Selecting a partner for your employee intranet solution is a decision that will impact your employees for the next several years. It is a decision that requires close attention. It’s important to both the product offering and the company delivering the solution. You want to make sure you make the right choice the first time. Re-populating a new employee portal and retraining your staff after a poor experience with the first portal can be disappointing and frustrating. Don’t make that mistake! Passageways has identified ten key considerations that should be observed before choosing your portal solution.
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- The absolute number one Priority is to ensure the solution streamlines your corporate communications! Simple tools such as announcements, calendars, sign-up events, and discussion boards need to be easy to create and maintain. This should be for all of your staff, not just IT. These tools should help organize information from various departments. Content such as FAQs, documents, forms, employee benefits and contact details should be available. Your chosen solution must meet this basic requirement.
- Ask yourself, what is your mission and vision? How well understood is your strategic plan? Your employee intranet portal should allow you to keep your employees focused on the key initiatives. It should allow you to use unique functionality sets such as performance dashboards to track progress. Dashboards should be broken down into department and project levels. Your portal needs to ensure your goals are well communicated and understood by your employees.
- A common goal among our customers is to create a search-driven self-service environment. Creating and publishing decentralized content should be encouraged. Gone are the days of encyclopedias and centralized publishing. Every department should have the ability to easily create and update information quickly, efficiently. This burden should not solely fall upon IT.
- Your intranet platform should enable users to connect their questions with topic experts, product specialists. Such capability requires rich and searchable information regarding each employee and the ability to instant message experts real-time! This project should dramatically improve your customer service and exception handling.
- Your intranet platform should handle the countless number of documents and vendor contracts you share regularly across the organization. Providing access to a centralized repository with the ability to perform full-text search is both convenient and efficient. Consider the time savings that Google offers you each and every day. The same should be true while searching for documents and vendor information within the organization. Versioning of important policy and compliance documentation is another important capability that a regulated industry workforce needs to establish.
- Your intranet platform should provide abilities to maintain a profile, subscribe to other employee profiles and comment on documents. Activity feeds are a great way to stay in touch with updates from various team members and departments. Enterprise-class social tools should allow you to switch these social tools off when required and are for employee interaction only. Be sure to look for social tools to be built within your portal solution as these help to increase efficiency. These engage your younger employees.
- Your intranet platform should facilitate process automation. Expense reporting, supply ordering, and event/training sign-ups should be easily handled through your corporate intranet portal. All existing forms should be searchable and routed right on the document management portal itself. Such projects make the portal project multi-dimensional and ensure rapid acceptance by your staff. Cumbersome processes should be fully integrated and streamlined within your intranet solution.
- Collaboration between departments is essential for every organization. Your intranet platform should allow you to streamline the way your Human Resources department connects with your Marketing department. It should also streamline how your Accounting department connects with your IT department. Your staff should have the ability to open requests and track those requests through completion. It turns out that this is the most appreciated change we have brought about through our solution. Bringing transparency and accountability for inter-department requests builds a collaborative (and accountable) team across the enterprise.
- Organizations exist to offer products and services to their customers. Ensuring that the information on these products and services is readily available to your staff is essential. Inefficiencies can be eliminated by ensuring your customers receive the most relevant information, immediately. Utilizing a searchable “Wiki” structure to help capture product information is fast becoming the norm for most organizations. This resource should reside on your intranet platform.
- Your intranet platform should allow you to create virtual departments and branches. It should also allow you to create ad hoc virtual team pages for projects and committees. These team pages can be used to document knowledge that is otherwise stuck in everyone’s mailbox, network drive or their head. Tracking each employee’s contribution to organizational information is an important aspect of intranet platform progression.
We hope you find these considerations helpful in selecting the right employee intranet portal for your organization.