consideration to help streamline your search, including the following:
There are a great deal of intranet software vendors offering "one-size-fits-all" solutions to their clients. These can seem like a good idea at first. Once you look at the details, it becomes clear that these options do nothing but keep your business stuck in a box. It's essential that your organization has the ability to tweak and customize your intranet to meet your needs. Instead, look for a vendor that will work with you to customize your intranet tools as little or as much as you need to be successful.
It can be very helpful when shopping for intranet software to know exactly what you're trying to accomplish by implementing it. For example, you may be want to improve the ways your staff manages documents and files. In this case, you'll want to look for an intranet platform that features a robust document management system. Be sure to articulate your needs to the intranet vendor you choose to work with, so the software package you end up with is the perfect fit for your business.
In the past, creating a social intranet often meant building it from the ground up, in-house. While there are certain benefits that can come along with a self-hosted intranet, cloud technology has changed the industry. It's easier and less expensive than ever in the past for businesses to have their very own virtual workspace.
Cloud-based company intranet software is perfect for younger companies, as the price of entry is almost always far lower than that associated with building an in-house intranet.
Utilizing social intranet software is quite easy, but that's not to say that you and your staff might not run into problems along the way. It's essential, that the intranet vendor you choose to work with offers high-quality customer support. This is the only way to ensure that your workflow is not brought to a halt, should you encounter an issue.
While it can be difficult to know for sure whether or not an intranet vendor offers great customer support without working with them and finding out for yourself, reading reviews of different software companies online can be helpful.
There are new intranet software vendors popping up each and every day. Some of which offer intranet solutions that seem too good to be true. While it can be tempting to go with one of these companies, doing so can be incredibly risky. There's no telling what type of quality their services might be. Add to this the fact that companies may go out of business.
Look for an intranet vendor that has been in the industry for years and has a solid reputation. This will decrease the chances that you may run into potential problems.
Once you've found the right company intranet software, it'll only be a matter of time before you start seeing the differences these tools can make in your organization.
Tim is a co-founder and president of Axero and the author of his forthcoming book, Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Break Down the Invisible Barriers to Employee Engagement. He's spilt insightful ink on the pages of Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, CNBC, Today, and other top publications.
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