Most major businesses today have an intranet, as it has become essential to keep pace with the competition. However, it’s a myth that intranet software is useful only if you have a large business, as small and medium enterprises can benefit too.
The main benefit of an intranet is that it simplifies and improves communication within an organisation. Smaller companies, or those that are just starting out, may think an intranet is of no use to them at present. What many don’t realise is that as productivity increases and employee numbers grow, an intranet will grow with you and keep internal communications and collaboration up to speed.
It’s far easier to start out with an efficient intranet that all your staff can use, rather than suddenly introducing one as your business grows, as this means everyone will have to retrain to use it. If your employees are familiar with intranet use from the outset, it makes it easier to feel the full benefits as your organisation grows.
Implement an efficient intranet across the board
Software provider Microsoft made a very useful observation that smaller businesses should note: for a company to succeed, everyone must understand the goals. Everyone should be working towards a common goal and the long and short-term goals shouldn’t be confined to boardroom meetings for upper management.
It’s better to have a transparent system with common goals and information that can be shared easily via an intranet in order for your company to grow.
By utilising an intranet, managers and employees alike can share information. Everyone can communicate more effectively, leading to less confusion. Everyone will be working from the same page. Meetings can be arranged, strategies can be shared, training can be organised and every single member of your workforce can be kept in the loop about important aspects of the business.
Intranets are evolving too
As your business grows and evolves, so does your intranet. Over the past few years, technology has improved dramatically and it’s even easier for employees to communicate with each other. The addition of social elements of the intranet have brought it more into line with what employees are doing outside work, such as using Facebook and Twitter. Anything that keeps your workforce interested and enables more flexible working, such as from home or from remote locations, is going to improve productivity and ultimately boost your business.
The old days of employees going to meetings, taking notes and trying to remember everything afterwards have long gone. An efficient intranet will enable everyone who needs to see certain information to receive it simultaneously, reducing the chance of mistakes and nurturing a sense of community among the workforce.
As your business grows, modern developments in the digital workplace have enabled staff at other locations to log on to the intranet. As more offices are set up in different locations, they can be merged seamlessly into the intranet and the employees will feel a part of the company as a whole.
Developing your intranet
Deploying intranet software for small businesses needs careful planning, so that the system runs as effectively as possible. If you’re a small business just starting out, you need to be sure exactly what you’ll need, as there are so many different features available.
Spending money on employing the services of a good consultancy firm to help may seem like extra expenditure that you can ill afford. However, in the long term, getting your intranet right from the outset will save you money, as you will be sure it performs exactly to your requirements and there won’t be any need to spend extra money further down the line to troubleshoot any unforeseen problems.
Above all, your intranet must be well-organised and simple for employees to navigate, as this way, you won’t need to spend a fortune on staff training.
Further benefits of intranet to an organisation
With an efficient, well-planned intranet, your organisation will be able to share internal information across the whole of your workforce, decreasing the need for memos, emails and phone calls. It will enable staff to collaborate via discussion boards to think up new ideas, or plan a project, lessening the need for physical meetings.
If you’re a small or medium-sized business that’s expanding, your human resources department will benefit immensely from an intranet. Employees’ information can be stored on the system and as your workforce expands, so does your database, with HR able to see at a click everything they need. They can also send out information to employees on company policy, updates, training, appraisals and any other aspect of company business that your staff need to know.
A well-organised HR department is the key to any business and if yours is spending a great deal of time getting bogged down with masses of paperwork, emails and phone calls, an intranet will be of enormous benefit.
A company is never too small to look at introducing an intranet. Don’t think that you won’t ever need one. Millions of businesses across the globe are realising the importance of embracing the digital revolution, so don’t get left behind.