Top Challenges That Companies Face Internally

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An employee portal can be very beneficial for an organization. Portals continually prove to increase employee and business productivity, as well as improve communications, collaboration, and knowledge management. However, in discussions with different organizations, they face common challenges as to why their existing portals aren’t working. 40% of portal initiatives fail to garner adequate adoption to achieve ROI and 10% to 15% of portal initiatives are scrapped altogether.(Gartner Summit 2012) So why are existing portal not working?

Poor User Adoption

While the enterprise stakeholders have seen the value in a new portal. The employees may have a different perspective. They may see little value in the portal and see it as an inconvenience in their established processes and routines. This creates an inconvenience to the employees to get that data that can be easily found somewhere else.

 

Unable to Easily Search for Information

The implementation of a new portal should make processes simpler. There can exist a disconnect between what stakeholders were described when sold the portal, and the employees who must use it for a specific reason. These reasons may conflict with the abilities of the portal. Regardless of the application, the goal is to effectively find the information needed. The specific information may take too long to find what they’re looking for, unable to do a keyword search, or searches get too many results that then require sifting through.

 

Inability to Collaborate

These portals are designed to try to enhance the overall productivity of an organization. It should become easier for any employee in an organization to work with others across departments and access an online workplace, despite their physical location. New portals may make collaboration difficult or altogether impossible. Employees can’t share documents, cannot work on the documents on it together, and there is no control over with document versions.

Ineffective Communication

Finally, another common problem faced with the adoption of new portals is the breakdown of communications. Their portal has no streamlined process, no ability to communicate or a lack of knowledge of where to post information.

 

The challenges mentioned above are symptoms that stem from three problems that are present in all ineffective employee portals: Information, Ownership, and Customer Experience:

  • Information
    • Is the information outdated? As time goes on information may not be kept up to date or have little to no metadata tagging to help search information.
  • Ownership:
    • Who is supposed to be updating content, when, and how often?  What information should be posted?
  • Customer Experience:
    • Portals may lack a focus on the end user. It may not be intuitive to navigate or lack analytics on how they are interacting with the portal. Having KPIs for portal software is important to track the value to the organization.

A lot needs to be considered and understood when designing a successful solution.  Its simply not enough to say “we want to increase collaboration”, organizations should also ask what collaboration means to the users and how it it involves their daily activities.  Other questions include: What does a successful implementation look like? What are the plans to maintain adoption? Overall, we need to account for how people work and why they would want to change it to a new portal.