Are you looking for employee directory software? Well, try googling ‘employee directory software’ and you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands of results. And yes, most of them will do what it says on the box and will deliver a functioning employee directory. But that’s it – that’s all they do. Now, consider instead an intranet solution. You see, as well as providing an easy to use, fully searchable employee directory, an intranet will also deliver a whole host of additional business benefits. When it comes to the best employee directory software, an intranet solution is hard to beat. Let’s find out more.
Employee Directory Software Benefits
Before we get stuck into looking at an intranet as an employee directory software solution, let’s first examine why employee directories are a good idea for every company. Employee directories, employee profiles or employee databases – call them what you will, the benefits are the same and include the following:
Better Working Relationships
Simply being able to put a face to a name makes for better relationships in the workplace. Rather than an old-fashioned paper directory that simply lists staff names and phone numbers, an online employee directory with photos, biographies, areas of expertise and current work projects allows employees to connect with each other and identify support and internal sources of knowledge using a self-service approach. A visual and engaging employee directory, therefore, contributes towards a more humanized, personal and social workplace.
Enhanced Employee Engagement
The ability to source information directly is very empowering for staff members. It also helps to boost the overall level of employee engagement within a company. In addition, employee directories help to break down that perennial problem of information silos within organizations. An employee directory means that every staff member can quickly and easily identify sources of information, data and knowledge in other departments.
Improved Opportunities For Collaboration
Employee directories are an excellent tool for connecting employees and make it easier to collaborate on inter-departmental projects. Say, for example, that you are looking to set up a project team aimed at improving the customer experience across the board. An easily searchable online directory enables you to quickly identify colleagues in other teams with the relevant experience, knowledge and know-how to contribute ideas or become members of the working group.
Strengthen Your Company Culture
For individual employees, having an understanding of where they fit within the organization, as well as an appreciation of the bigger picture, is important for promoting a common sense of identity and purpose. And so, an employee directory, as well as making the workplace more personalized and social, will also strengthen your overall company culture.
Make Onboarding Easier
One of the biggest challenges for any new employee is remembering the names, faces and job titles of all the key personnel you meet within the first few days of starting a job. We have all suffered the embarrassment of forgetting a colleague’s name or calling someone by the wrong name because our brains are overloaded. An online employee directory does away with this embarrassing and awkward situation once and for all. The new staff member can simply click on the employee database to double check a colleague’s name or job title before making a humiliating mistake. An online employee database makes onboarding easier.
As you can see, the benefits of an employee directory are potentially manifold, making it a worthwhile investment for any company.
But what are the essential features that every good employee directory should have? Let’s find out more about those essential features.
Employee Directory Software Essential Features
1. Easy To Use
There’s no point in having an employee directory if it’s convoluted or difficult to use. Make it hard for staff to add information and it simply won’t get widely adopted and you’ll be wasting your investment. And so when selecting your software, make sure it’s intuitive to use and easy for staff to upload a photo and set up their profiles.
2. Employee Database Advanced Search Capability
An employee directory also needs to have advanced search functionality so that staff members can quickly source personnel and key information. The user should be able to search by a name, position, team, area of expertise and current work project. And so, within a few clicks of the mouse and a matter of seconds, a wealth of internal knowledge and information is presented to the user. And the best thing is that it is totally up to date so staff members can have confidence they are accessing the very latest employee database.
3. Fully Customizable
Every company is different. Ideally, you will want employee directory software that is fully customizable and that you can adapt to make it your own, reflecting your unique identity. And so when selecting software, avoid the one-size-fits-all type solution and instead go for one that allows you to add fields that are important to you and represent who you are.
In addition, a customizable directory will be capable of growing alongside your business. As things change, new enterprises are acquired, or new markets developed, a customizable employee directory will ensure that you can mix things up and change things around to suit the constantly shifting dynamics of your business.
4. Remote Access
Nowadays, more and more personnel are working flexibly or remotely. The days of every employee being chained to their desk from 9 to 5 are long gone and so an essential feature of any employee directory software is that it must be capable of being accessed 24/7 via a smartphone, tablet or WiFi connection. Think how much more effective your service technicians or sales personnel will be if they have at their fingertips key contact information for head office staff. How much more responsive will their customer service be if they can put the customer immediately in touch with the right person, rather than being passed from pillar to post on some automated wild goose chase.
Also, if you have large numbers of employees telecommuting or you use contractors for some services, it can be challenging to develop a sense of team spirit or corporate identity. Social intranet features such as employee directory software can make a big difference on this front. Remote workers can explore and discover other employees or future collaborators via a friendly profile photo and engaging directory entry. And the employee directory makes it super easy for telecommuters to communicate with other staff members or departments such as accounts and human resources.
5. Visual Employee Directory
To be truly effective the employee directory should be highly visual. Some employee profile software only allows you to add text or an avatar. Photos will really bring the employee directory to life and are far more effective in helping people to connect and develop a better sense of their colleagues’ personalities. Make sure that the employee directory software you select allows staff members to upload or update their profile photos easily.
6. Easy To Update
Old fashioned paper staff directories may well have served the purpose but were a right pain to keep updated. As soon as an employee left the organization, the whole directory was out of date. Thankfully digital solutions make it much easier to keep your employee profiles up to date. So, whether it’s simply to change a phone number or update a work project, add or delete new personnel, the software should make it an easy and intuitive process.
7. Safe And Secure
Protecting staff members’ privacy and safeguarding company data from hackers and cybercrime is another important consideration. Employee directory software that assures the safety and security of personnel data and information is, therefore, a must-have requirement. Look for software that as a minimum includes SSL encryption and a secure hosting environment.
In addition, make sure that internal security threats are adequately addressed. The employee directory software you select should include the ability to quickly delete former employees and block them from accessing company systems as soon as their employment ends.
Employee Profile Template
What information needs to go into an employee profile? Well, it can be as detailed or as concise as you want it to be – it’s more a case of what works for your business. At the very least, each profile should contain the basics such as the following:
- Job title
- Office phone number
- Mobile phone number
- Office location
- Email address
- Brief summary of tasks and responsibilities
- Reports to information, including manager’s name.
The best employee profiles, however, include more detailed staff biographies to really enhance connections and increase opportunities to collaborate between team members. To this end, you may want to consider introducing the following customizable fields:
- Biography – short summary of education, qualifications and career to date
- Skills – outline of key skills and abilities
- Areas of expertise and knowledge
- Current work projects
- Interests including hobbies or pastimes outside work.
An employee directory that includes this more detailed kind of information will quickly become an indispensable, dynamic platform. It will allow for interaction, collaboration, and engagement between staff. As a result, your employees will get to know each other better both on the professional and the personal level.
We have looked in detail at why online staff directories are a good idea as well as the essential features needed for success. We have also identified the customizable fields that every good directory should have.
Let’s now look at why an intranet offers the best software solution. The truth is that unlike other online employee directory platforms, an intranet offers so much more than just an employee database.
Intranets – The Comprehensive Solution
The simple fact is that when it comes to employee directories, an intranet offers all of the essential features we’ve identified above, plus a whole lot more business benefits. Not only will you be addressing the need for a connected workforce that can quickly and easily source internal organizational knowledge directly for themselves, you will also be enjoying the following additional features:
News Blogs And Newsletters
Help to improve internal communications by keeping staff members up to date with all the latest news and updates. The news feed can present updates on a corporate, team or locational basis – whatever works for you and your business. And while you’re at it, why not explore the possibilities offered by vlogs as a way to connect with, engage and communicate key company messages to staff. In fact, it’s a far more effective vehicle for getting the same, consistent and timely message out to employees than the all-staff emails of old.
Keep all important company dates, deadlines, events and functions in one central location as a resource for all staff. With just a few clicks of the mouse, staff members can check their personal diaries with the corporate calendar to ensure important events and deadlines are never missed or clash.
Quizzes And Surveys
Secure Document And File Storage
Make it easy to share and locate information, files, and documents throughout your business with the intranet’s advanced document management system. What’s more, unlike some other solutions in the marketplace, the intranet offers unlimited numbers of files and folders, which can be shared with users both internally and externally.
Customized Business Forms
Do away with paper or email-based systems and fully automate your business processes on the intranet. Easy to set up with drag and drop fields, the intranet’s customized forms can transform the way your business works. Whether it’s booking a vacation, ordering stationery, event bookings or reserving a carpark for a visiting client, online approval forms via the intranet make for a faster, more streamlined and error-free process. What’s more, the intranet will automatically route the request to the correct member of staff or department for action.
Embed Your Favorite G Suite Or Office 365 App
For even greater convenience and ease of use, it’s possible to embed your favorite apps directly in the intranet. In this way, you’ll be combining the power of G Suite or Office 365 together with the intranet in one formidable platform.
Best Employee Directory Software
And so when it comes to selecting your employee directory software, there really is only one sensible choice at the end of the day. Why opt for a solution that only does one thing when there’s a superior offering that will achieve a whole lot more? It’s a no-brainer really. An intranet is a comprehensive solution that also means you won’t need to worry about maintaining servers and databases either. What’s more, all of this is available for unlimited numbers of users and with unlimited data storage for a modest monthly fee.