How come you can download an app on your phone and without even the slimmest of instruction manuals or any hint of special training begin to use it effectively in the space of a few minutes? Yet, it takes days or weeks of training to bring a new employee up-to-speed with corporate intranet applications.
What is even worse is that, when eventually coaxed into use, many of these internal systems have shockingly arcane interfaces that do not function properly. If these were applications on the consumer website, customers would be fleeing in droves, but because intranets are employee-driven, usability is almost completely ignored.
Just because the costs associated with extended training periods, inefficiency, and lack of productivity are difficult to calculate does not mean that your company is not paying them. Your intranet may, in fact, be robbing you blind.
CRM systems, information portals, file sharing solutions and internal directories which leave employees fed up with inadequate performance are quickly abandoned, possibly causing employees to cobble together makeshift solutions from public tools like Dropbox or Google Docs.
This leads to unbranded, unstructured and unmonitored procedures, which have the potential to become public relations nightmares or even bring unforeseen legal issues. Would any organization ever consider abandoning corporate managed email in favor of employees using their personal email accounts as an option for simplifying IT infrastructure?
On the other hand, a well thought out intranet can empower your employees, freeing time and effort otherwise spent in frustration for high priority tasks.
Internal systems that focus on the user, are streamlined in their process, and help automate redundant tasks, hold great promise. A useable intranet will put money back in your pocket by maximizing productivity, while reducing training costs and even improving the overall customer experience.
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