For decades managers have been using what they had at their disposal to spread company-wide information. For the longest time, this included writing everything by pen and paper or holding meetings in a single room with all your employees. With advances in technology, this process became slightly more efficient because you could do everything online through an intranet.
While intranets are convenient, managers are finding the following flaws:
- Not flexible
- Difficult to update
- Requires a tech team
- Multiple emails need to be sent out to update employees
- Not user friendly
- Difficult to navigate
- Onboarding takes hours
However, in today’s day and age, this is now outdated! If you’re ready to ditch the internet, jump to the eight reasons why an employee app is a way forward. If you’re not quite there below, we will provide more information about the intranet and what it includes.
What is the Intranet?
An intranet is a software invented to help share internal information company-wide. Its aim was to provide employees ease when finding company documents and to improve communication overall.
However, intranets are only available to those working for the company. Therefore vendors, contractors, suppliers, and other outside contacts do not have access to the portal.
What Does an Intranet Include?
The intranet is a portal that provides a centralized system for the company. The portal includes distributing knowledge, protocols, and other necessary documents.
Up until recently, the intranet was a great way of spreading information company-wide. Therefore for deskless employees, it’s ineffective. When you look closely, this tool is only useful for office-based employees, and even that is debatable!
With a rise in deskless employees in field services, such as retail, food and drink, construction, manufacturing, and more, an intranet is inefficient. The intranet doesn’t work for employees who are deskless, especially as some intranets don’t even use the internet. Employee apps are today’s answer for the intranet.
What is an Employee App?
An employee app lets all your workers access company information anywhere and at any time. The app can be set up within minutes without a tech team and your employees can onboard alone. There is no need to take out time from your busy schedule to train employees. They download it and get started, it’s that simple!
No more heavy portals, just add the materials as and when you need to. All information is added in real-time and can be added from anywhere and at any time. Update your employees via the app about protocols, safety rules, etc. There is no need to send emails that could potentially be missed. An employee app lets you update your team easily and you have the ability to track who’s seen it.
Let’s dive into the reasons why an employee app is a way forward in the modern world.
6 Reasons Why It’s Time to Ditch the Intranet
Difficult to Access
In a recent study by prescient digital media, only 13% access their intranet daily, while 31% have never opened it. The office workers surveyed reported that the reason for the low usage is because the intranet is not easily accessible and it’s just hard to use.
For deskless employees that same reasoning applies, however, putting it into practice is even harder. Simply because they don’t sit behind a desk. For example, your retail employee is filing a shelf for a new sale but needs to know exactly where things go. To do this, they need to leave the shop floor to find a desk, print the planogram and then return. That just doesn’t make sense!
Considering our modern society comprises 2.7B deskless workers, these workers need a modern platform to help them fulfill their roles. With the intranet, that just isn’t possible! Even if there is an internet version, it’s usually not mobile-friendly. When you put that into practice, it doesn’t work for many field service industries!
Connecteam tip: Team members are more likely to log on to an employee app, because it’s literally in the palm of their hands. They can access company information, materials, and more while on-the-go. Employees can access information from the app in a click of a button. There is no reason for them to leave the job site to find a computer. Everyone has access to the app, whether on desktop or mobile. Hence, the retail worker would have the materials in the palm of their hand, without ever leaving the shop floor!
Poor User Experience
Society today bases its products around user-friendly experiences, and the intranet simply doesn’t fit in that category! The right app is the difference between your employees using and interacting with it or not.
Intranets require hours of training as they are not simple to navigate. Employees might avoid the intranet altogether, even after training, due to its complexity. The information you need at that moment takes hours to find, which means that most employees steer away as they can’t afford to lose hours chasing after critical information.
Employees are using an outdated software solution that’s already hard enough to navigate and apply to their day-to-day. Moreover, an intranet is unlike any software that they are familiar with so the learning curve is steep.
Connecteam tip: With employee apps, onboarding is super easy. All you need to do is download and get going. Like most social apps that anyone uses today, navigation is simple and easy to understand on your own. There is no learning curve.
Usage is so easy, even the non-tech savvy can use the app without training! The app is user friendly and intuitive. Unlike the intranet which is clunky and difficult to navigate as mentioned in prescient digital media’s survey.
Lack of Personalization
Intranets are not personalized to each employee’s work needs, therefore when workers look for materials that are specific to their job role, location, or department, it takes hours of scrolling through the intranet. Even after spending hours searching, you may have picked up the wrong document. Intranets are not intuitive meaning that even if you know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will find it!
This is mostly due to the fact that intranets are not the most logical or personalized piece of software, and therefore are complicated in their nature. The intranet simply becomes a database with data that no one uses. It’s simply a waste of good resources!
Connecteam tip: Unlike the outdated intranet, you can fully personalize your employee app to suit your business. For starters, managers can add documents specific to each role in the company. This means that workers no longer need to search through every single document, as each file accessible on their app is related to their specific job, department, location or any other relevant need.
Furthermore, for added personalization, you can include your company logo and branding, which lets employees truly feel part of the company.
Intranets are not Engaging for Your Workers
One of the biggest issues with the intranet is that it doesn’t engage your employees as it doesn’t promote two-way communication. This is a poor representation of your company, it feels like an outside tool rather than directly related to the company and its culture. Furthermore, it serves as top-down communication, with no way for employees to engage. Studies prove that employee engagement is essential for motivation and retention, therefore if you’re not using tools to encourage this, you could lose your employees to your competitor.
Connecteam tip: Employee apps are very much similar to the social apps your team are most likely already using. They are fun and engaging in their design with full capabilities to like, comment and share GIFs, emojis, pictures, etc. Most employee apps are created with an added layer of engagement to assist in retention and motivation; the features that ensure this layer of engagement are chat, updates, polls, surveys, and more.
Updates can Easily be Missed
When you add new material or even update existing material to the intranet, there is no way to track who accessed and saw the updated materials. Sending emails or text messages to alert everyone to the changes is messy and inefficient. More often than not, employees miss the update and continue using the old methods. You end up with useful information getting lost in the system!
Connecteam tip: Most employee apps are designed to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Managers can set automatic reminders that are sent to the relevant employees – based on location, job role, department, etc. – and you can track who opened and read the updated materials. If an employee didn’t read the new material you shared, you have that data at your fingertips so you can send them another reminder!
Additionally, once you update material, all of your employees immediately have that available on their mobile phone so whenever they access the needed materials, it’s the most recent version. This has been clear with the pandemic, where rules and regulations change by the minute. Making changes and updating your employee app is easy and quick, and the fact it’s directly accessible on the go allows you to reach your workforce in real-time.
IT Tech Needed
Intranets are not simple to maintain and often require an IT technician to update the system. This can be timely, expensive, and also means that you have to wait until your IT tech has time to come out and update it. Therefore, it’s complicated to complete the process without assistance.
Moreover, if a tech assistant comes out to update the system, this could mean that employees can’t access the system for hours, until the update is complete. Therefore, you lose valuable time and your employees are left waiting without the data they require. Completing tasks can take double time as workers wait to regain access.
Connecteam tip: Employee apps are designed to work without the need for a tech assistant as you can add and update the materials by yourself. Most apps require that a user has admin permissions to be able to make updates alone meaning that updates are done in real-time and whenever you need and want. You are not left waiting hours or relying on outside help to try and get something done.
Connecteam – The Leading Employee App
Intranets were once the go-to software when you needed to store documents. However, in the modern era the intranet can’t keep up! That’s the simple reason why many companies are switching to employee apps and the leader in the market is Connecteam.
Connecteam provides all your employees direct access to company updates, announcements and policies while on the move. There is no need to waste time rushing back and forth from the office to open up the desktop just to check certain procedures or materials. Workers simply open the app on their own mobile phone, which is customized to their specific needs.
From a manager’s perspective, the following are the biggest benefits of switching from an intranet to Connecteam:
- Easy to update
- No tech team required
- No more emails need to be sent out to update employees
- User friendly
- Simple to navigate
- No training needed
With being so easy to use, intuitive and fun for everyone to use, you’ll be wondering how you ever coped without it!
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