There are many reasons for an organisation to have an intranet. In this post, I will present a few of them that can improve business processes. Time savings? Better communication? Yes – among other things, which is what this is all about.
Time management is one of the most important elements in any business process. The better you manage it, the more productive the employees will be. Successively reducing the time devoted to individual tasks and looking for improvement opportunities among them is the way to practical improvements of the mentioned processes.
An intranet system is a tool facilitating this. How? It is enough to start with such a mundane thing as email correspondence. Checking the inbox, replying to messages, searching for important attachments, searching for their final versions. The list is long. What if you could replace it with one common area all people could access and where changes in the flow of documents would be made transparent? Yes, this is the area for introducing improvements. Quick access to information and efficient updating of the status of a given business process, and thus – the information management, are being carried out by the Intranet.
Emails mean not only the correspondence between users but also the newsletter. Setting it up, addressing specific recipients within the company, and sending also take time. Moreover, if this newsletter is essential for the life of the organisation, having the certainty that every recipient has received and read it is associated with waiting. In an Intranet, the distribution of the newsletter can be simplified both at the level of content distribution, where instead of sending such a message, the administrator may indicate a place with an important message, and also may have a functionality informing about reading this content. The added value is also a shorter time to find and re-read the newsletter than in the case of scrolling through hundreds of emails in the inbox.
Better communication between the management and the employees
Intranet also dramatically improves communication between the team and the management. The management can publish important content, such as updates about the company's life in the form of an internal blog. By tagging the posts, a particular topic is easier to find. The employee is always kept informed and finds the content faster.
However, communication is also about the flow of information both ways. In order for the staff to be able to manage efficiently, they must at least have knowledge of the availability of the team members. By implementing a calendar in the Intranet, in which every employee informs about the planned days and hours of work or submits leave requests, it is possible to improve the management of a particular business project very effectively. It is then known which person is assigned to specific tasks. Therefore, without the need to contact the individual employee every time, the management communicates with them via the Intranet and obtains the necessary information.
Every employee has their own profile in the Intranet, which includes the history of all their affairs, the correspondence with the management.
Better control over employees, more efficient management
Moving further from communication, let us tackle the issue of control. However, I think of it primarily as a benefit, not as a control in the bad sense of the word.
Such a specific benefit during a typical working day may be information on the logging the starting and ending times of work. The manager knows then who is available and can effectively control work on a given project by distributing tasks. This is especially useful as part of a remote working option, which is becoming more and more common.
The manager can better control, and thus – more efficiently manage the progress of work in relation to a particular project. And if it turns out that the task has not been marked as completed or does not have the "in progress" status for some reason, the person responsible for the project sees it immediately and can contact the given person directly.
The result of the control is data. By exporting specific information from the Intranet, the manager can then carry out an analysis in relation to the work of a particular employee or the context of a project. This knowledge may prove invaluable in planning and improving management in the future.
Quick access to information
This is another benefit of the Intranet. And there is probably no need to convince anyone just
how important it is that information can be found quickly and efficiently.
Instead of sending each other updated versions of files via email, or creating new directories on Google Drive, and by mistake sharing it with an unauthorised person, all these things can be "closed" with the Intranet. This applies to the aspect of the business processes, the projects that team members are working on.
However, there is also the organisational, HR aspect. An FAQ section on the Intranet and an efficient search engine can effectively support anyone who needs to find the content that interests them quickly.
The human resources content, which is sometimes exceptionally large (regulations, application
forms, instructions, etc.), should also be organised so that the user has a chance to navigate
them. For example: every instruction video, or even print-screens illustrating how to fill out a
given form, save time and do not unnecessarily involve third parties.
Greater influence on organisational culture
There are many definitions of organisational culture in management literature. I will not refer to them here, but I will describe them in a general sense as a community that identifies itself within the context of a given organisation. In other words, – everything that distinguishes an organisation is precisely its culture.
So, culture constitutes everything that I have already described above in this text. But a few more aspects can and should be specified, of course.
Every survey, and therefore – feedback, brings value. Both when it concerns the answers to questions about how the employee perceives the organisation, and how they are perceived in the organisation. Thus, surveys can be a quarterly, semi-annual or annual assessment of the employer and the employee. Translation into culture occurs firstly due to the fact that such surveys take place as a cyclical process (and this is the distinguishing feature), and secondly – due to the fact that both parties gain information about themselves through this. The added value here is transparency, building further mutual trust, and the space for improvement of the work environment.
Intranet can be a social platform similar to Internet social media. Depending on the degree of construction and its functionality, the platform contributes to the maintenance and strengthening the relationships among employees. Conversations within the Intranet do not have to concern only business matters but can relate to all aspects of life in the company – be a place for initiatives, events or...
Awards and distinctions
... or be a place where the team members' work can be praised by other people so that all Intranet users can learn about it. Mutual awarding is another feature that fits perfectly into an Intranet. And nothing influences the increase of commitment as much as receiving an award by a superior and/or a colleague.
Every distinction of the organisation that I mentioned is a part of the culture. The added value, in this case, is strengthening the positive image of the company, both among the employees and outside. The fact that Intranet is a closed space when it comes to accessing it does not prevent the sharing with the world the information that there is an Intranet in the given organisation and how it works.
Innovations in the company
Having the feedback mentioned above and the Intranet as a communication platform can effectively influence the identification of needs and implementation of innovations. Every new idea can be discussed and analysed to meet the expectations of the interested parties. The benefits of such an approach are incomparably greater than when the management makes a decision about a change without any prior consultation. The cost of this type of action may, unfortunately, turn out to be too high and fail to achieve the goals set.
Speaking of money, the Intranet allows you to reduce management costs. At this point, I am finishing the frame I started with the time savings described at the beginning of this text. Emails, newsletters, updating important documentation in real-time, quick access to information, but also a chance to organise online meetings with particular emphasis on the use of the mobile version of the Intranet. Thanks to this, regardless of where a given employee currently is, such a meeting can be organised, which in turn contributes to the more efficient management of the business process.
There are no doubts about the benefits of having an Intranet in place. However, when planning its creation, it is important to identify the company's needs and build an Intranet based on the goals it is to achieve. Seeing the changes it has caused with the passage of time, an Intranet should be improved in order to use its capabilities in the most effective way.