Now that you’ve made that very important decision to go ahead with an office portal, you will want to ensure it’s as effective as possible. And if you’re planning the implementation of a portal then this article is essential reading as we identify five key areas to focus your attentions on. Get these areas right and your office portal will hit the ground running.
1. Engaging Office Portal Content
The office portal is essentially all about content. But don’t make the mistake of including every piece of company information on the portal and thinking that’s it, job’s done. To be really effective the content on the office portal needs to add value. It needs to be useful and serve a purpose. What’s more, the content needs to be engaging. Furthermore, it should be concise and it should be reader focused.
And so careful thought is required as to what content is really necessary to include on the office portal. One way to get a handle on this is to set up a portal project team with representation from across all departments, office locations and a range of job functions. This team will be tasked with distilling what the key company information is that staff need to have at their fingertips in order to get on with their work. Involving staff in this way will also serve to get them enthused and on board with the whole idea of an office portal. They in turn can act as informal advocates for the portal and will help to ensure a high rate of staff adoption.
When it comes to drafting the actual content, seek the help of the marketing department in ensuring the content is fit for purpose. It may even be worthwhile investing in a professional copywriter who can help to put that engaging spin on the text. More often than not you would employ a professional to draft the content for your client-facing website so why not do so for your internal website? After all, its effectiveness is probably just as important to the overall productivity and success of the business.
2. Appealing Design
An office portal that does not have an attractive design will be an abject failure. From color choice and graphics to navigation and layout, an eye-catching but simple design will have immediate appeal to the user. We’ve all seen those websites where design is almost an afterthought. Inconsistent or cluttered pages with too much going on, quickly turn off the user who’ll simply go elsewhere without even reading a word of the content.
When it comes to design simplicity is the key. The color choice will probably be determined by the corporate logo and brand, but try to minimize the number of colors and choose those that are easy on the eye: that bright purple may get a bit too much if it’s used on every single page. Using colors, however, to highlight key information is a great idea. Red is an obvious choice for hot news items.
In addition, the most successful intranets tend to have minimalist designs with a clean, uncluttered look. Don’t underestimate the need for white space. This is a most underutilized element and is fundamental to great design. Too often, white space is seen as empty space and, therefore, a waste. But the truth is that if used correctly white space is one of the most valuable parts of your design. It can be used to add emphasis, create balance and makes for more legible content.
3. Intuitive Structure
Make sure that the structure and organization of your office portal makes sense. This may sound obvious, but it’s amazing the assumptions organizations make about how people find information and the actions they perform on the office portal. And so an intuitive structure isn’t just about easy navigation and clear and relevant menu labels – important though they are. It’s also about understanding the user journey. To create a really effective office portal, it’s well worth taking the time to fully understand how your employees will use the portal and the information they need to be able to access quickly. Ensuring the structure and organization of the office portal reflect how staff members use it will create a positive user experience. Not only will this help with staff adoption, it will also ensure that they are more productive from the get go.
4. Enhanced Portal Functionality
This aspect of the office portal is closely related to the content and is another candidate for the project team of staff members to consider. There are some basic functions that are common across all organizations such as:
- Company calendar
- Staff directory
- News and events updates
- Document libraries
- Collaborative workspaces.
There will, however, be some functions that are specific to your business. For example, workplace compliance might be a big issue in your industry, or perhaps online training and development is imperative for you. Make sure that you give careful consideration to the functions you require in the office portal at the earliest possible stage.
In addition, be certain that all these functions are capable of being performed on a mobile or tablet device. With the increased trend towards more flexible working arrangements as well as telecommuting, the ability to produce content and upload from any device is essential. What’s more, you will want to test the accessibility of the portal’s specialized tools from the smaller screens and restricted navigation available on smartphones. Mobile working is an office portal functionality that staff now expect.
5. Streamlined Business Processes
The office portal offers the perfect opportunity to automate and streamline some of your day-to-day business processes that currently are paper or email based. Using the straightforward form builder tool or the Google Forms app, it’s a simple process to create your own online forms to cover pretty much all of your existing business processes. So whether it’s booking annual leave, ordering office supplies, reporting on sales performance, not only can you complete the form on the office portal, it will also automatically route the completed form to the appropriate member of staff for action.
With such great potential benefits on offer, it’s well the investment of time to determine which business processes in your organization could be streamlined by the office portal. By setting up systems to manage staff appraisals, employee recognition or training and e-learning, many organizations have found the office portal has quickly become an indispensable management tool.
Get An Effective Office Portal Now!
Use these five tips to make sure that your office portal is working for you from day one. Or better still get in touch with the team at MyHub for a free 14-day trial of our fully customizable and easy to set up office portal software.