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Learn about what an intranet can do for your business
Mar 20, 2020 10:30:00 AM by Mogens Sejer Iversen

In this post you will find 10 specific instructions, which ensures an optimal utilization of your intranet when it comes to handling the urgent crisis communication in your organization and facilitating the home office-reality that affects us all right now. At the end of this post, we offer our suggestions on how you can act today and be up and running tomorrow.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent tightening from state leaders around the world, have reminded us how fragile we are and how untrained our society is to deal with and take in these major changes. A healthy community spirit, where everyone takes action and shows sacrifice and discipline will hopefully bring us far, but the reality is that we have a society that we must not lose on the floor while the Corona virus is on a rampage. We have wheels that still need to rotate as smoothly as possible to mitigate the financial consequences of COVID-19.

Everyone's experiencing physical meetings being canceled and many people have their first home office meetings these days. In the short run, organizations have a series of emergency messages that must be delivered both widely to all employees, but also messages targeted to selected people. This emergency crisis is handled by many through email, which is also an excellent source for delivering a one-way message, but the chain quickly jumps off when employees have questions and comments regarding these important messages. If a mail-based discussion thread is started for 1,000 employees, some will respond to all, while others will respond to one person only, which means the information will break down in no time and so will the mail server potentially too. If you choose to use more up-to-date tools such as Slack and Teams, you get a multi-way communication, but at the same time you lose sight of the overview and the systematic, as these tools are built for communication in smaller channels and with little opportunity for tracking and follow up.

We already hear and see from our servers at Colibo that the Intranet to a large extent, is the communication channel used to achieve the best of both worlds when it comes to controlled Corona virus coordination and communication. The key is guided and targeted multi-way communication, where the overview is kept and where the employees are involved and are able to speak up. No matter what Intranet platform your business is running on, now is the time for you to really put it into practice and test the effect of its reach, features and flexibility.

Here is a list of technical features that you are now able to use for your advantage, to help cope with crisis communication and emergency coordination:

  • The intranet must be mobile-friendly. More than ever, this is a prerequisite for efficient decentralized use. Whether it is through a native app or responsive technology, the matter is irrelevant, but if the intranet is not mobile, then the effect is far from adequate.
  • Turn on your push-functionality. Push ensures that important information and post are pushed out to end users so they don't have to access the intranet, to stay up to date. When you want to make sure that the information is received and consumed, the employee's phone must promptly give an instant message and the employee's workstation ditto. With your Intranet "mention" functionality, you can also ensure awareness through push in a one-on-one scenario.
  • Activate your targeted top banner. Top banners with crisis communications, and color codes that clearly indicate the severity, ensure that one can post very clear messages on the front page, targeting different departments and physical locations.
  • Enable your gamification, knowledge- and quiz modules. If your intranet has this feature just like Colibo, then it is an extremely effective way to secure employees with complex information and test them in the understanding of the information. Several of Colibo's customers have used this regarding preparation of the employees according to knowledge about GDPR, and the effect will likewise be highly measurable in a situation where you will convey how to handle the new daily life under Corona. The modules can purposefully expose employees to essential knowledge, and following through quiz questions reveal the degree of understanding. This can subsequently be measured and followed up by a central team, where you will have an overview of the individual employee's response.
  • The phone book at hand. By synchronizing the users of the intranet with the company AD and/or other master data sources, the intranet's phone book will constantly be updated and all of your relevant colleagues will only be one push away from the phone.
  • Make sure to use and extend the built-in tagging and skills management. Who knows what and who can you ask? If you have your Intranet Competence Management, tag the key persons so all employees are able to easily find their way to the knowledgeable people through their mobiles or workstation, and find out who act as important information points.

When the most urgent communication and coordination is over, it's time to look ahead at the next weeks and maybe months, and evaluate how it's possible to create a digital workplace for each employee where remote work affects productivity as little as possible

Here is a list of technical features that can help the day-to-day coordination between employees, and between companies and employees, in the operating situation with the new reality of home workplaces.

  • The above bullets are still very much up-to-date, even after the initial coordination needs have been resolved.
  • Digital group room and workspace for employees. By using the intranet's group room and workspace, the virtual work organization can be quickly built up. The collaboration rooms can be based on open or closed workspaces, which either follow the departments of the organization slavishly, or are created for ad-hoc common task-solving for participants across the company's departments. In the collaboration rooms, work topics can be coordinated and discussed with full overview of activity feeds, assignments can be distributed and followed up via built-in task management, activities and meeti ngs can be created and convened, and documents are saved and shared. If you have MS Office Online, you can collaborate on documents simultaneously, but make sure that rights management are controlled and that documents are saved in versions and can be easily rolled back.
  • Digital group room and workspace for suppliers and large customers. The above functionality is fully available to the company's external partners as well. This allows you to invite partners, suppliers and major customers to your digital platform, ensuring that it is not only internal communication that receives digital support, but also communication up and down the company's value chain.
  • Slack / Teams / WhatsApp. These amazing tools can support the fast and dynamic one-on-one and channel communication, but if you want the overview and control with it, be sure to integrate it into your intranet to avoid fragmenting information.

Hopefully we will all soon reach the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. A successful handling of the above will potentially have given the transition-ready company a big leap towards a more agile and mobile digital workplace that can equip the transition-ready to a future where the new generations of employees are expecting a modern and flexible workplace.

At Colibo, we are in the unique situation that we are one of the very few suppliers of major enterprise intranet solutions, who delivers a complete Office365 friendly intranet out-of-the-box from one day to the next - without relying on SharePoint . We have done this for organizations, who has up to 37,000 employees and down to 50 employees. In other words, we can offer your company a solution today and have it delivered tomorrow. The solution will accommodate the project managers for the first few days. E.g. HR, IT, Communication and project management, who together can do the necessary preparation in terms of content and structure, and as soon as this basic structure and information is in place, we integrate the solution for your AD or another data source, so all employees of the organization automatically gets a login, with full sync to AD. The solution is operated as a SaaS solution, and involves no operational responsibility for your IT department

Therefore Colibo can be the communication channel for your crisis communication from one day to the next, and be your future modern digital workplace within 1-2 weeks.

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