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Collaboration Intranets

5 Reasons to Make Your Intranet a Priority

An intranet can be a very important piece of a successful organization. It provides a central location to share information, documents, knowledge while keeping up to date with corporate news and events. In some industries, it’s very important for employees to be able to communicate effectively, especially when they are not located in the same office or work remotely. These days, technology and work are changing rapidly. Old static intranets, endless e-mail chains and attachments, or old paper communication are not able to adjust with today’s employees needs and can prevent them from being more productive and engaged.

A survey (conducted by Fierce Inc. 2011) exposed poor communication between decision makers and employees. This helps express employees communication issues with team members, management and others. This lack of communication and collaboration results in a lower human capital ROI.

Other key survey finds include:

  • Eighty-six percent of respondents blame lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures; similarly, 92 percent of respondents also agree that a company’s tendency to hit or miss a deadline will impact bottom line results.
  • Over 70 percent of individuals either agree or strongly agree that a lack of candor impacts the company’s ability to perform optimally.
  • More than 97 percent of those surveyed believe the lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of any given task or project.
  • Ninety percent of respondents believed that decision makers should seek out other opinions before making a final decision; approximately 40 percent felt that leaders and decision makers consistently failed to do so.
  • Nearly 100 percent (99.1) prefer a workplace in which people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively, yet less than half said their organization’s tendency is to do so.

Yet, some companies are resistant (or reluctant) to improving their current out-of-date static intranet or implementing a brand new intranet site. When the topic comes up to search for an intranet, some companies spend hours researching, speaking with experts, viewing vendor demonstrations and testing during their trial period. Then, sometimes due to lack of planning, foresight, budget, priorities, IT resources, or overall lack of need, the project gets delayed or abandoned altogether. This causes an issue as any time wasted (for searching for the intranet and the employees continued lack of an effective intranet) goes against the reason you were considering looking for an intranet in the first place. You want your employees to be more efficient and productive, but delaying providing a useful tool for them to improve the stats above and produce better results starts to become an important expense that you need to look at.

Here are some common reasons you need to make your Intranet a priority. Note, these apply if you are looking to upgrade or implement an intranet, but also in terms of maintaining and promoting your intranet as well.

1. Employees are not engaged

The longer you delay your intranet project, the more your employees will continue to lack the information and communication tools necessary to excel in their roles. Having an intranet make knowledge and work more transparent. Co-workers and managers are able to communicate in real-time and provide feedback. These instant conversations help keep employees engaged. Adding regular news updates also encourages them to visit and use the intranet to it’s fullest potential by not just consuming, but by producing knowledge, information and expertise.

This is even more important as more millennials enter the workforce. It is said that “49% of millennials support social tools for collaboration (Clearcompany) They are also more likely to be using the mobile devices for work purposes, in and out of the office. Businesswire states that the “global mobile workforce will reach 1.3 billion this year (2015)“. So it’s obvious employees want to stay up to date and work in a company wide knowledge sharing office, and not just in traditional silos. Collaboration just doesn’t work with top-down direction. A change in culture is required to keep employees motivated and engaged.

2. Decrease Turnover Rate

Social collaboration helps employees adapt more quickly and get the information necessary to be successful in their position. They feel empowered being able to share knowledge with others by contributing on the intranet. In most jobs, it takes anywhere form three to six months to feel comfortable in your role and know what you are doing. For some jobs, that can be much longer. Poorly communicating your organizations mission statement, purpose and expectations makes it harder for new employees to adjust in a more efficient manner. They may not feel they are “getting it” or don’t fit in with the culture, driving them to look for other options.

Having a stronger collaboration culture is also important for existing employees. They may be able to apply for a job posting that they might have normally missed out on, provide useful suggestions to leaders they may not have been able to speak with, or share knowledge with a newer employee in the same role but in a different office. This increases their own self-worth to their job and gives them a voice to contribute more to their company than they would be able to in earlier times.

These are both important scenarios that are important to avoid losing on your investment in recruiting, training and grooming new employees. If your company is experiencing growth and hiring regularly this should be considered. Or, if your company has a high turnover rate, an intranet may help reduce those rates and help you keep higher quality talent.

3. Increase Sales

With an intranet you can streamline sales process and react faster to customer requests. Easily access news about competition and insight into accounts, resulting in more closed deals and increased sales volume. Consistency on pricing and products is also important and having a central hub for this information helps promote a more collaborative sales team.

So not only are you losing money based on some of the reasons we already discussed, but you are also losing revenue by not giving your salespeople the power and tools to sell more and to more people. At this point, delaying an intranet is proving to have a major impact on your bottom line. Until the next biggest driving factor……

4. Time lost searching for info and knowledge

Studies by IDC, as well as organizations such as the Working Council of CIOs, AIIM, McKinsey, the Ford Motor Company and Reuters have found that:

  • Knowledge workers spend from 15% to 35% of their time searching for information.
  • Searchers are successful in finding what they seek 50% of the time or less, according to both Web search engines and our own surveys. An IDC study in 2001 (“Quantifying Enterprise Search,” IDC, May 2002) found that only 21% of respondents said they found the information they needed 85% to100% of the time (see Figure 1).
  • 40% of corporate users reported that they can not find the information they need to do their jobs on their intranets.
  • 28 hours a week is spent writing e-mails, searching for information and internal collaboration.

Your current methods of sharing static information is costing your in work-hours. The stats and studies go on and on and keep saying the same thing: Old methods of information sharing are costing you money! With a low investment, you can achieve a very high ROI.

5. Going green

There are still many companies that print out all reports, fill out paper forms, or print out paper news to post about upcoming events or happenings in the office. We have already discussed how this is inefficient ways to communicate or process work and the potential high ROI. The effect on the environment should also be considered when using more traditional methods.

Use e-forms, instead of paper forms. Keep news posted to the main page of your intranet. Keep discussions out of e-mail and in forums and meeting chat spaces. Transfer manuals and work procedures to online guides or documents. You can even share daily ‘Green’ tips on how to help the environment at their desk, in their office and even in their own home to promote a more Eco-friendly lifestyle. By implementing an intranet soon, you are going to help cut down on paper use and waste.

Why Wait?

There will always be important projects (aside from your intranet) that you will need to find a budget for or spend time to work on. The intranet should still remain a high priority if you want to improve the overall work and culture in your workplace. You can get started by signing up for a free 30-day trial of Noodle intranet, or have us build you a custom prototype site and walk you through a demonstration.

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