Employee Experience (EX) is still on the top 10 list of CXO’s and yet it is problematic for most fortune 100 companies in the world. There are many components to a great EX, in this blog, I will be focusing on EX from the lens of collaboration, namely Intranets.
I have the luxury of getting a look at many internal collaboration software and tools, and when you look at some, you think you are looking at something from late 90’s! It’s not so much the look and feel or the UI that seems outdated, it is the lack of great UX that is needed to make employees productive.
In this blog, I have outlined the top 10 business cases. I have not provided detailed solutions for these issues here, you will find the solutions to these use cases in my upcoming blog, “how to build engaging Intranets”.
Having benchmarked 42 Intranets and Extranets globally, I have complied the following use cases which are either non-existent or if they exist they suffer from a poor functionality.
Top 10 Use Cases
I want a ONE STOP SHOP for all my daily tasks and activities
Your Intranet needs to be so engaging, that if you took it away from your employees, they would not be able to do their work! Today, employees are having to use several tools in several different locations and formats across their network, e.g. expense reports, tasks, time off, portals (myHR, myFinance), enterprise social networking among many others.
It seems most companies are doing a good job with their communities (team sites) but not so great when it comes to micro blogging capabilities. For example, on the Microsoft platform, many are still confused as to whether to use SharePoint Newsfeeds or Yammer’s.
Social and the cloud solutions
The arrival of Office 365 and many other cloud collaboration software, has now created an on premise vs. cloud (hybrid) environment which makes it even harder for employees to be social.
I want to be able to find content and people quickly and efficiently
Search remains the biggest pain point for organizations and once again, the arrival of the cloud has worsened this problem. People search is less problematic, nevertheless, the lack of information in employee user profiles (skills, past projects, activities, etc.) severely hinders the expertise search across the enterprise.
I want to connect with my colleagues and other employees, vendors and partners easily
Employees still feel they are working in silos with minimal collaboration with their colleagues. This is across the board from document collaboration to unified communication when it really matters. Unified communication has had more success recently with the arrival of contextual instant messaging (IM) on the Intranet pages.
I want to be able to connect to my executives, I want to have a voice!
Once again, the top-down connection seems an issue and this directly affects employee morale.
I want ALL MY content and LOB Apps in one place
Imagine when you land on the home page of your organization, you get direct access to all line of business applications without having to navigate to different pages. From ERP apps, to CRM and business process management software, application integration remains cumbersome and expensive. Seems like the management do not see a clear ROI in integrating or at least aggregating content and business processes!
I want to know information that is ONLY RELEVANT TO ME
Although not very hard to implement, not having contextualized information is resulting in lower employee adoption. For example, when interviewing stakeholders of a company with 110,000 employees worldwide with several business units and locations, the main complaint was the lack of content relevance. “I want to see the news for my area”, I want to see content that is pertinent to my business unit”, “Why am I receiving information that has nothing to do with what I do on daily basis”, sounds familiar?
I want to have access to my content on the go
It is great to see various content repositories available to employees, e.g. One Drive, SharePoint online, IBM Connections, Box, drop box, SalesForce, Confluence, etc. But the problem is, a) there are too many repositories and b) There is no congruent approach to have the content aggregated and c) not all important content is available on the cloud. Employees should not really care or be responsible for content management, “Content is King”, well, maybe, but “it needs to be a kind king” and content needs to be organized and made available to employees any time anywhere!
I want to be able to share my ideas easily and get rewarded for them
Employees find it very hard to innovate. Innovation software are hard to use and the existing ideas are being lost. Organizations are losing money for not innovating, (See my session on Innovation, Why Innovation is so hard).
I want a fun Intranet where I can easily promote myself
“Our Intranet is boring and outdated”, “Why does content sharing need to be so monotonous”, “I am not being rewarded for my valuable content”, “No one recognizes my efforts when it comes to sharing great content, I wonder if I should stop”. Employee recognition on the Intranet is an easy way of boosting employee morale. I have seen some companies making great use of “gamification” and badging, but this is very rare.
I want to be able to use a device of my choice
Mobile Intranets are seldom found. And if they exist, it’s usually all about the news. Content and document collaboration on mobile devices, whether or not they belong to the employees, is sporadic and hard to use.