Business executives within large organizations know how difficult it can be to get numerous departments firing on all cylinders toward a unified goal. Issues such as disseminating critical information, collaborating on interdepartmental projects and mitigating downtime get more difficult as companies grow. Add in the amount of time spent on essential administrative tasks that don’t directly contribute to the bottom line and the potential for inefficiency within a large organization may lead to a decline in profitability.
Fortunately, a simple, unified solution exists to address these challenges. Developing an intranet—an internal, unified network accessible to the entire organization—can greatly enhance communication and promote uptime. As a result, your bottom line could swell.
Here are some more-specific ways the integration of an intranet can help your organization achieve its goals:
- Seamlessly distribute vital information (e.g., appointments, slide shows, meeting notes, memos and the like) for anytime access
- Set permissions so that all company-related data can be disseminated, but only accessed by parties granted authorization
- Boost collaboration between departments without reliance on physical meetings
- Cut downtime affiliated with email with an instant messaging application
- Automate payroll, invoicing, inventory management and pricing
- Federate search functions
- Track time off or post company policies more effectively to limit the amount of time employees need for one-on-one meetings
- Provide superior customer service by empowering personnel to resolve matters autonomously
- Reduce reliance on expensive office supplies and hardware
Before your organization can reap these benefits, however, you must take action to ensure employee buy-in. If users fail to adopt your company’s intranet, communications will falter when users and non-users need to interact.
To get employee buy-in, you must first ensure that the intranet’s user experience (UX) design lends itself to easing their jobs.
A complex design, on the other hand, will require substantially more training, which will pull employees from their primary duties for longer periods. They may come to resent this and to feel the intranet is counterproductive.
The same goes for designing the intranet with distinct features for smooth navigation. Otherwise, users may have trouble locating resources, and they may abandon the process and revert to old patterns that limit productivity.
But how can organizations know in advance how users will respond to an intranet if there isn’t one in place already?
Begin by seeking out a dedicated consulting firm that can provide expertise ranging from UX research and design to intranet development, to usability testing and metric analysis. That way, you’ll get an objective assessment from a third party that has helped numerous organizations in the same position as yours.
If you want to start small, your consultant should be able to work closely with your employees to develop a prototypical design they can test out. This firsthand interaction will enable your consultant to better determine the role an intranet should play in the daily lives of your personnel, and then to garner feedback from beta testing.
Your employees will thank you, your customers will be better served and your bottom line will likely reach a new height.