The business world has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Technology has progressed remarkably since the 1980s, and it's now possible for just about anyone with a laptop and the right skills to launch a business. While some technological advances flash and fade, social intranet software has endured.
In fact, social intranets have revolutionized business operations. From their humble beginnings and limited functionality, these virtual communities now drive productivity, allowing staff to exchange information and manage projects with ease. Managers and CEOs are often astonished at how quickly the right intranet can boost the bottom line.
Let's take a look at 11 intranet benefits and how they can deliver results for your organization.
Improving employee engagement is a key challenge for leadership. While there's no single solution for every organization, a social intranet can inspire staff to contribute more fully to projects and initiatives. By logging into a common space every day, your staff is regularly connected to each other and to your mission. The intranet is the "team huddle" that unites and motivates employees.
Even in the Information Age, communication remains a challenge. Staff can become isolated from each other and from management, leading to a "silo mentality." Social intranet software can break down these barriers, enabling direct, clear dialogue among staff and leadership. Your team can share ideas and constructive feedback, and your managers can interact transparently with staff. Through your intranet, you can crowdsource information, identify trends, head off potential issues, and make better strategic decisions for your business.
You've engaged your staff, you've improved communication, and now it's time to get to work as a team. One of the major intranet benefits is streamlined collaboration. Staff can partner on daily tasks and long-term projects by working within the structured space of your intranet, which allows them to share files, store conversations, and reference pertinent data. A robust intranet transforms ideas into action.
To communicate and collaborate effectively, you need to manage information efficiently. Social intranet software will organize and channel your business intelligence with laser precision. Rather than sifting through emails, staff can view key information at a glance in a dashboard format. The intranet's structure prevents information overlap, so that staff members work with only the files they actually need. And, since the paperless office still requires a filing system, intranet document management is your best option. Simply upload and tag your files for fast access.
Once you've launched a project, you need to manage it to completion. Intranets enable you to track your projects in real time, as you monitor staff progress and resolve issues. By following staff conversations, you'll gain deeper insight into the challenges and resources that emerge during the project cycle.
Social intranet platforms allow you to consolidate standard business processes, reducing the need to purchase multiple software applications. Accounting, marketing, and human resource activities can be centralized in your intranet, creating efficiencies that translate into profit.
An HR intranet can reshape the hiring and onboarding processes. Companies that want to leverage their current talent by hiring from within use intranets as internal job boards. Managers can use staff profiles to identify experts within the organization for specialized tasks. Outside hires can log in to the intranet to access training materials and new employee documentation.
Tracking staff schedules and meeting spaces becomes more intuitive with the right social intranet platform. You can access personal and shared calendars in one space, eliminating the need to toggle between platforms when you're trying to schedule an event.
Business meetings are a time-honored tradition, but the social intranet makes better use of everyone's time by moving meetings from the conference room to the computer. Your team can meet "on the fly," without having to reserve a room, set up a projector, or find a dry erase marker. Social intranets also allow you to record meetings for future reference, so you can capture important ideas and takeaways.
"Working from home" used to be the exception, but it's become increasingly common, particularly for businesses whose staff members are located throughout the country or across the globe. Social intranet software allows far-flung colleagues to collaborate, it allows you to manage remote workers, and it expands your organization's reach.
Your intranet can also improve your interactions with outside vendors. Invite trusted vendors to join selected areas of your platform so that you can handle your orders within the virtual community. In the process, you'll engage your vendors more fully as true partners in your projects.
The right intranet platform can transform your organization and its bottom line. Use the above intranet benefits to your advantage ... don't lose another day to a lack of employee engagement, endless email threads and stalled projects. Revolutionize your business with social intranet software, and you'll be amazed at the results.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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