What does an intranet do?
Many employees will say it provides them with news. Others might say it helps them collaborate with colleagues. Some may pause and start to list out specific processes, such as allowing them to access manuals and forms or onboard new employees. Some employees may simply say the intranet lets them know what’s on the staff restaurant menu!
One of the great things about intranets is that they can deliver a whole range of different key services and apps to employees, all in one place. A good intranet is extremely versatile and flexible. Yes, it helps deliver internal communications, but it also helps employees get things done. Early on we listened to our clients who wanted their intranet to be a platform for services and apps, so we built many powerful features and capabilities into the Wizdom solution. Now our clients tell us that they can deliver the services employees demand.
Why apps belong on the intranet
The benefit of having some key apps and services is on the intranet is that they:
- are in one place and can be easily found and accessed by employees
- can fill the gaps in capabilities provided by other systems
- can reduce costs by replacing legacy systems
- can improve processes by digitising services which were managed by email, spreadsheets or even paper
- can help to reduce the mountain of email
- are on a flexible platform where it is easy to add new services to meet emerging needs
- can leverage the better usability and better interfaces of a good intranet.
Here are just some of the key services and apps a good intranet should deliver. Of course, these are all ones we’ve built into the Wizdom intranet!
Managing projects is a key activity across any organisation but many employees don’t use solutions which could make the process easier and more efficient. Using the intranet for project management has many benefits as all employees can use the relevant tools.
A good intranet should provide secure spaces for each project where teams can access documents, view tasks, co-ordinate calendars, record time, check milestones and see contact information. It also is a place to streamline team communication and collaboration.
An intranet-based project workspace means everybody is on the same page, can stay in touch and be focused on the project and related tasks.
Access collections of official documents
At times employees will need to access all the latest versions of “official” organisational documents such as the employee handbook or procedures for managing clients.
Everybody needs to be confident that they are accessing all the very latest versions. An intranet should have a clear, tightly-controlled central collection of key documents, where the latest versions are clearly displayed.
This collection saves time as employees know where to find what they need and reduces risk because they are not referencing out-of-date policies.
Complete forms and requests
Employees have to make many requests which may need approval from managers – from requesting annual leave to a new laptop to booking catering for a meeting. Sometimes this is done by email or even completing a paper form!
A good intranet allows employees to complete these forms online and provides workflow to allow the necessary approvals. The intranet should also allow flexibility to create forms to cover a wide variety of scenarios.
Onboard new employees
It can be overwhelming for employees joining a new organisation. There is a huge amount of information to take in all at once, as well as an endless list of forms to fill in and people to meet!
A strong intranet makes the whole onboarding experience much easier for new joiners and more efficient for organisations. A special onboarding site can link to much of the information new employees need to digest, including checklists of tasks to complete.
They can find information about the people they need to see and complete important forms. Everyone benefits, as a positive onboarding programme has been shown to reduce employee turnover.
Locate experts and assemble teams
How often have you struggled to find the right person to either ask a question or to be part of a team you’re assembling for a new client project?
Looking for an expert in a particular niche can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s time-consuming and can also be fruitless. A good intranet makes this task much easier. Searchable employee profiles with details of individual expertise can help you locate the person at the right time.
Social networking capabilities allow you to post a question to the network. Expertise location and assembling project teams can now be a breeze!
Manage the IT help desk
Managing an IT help desk usually needs specialist software where employees can submit requests, get a ticket number and view progress of their issue. Doing this via the intranet is very helpful as it can be presented alongside FAQs, content and even a support community.
We’re not quite there yet, but we’ll be unveiling this very useful application later in 2017!
View the weekly menu
We know this is an “intranet favorite”, so we’ve even built a stylish way to present the staff restaurant menu!
The intranet is the perfect home for apps
The intranet is the central channel within the digital workplace, and the perfect home for key apps and services which can be used by all employees.
These make daily work for employees just that little easier as well as deliver efficiencies and cost savings for organisations. If you’re choosing a new intranet solution, or just improving the one you’ve already got, it’s worth investigating whether you can consolidate apps and services on to the intranet.
This will help you on your journey towards the digital workplace and a modern, flexible work platform that organisations and employees love!
If you want to learn more about our many features, request our feature catalogue right here!
The original article was published here.