Shared drives, binders, old emailed documents, papers, pamphlets, forms, booklets, and requests from colleagues…. (Take a breath)… these are just some of the many ways we receive and store information in the workplace.
This is fine and dandy in a small business where everyone is within earshot, but once we become a larger, more complex organization we start to see a number of recurring issues and challenges. Employees need proper resources to do their jobs, and without easy access to accurate information, everyone’s lives become more difficult and time-consuming.
I once worked for a 200 person organization that only used a shared drive. This drive was in action for at least 8 years and was never “audited” to ensure everything was current, relevant or even accurate. Let’s just say I wasted a lot of time digging through folders trying to get what I needed. That type of situation is a problem many organizations face.
There are tools available to eliminate this unnecessary hassle, that’s why I’m going to suggest four reasons I believe any business with more than 100 employees needs to consider a proper employee document portal…. (Consider it this week’s pet peeve)
Easier Organizational Communication
Organization-wide communication becomes easier when there is one simple way to deliver information. An employee portal provides your company just that. For example, if you make an update to employee benefit plans or operating procedures you can instantly push those changes across the entire organization and know that every person can find it easily and be aware of its importance.
With some added functionality such as tracking and reporting metrics management and HR can even be made aware if every employee has viewed the new information to ensure compliance.
Technology makes life easier if we adopt it.
I hate waiting on anything I needed five minutes ago. Sometimes I’m out of the office, maybe on the road meeting with a client and I realize I forgot a document or I’m missing a key piece of information. Typically this is solved by placing a call or email but people are busy and aren’t always available to help me out. A well-designed portal prevents this from being a hassle. With a mobile device, any employee can access everything they need on the go. This means no lost information and no lost opportunities.
In the office employee portals also increase productivity. Employees and managers can waste a lot of time searching for information when it is scattered. By using a portal everything essential to employee and manager’s jobs can be well organized and easily available in one single location.
Of course, the employee and manager need to keep things well organized but with the tools at their disposal, there’s no excuse for messing up.
Pretty much everyone wants to be social at work. We spend much of our lives working and as a result build relationships with colleagues. When working for a larger organization it can be a challenge to venture out of your own department or network. When your work meets more than just your financial needs and facilitates a social environment, employee’s happiness at work increases, improving engagement and productivity.
By incorporating an employee portal with unique employee profiles and some tidbits of personal information you can foster better employee relationships and more interdepartmental communication. Employees will be able to broaden their social groups at work and create a supportive work related network.
At the very least as well it ensures that none of us ever have to go through the awkward situation of not knowing if we remember a name correctly.
More than ever people want to be able to take care of things themselves. Just go to any major grocery store and notice the increase of self-serve checkouts. This also applies to work. Employees want to be able to complete tasks and solve problems on their own, there is in an inherent sense of accomplishment when we get one of these small wins.
Adults value freedom especially when it comes to learning and completing tasks. Unlike children who require step by step guidance as seen in the primary education system, adults want to make their own choices. Online portals provide a sense of independence. Employees can begin to take care of themselves with self-service options. They can get benefits information on the fly, book off vacation time with instant approval or even change personal and professional information organization wide.
Business moves fast and employees need tools that can keep up. Implementing a single centralized location such as an employee portal will give people what they need to succeed at work and empower them to do so.
If your employees range in the triple digits maybe it’s time to start considering an employee portal?
Donny McGrath, Development Solutions Strategist