e-vangelist: HR should make sure intranets work for you

Despite its worldwide tag, many of the Web’s greatest benefits can be harnessed from within an organisation through an intranet, and it is HR leaders who are best placed to implement one and maximise its benefits. Companies can easily and cost-effectively place their intranets at the heart of their company, its activities and its people. It can be used to reflect an awareness of information, culture and openness.

Open access to information

Most information in a company is neither sensitive nor confidential. And everyone in a company should know how to obtain any piece of information – and this can be requested on-line. Clearly, if the answer is company-sensitive or confidential, it will not be available, but most information should be available to all. A truly open company can provide such access via the intranet.

Why stop at advertising jobs?

Many intranets are used for advertising jobs within a company, but how many are being used to record people’s skills – updated by employees themselves? A company I visited recently is about to take it one stage further – it is encouraging everyone to keep their CVs on-line. Access will be restricted, but when applying for a position in the company, the CV would be automatically available to HR.

Answers to most common questions

HR departments receive many repeated enquiries, so it would make sense for anyone in the company to be able to find answers via the intranet. This would free up the HR manager to focus on more proactive areas of leadership and motivation.

Beyond the manual

I would encourage everyone to go beyond the health and safety/human resources manual on-line and encourage access to additional information. This could include how to train in first aid or answer tough interview questions.

All HR leaders talk about business alignment, and intranets deliver in spades. Work with your business and IT peers, ask everyone in the workforce what would add value to their lives. The Internet started off with information, then moved to communication. Combine these two and add some of the ideas your people have, and you will move to the third and fourth wave and to a truly connected company.

By David Taylor, president of the association of IT directors, Certus. david.taylor@dtaltd.co.uk

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