Once just a document repository, today’s intranet software solves real challenges—like improving communication, enhancing collaboration, amplifying productivity, and elevating knowledge share. But not all of us are able to embrace the change associated with brand new technology. This has left many laggards holding on for dear life to the tools they have always relied on, like email.
A 2017 study revealed that employees are sending and receiving about 120 emails every day, That’s a lot of emails, and subsequently a lot of wasted time!
Email itself isn’t the problem, but rather how we use it. Intended originally as a secondary communication source, email is still inadvertently used for document collaboration, image and file repositories, and discussion forums.
And so when someone comes along and preaches to us that there is a new communication panacea in the workplace, it can feel a little unsettling—like ending a toxic relationship.
So yes, change can be incredibly frustrating, yet totally worth it. Unlike a bad pair of mom jeans, an intranet isn’t a passing fad, but rather an evolution of how we communicate and collaborate within the workplace.
Below are nine frustrations you won’t miss when you acquire a new intranet.
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1. Searching for long-lost email messages
While email search functionality has come a long way in the last ten years, it’s still far from perfect. And even if we can eventually locate a long-lost message, is the time and effort really worth it? The sophisticated search functionality with intranet software helps employees locate everything they need. And when employees can easily find what they are looking for, they don’t waste time searching.
2. Crawling through broken email threads
Even when we locate important information within an email chain we often forget that a single message is potentially just one in a sea of other conversational threads. One employee may reply to all, while another colleague may forward it on to other individuals. Before you know there are dozens of conversations happening at once, and accessible to only those in the thread. Because intranets are a great place for discussions, you won’t have to worry about searching through broken threads. Tagging abilities ensure that relevant discussions are easily found without wasting time.
3. Crafting long emails and not knowing if anyone is actually reading them
According to a survey conducted by APPrise, 30 percent of employees admit they don’t read emails from their employers. This is extremely frustrating to internal communicators--especially when there are important news and announcements that must be read. An intranet empowers communicators with the platform to inform employees of critical news and events. It also provides them with reassurance (through analytics) that their communication efforts are working.
4. Downloading massive attachments
Sending attachments through email has many limitations. Firstly, it hogs the memory on your server. If you have any doubts about this, ask your IT team. Some files are too large to even be sent through email, which means you may not know your attachment wasn’t correctly sent. Also, if you have ever tried searching for an attachment within your email you likely know it isn’t easy, which isn’t too surprising considering most of us have overflowing inboxes.
5. Reply to all
A colleague of mine recalls once being included on an all-staff email that wasn’t exactly intended for every single employee. It was during a live CEO town hall, where an employee accidentally replied “Blah blah blah” to thousands of other colleagues. While the story is admittedly entertaining, it does remind us all of the potential consequences of all staff emails and that email is not intended for group discussions.
6. Critical chain of events and decisions locked up in silos
While it’s great to have an electronic record of permissions, it hasn’t always been easy to find these approvals when necessary. Critical information shouldn’t be locked away in silos or an email inbox. By moving important discussions to the intranet, employees can easily locate the information they require to do their job.
7. Never knowing which attachment is the most recent
If you want to upset your brand manager, try using an outdated or stretched out logo that you found in an old email folder. Your intranet can help you manage version control, so employees can collaborate and communicate effectively on numerous projects, with the knowledge that they are working on the correct versions of documents and images. An intranet can also help you preserve brand integrity by allowing staff to see the evolution of all brand elements.
8. Key people or departments left out-of-the-loop
“No one tells me anything!”, is a familiar phrase heard in a lot of workplaces. Employees may not be intentionally left out of important discussions, but many are still feeling out of the loop. This is because most decisions and departmental discussions are still happening within email. And then when a key person is finally brought into the discussion, they feel left out because they weren’t involved in the first place. An intranet helps surface relevant information and discussions so employees feel involved from the beginning.
9. Great ideas, stuck in someone else’s inbox
It’s not uncommon for employees to brainstorm in an email chain—sometimes even accidentally. For example, let’s say a member from your marketing team casually mentions a witty headline for an upcoming holiday campaign. But since that subject isn’t relevant at that precise moment it is forgotten. However, months later when it’s time to execute that campaign, no one can recall what that brilliant idea was or where it was discussed. In other words, great ideas that aren’t ready to be executed are trapped within your email inbox. With an intranet, your employees have a location to post ideas that can easily be discovered when the timing is right. By using an intranet to crowdsource, companies can amplify their knowledge share.
Organizations thrive when they embrace change. The same holds true for people. By incorporating intranet software into your digital workplace, and adapting our work style to meet the changes of a workplace environment, we all become more valuable colleagues and team members.
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