If you’re in charge of communicating with multiple groups of employees in your company, you’ll need a good collection of tools to make it as painless as possible.
If you have SharePoint (or Office 365) access, there are numerous tools that you may use to enhance your internal communications strategy.
Importance of Internal and Employee Communications
These are the foundation of any successful business, supporting everything from operations to change. They increase employee engagement, which positively impacts team performance, retention, and overall morale. It’s easy to see why it should be a top priority for any firm.
Why Use SharePoint for Internal Communications
SharePoint is scalable, flexible, and in many cases, already present in your organization. It only takes a basic understanding of what is possible to reap significant benefits for your communication strategy.
So, to begin fine-tuning your strategy, here is a list of effective ways to improve your Internal Communications by utilizing existing SharePoint features. We will also explore some of the other Office 365 services that can be accessed through SharePoint.
SharePoint’s discussion board allows employees to discuss topics related to their jobs. A discussion board is perfect for starting a dialogue and gathering feedback on important topics in your organization. They are simple to make and require only a few minutes.
A wiki library is a collection of documents that users may quickly update. By linking existing sites together or providing links to new pages, the library grows organically. If a user comes across a link to an uncreated page, he or she can click on it and create it. A wiki library is a low-maintenance solution to record the knowledge in a business setting.
The SharePoint Announcement List is a unique list type that allows you to construct an announcement with a deadline. The Announcement List can be placed on the Intranet’s landing page to convey announcements to employees.
Internal communications typically need to be two-way, in that it’s important to be able to share information with staff as well as receive feedback. A SharePoint Survey, like a discussion board, is a simple way to collect data.
Yammer is frequently referred to as the “Facebook for Business.” It has a similar feature set and allows you to develop and manage a social network for your company rapidly.
SharePoint includes a fairly robust user alerting mechanism that allows a person to be notified when content is changed, either by them or by someone else. In addition, the frequency and type of alert can be set. This is an excellent way to keep people up to date on important documents or announcements.
Moreover, it’s also critical to have a strategy in place for virtual meetings and instant messaging. This isn’t really a “SharePoint” product, but it’s so closely related to the SharePoint / Office 365 family that it deserves mention. If you have an Office 365 premium with a subscription, you will be able to use Skype for Business to conduct internal meetings as well as external meetings with clients and other contacts.
A ‘blog’ site template is also available in SharePoint. You may create and manage your posts, comments, and categories using a blog site design.
The Community Site Template is a new feature in SharePoint 2013, and it’s a unique form of site that acts as a little social network for a certain topic.
Although SharePoint does not have any news-specific features, it is quite straightforward to construct a ‘News experience’ using its extensive Publishing infrastructure. This might be done in a number of ways, but the recommended method is to build a new content type called “News Article” and then a publishing page layout to make News articles.
SharePoint allows you to tag material and make notes about it. Users can then use those tags to explore the content further. This is quite similar to the popular hashtag concept on Twitter. A standard clickable Tag Cloud visualization is also available in SharePoint and may be added to a site page.
What would an internal communications plan be complete if mobile access wasn’t included? The good news is that Microsoft took mobile seriously in the second half of 2016. They’ve created a mobile app for iOS and Android (coming soon) dubbed “Your intranet in your pocket.”
Microsoft has released a mobile-friendly version of SharePoint that works on SharePoint Online as well as on-premises versions of SharePoint 2013 and 2016.
How we do it:
We Make sure to understand your SharePoint intranet’s purpose is. Because there is so much to choose from, it is critical to know exactly what you want to get out of it. Consider the end-users: who will be accessing your SharePoint on a daily basis, and what are their needs?
SharePoint is made up of several different parts and functionalities that cater to various business needs. You may discover that not all of the materials are appropriate for your company at first. Don’t feel obligated to adopt everything at once; instead, consider intelligently and hand-pick parts that will benefit your company.
Determine which SharePoint features you want to use and which Microsoft or third-party apps you want to integrate, such as OneDrive and Outlook.
User-testing is a good technique to make sure you’re building processes that will work for everyone in your company.
Use the information about the intended functionality and design that you gathered throughout the planning step. Collaborate with a technology team to make platform architectural decisions and produce your technical specification. Consider the functionality, personalization, and data types you want to use, and then start connecting your apps.
Deploy SharePoint and migrate content to create the intranet. It’s now time to fine-tune any design options, add users and administrators, and make your SharePoint intranet as user-friendly as possible. The most effective SharePoint intranets will be functional and simple to use, and completely appropriate for their intended purpose. Take your time with this.
When you’re satisfied, you can begin migrating content. Examine automated migration techniques to save time and resources while still ensuring that someone is in charge of your SharePoint’s operations.
Sharepoint Intranet Example
Wells Fargo Microservices Intranet
The world-famous bank and financial services company recently updated its intranet with SharePoint. It implemented a site architecture that prioritizes a single line of business or microservice.
As you can see, this site is designed specifically for the marketing department. Employees can use the drop-down choices at the top of the page to learn more about the company, services and support, compensation and benefits, management, and marketing.
Employees may stay up to date on any essential Wells Fargo news and press mentions by visiting the news and press site.
Another feature worth mentioning is the widget, which shows time-sensitive events, tasks, and conversations that an employee must attend to.
Take your time and take a measured, strategic approach when planning your SharePoint intranet. The ideal efficient intranet would be up and running quickly, with little platform adjustments required after deployment. Nothing is worse than having to go back and select work layers!
If you’re not sure where to start, or if you just want some advice about your strategy – DHRP has a team of Microsoft SharePoint experts.