A SharePoint Intranet’s Social Side

sharepoint intranet
Employee engagement, productivity, quality, customer service and more count on employees being able to collaborate, communicate, and interact. Learn which tools SharePoint intranets can rely on.

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A 2016 Gallup poll estimated that disengaged employees cost the U.S. somewhere between $450 to $550 billion each year. A more recent Gallup study in 2017 reported that only 33% of employees in the United States were engaged at work despite unemployment holds – nationwide – at 3.8%. Improving employee engagement lowers costly turnover, too – costing up to $50,000 per person in recruiting and training costs.

Why does this matter? Engaged employees are more productive, provide better quality and customer service, and have fewer safety incidents. In other words, engaged employees work more efficiently and effectively, helping your organization achieve its goals.

How do you engage employees – let them be social

Keeping your employees engaged has been (and should be) a continuing priority for organizations. The struggle of capturing the attention of your organization in an age of distraction is all too real. Employees have a variety of options for how they prefer to work, interact, collaborate and get relevant information. The convenience of apps and devices provides can make the job of your communicators more of a challenge.

ElevatePoint is primed and ready to help you engage your employees through your intranet strategy. With SharePoint as a foundation, a social intranet can engage your employees on your intranet, making your return on investment (ROI) felt throughout the organization. ElevatePoint’s SharePoint intranet comes loaded with an arsenal of social and collaborative features that can be activated and configured to drive traffic to your intranet. ElevatePoint leverages these out-of-the box (OOTB) tools to deliver solution-based intranet strategies to suit your organization’s needs.

  • Enable two-way conversations, including seek peer opinions, give feedback, and ask questions
  • Let employees get fast input and information
  • Keep information relevant to avoid information overload

Connect using your intranet

With so many ways for your employees to communicate, collaborate and get information — both inside and outside the office — how do your communicators continue to keep your social intranet relevant, dynamic, and flexible? What keeps your users coming back for more? The answer is choice. Rather than limiting your employees to how they interact and contribute to intranet content, why not tap into the wide variety of Office 365 options available as alternatives to keep employees engaged? And while you’re at it, why not look for new and interesting ways to channel those options back into your intranet. Not only does it keep your content dynamic, it offers a wide variety of options for your communicators to maintain a relevant intranet.

With an wealth of connectors and out-of-the-box templates ready to launch, boosting your intranet with Microsoft Flow opens the door to new and exciting ways of driving dynamic content to-and-from your company’s intranet. Once you’re off and running with Flow’s connector options, there are almost no barriers to getting your employees interacting socially with your intranet content in a variety of ways.

The following are a few integrations for your SharePoint intranet.

1. Discuss using forums

Discussion forums enable threaded discussions on important topics. Microsoft has Yammer and ElevatePoint has its own discussion forum you can add to individual intranet pages to keep information sharing coming while relevant.

For example, if you’re in a leader portal, why not enable managers and leaders to ask each other questions gathering insight and advice from other leaders? While you’re in benefits, why not solicit questions and information. The best part is they can be managed and measured.

You can easily moderate what shows up or remove incorrect or redundant information. You can also measure the engagement – identifying questions that seem like a trend to address as part of your communications plan.

2. Use Teams

Chances are your organization already has it (and some of your colleagues are already using it) but if it’s news to you, the fact is Microsoft Teams is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down in the near future. In fact, Skype and Teams will soon combine to completely compete with Slack.

Why do people use Teams? It’s yet another powerful option for organizations to foster communication, collaboration and – in some cases— provide a serious contender for an email communications successor. It’s perfect for fast, point-to-point communication with multiple channels for departments, groups, projects, and even fun topics from favorite football teams to how to save money.

While it should be said that not everyone should immediately move to Microsoft Teams, the fact is that Microsoft has gone all-in on it’s collaborative technology, and with SharePoint under the hood, Teams is a prime candidate for yet another potential driver for what’s hot and relevant on your intranet.

Best of all, ElevatePoint has an artificial intelligence-driven chatbot that integrates Teams and an intranet. If you’re in Teams and need important information, you don’t need to leave. The chatbot provides you an answer and a link to an intranet page for further information. It’s the best of both worlds – treating your SharePoint intranet as a repository and Teams like a fast, point-to-point communication vehicle. It’s great for a host of routine questions and answers, including about benefits and IT assistance, saving time and money while enabling HR and IT to be more strategic.

3. Try Kaizala

If you haven’t heard of this app with the funny name, you’re not alone. Although its gaining popularity.

What is it? Kaizala is a mobile, chat-based communication platform. Microsoft developed their new app with those first-line workers in mind to enable quick communications. For example, Kaizala could answer the following questions easily:

  • Retail employees can ask: Do we have a specific product in the stockroom, it’s not on the floor?
  • Salespeople can get quick approvals: Can we give this potential customer a discount because we really want their business?
  • A nurse might be able to ask a quick scheduling question: I’m about to leave for the day and want to let my patients know who takes over. Do you know?

Microsoft Kaizala makes it easy to connect and coordinate with not just your field workers but also with your extended value chain like citizens, customers or distributors. It enables you to efficiently manage work or collect data from individuals or large groups, even if they’re not in your organization. And of course, with this traffic contained within your Office 365 environment, there are already Microsoft Flow connectors and templates available to link Kaizala to your intranet in various ways.

Multiple sources, lots of integration options – one intranet

Regardless of how your organization promotes or handles collaboration, there are still plenty of options to keep your employees engaged and productive. Taking advantage of Office 365’s social engagement options and using it to fuel your intranet ensures that your return on investment is felt for years to come.

sharepoint intranet and sharepoint newsMore than that, for internal communicators, it rounds out a communications strategy to get your employees focused on what matters. With many of these tools, you can even measure what that is. It’s information to adjust your plans and even inform whether your messages are getting through. And that’s not just engagement for employees, but your communications team.See our social media options connected with ElevatePoint’s intranet. We’ll even show you the AI-driven chatbot, getting routine questions answered.

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