Years ago, someone figured out how to make direct mailers personal, including your name. It grabs people; they’re more likely to read these mailers. Now mailers look even more personal as if they could be from someone you know – so you read the mailer to buy their product or service.
Salespeople don’t call you by your organization’s name – they know your name and what you do. With some good research, thanks to social networking sites like LinkedIn, they even know which city you work from. It’s a personalized call, where they’re asking you about the weather in your city and discussing specifics about using products and services.
It’s not just salespeople or mailers; technology is getting personal.
More than just emails, there’s smart technology out there. Some websites can welcome you either by name or by company name. Those websites might even know what you do, tailoring a message to you – something that resonates, increasing the chances you might buy a product or service. The Facebook ads you see are targeted to – your specific interests, in your city within your age range.
It even goes beyond what you think of as typical online products. Nest (a high-tech thermostat) knows when you’re coming home and can start heating or cooling your house. Smart lighting solutions turn on the lights when you approach your home. Smart security unlocks car doors or cues who’s ringing your doorbell. All of these save hassle and time.
In our personal lives, smart technology is making life easier and helping us be more productive. What about at work?
Getting smart technology at work
Do your lights turn on when you enter your building? Is it instantly cooled or heated to your preferred temperature when you arrive? Your computer turn on as you approach? If you answered, “No,” you’re not alone. Most workplaces are dumb.
And yet, work has the potential to be able to help us a great deal. Systems hold information about us – Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) stores data about who you are, where you live, where you work, which team you’re on, who you report to and how much you get paid. Payroll systems store information about you. If your organization is a Microsoft shop, you probably use Active Directory where information is stored about you. Learning management systems, knowledge management systems, performance management systems, benefits systems, etc. At work, tons of systems know all about us.
Some of those systems share information and some don’t. Many companies don’t even have single sign-on, where employees can enter one – just one! – password to use everything they need during the day, from word processing to sharing files.
Many intranets are dumb, too. But they don’t have to be. Smart intranets exist to make your lives easier and more productive. Intranets have the potential to know who you are, what you do, what you need and where you work.
Stop using a dumb intranet
Some intranets use the data in your work systems to make work easier and enable you to be more productive. The best intranets in fact, are a personalized hub of information and resources that are tailored just for you.
1. Know who I am and what I do.
Use an intranet where no introductions are necessary and that was built with you in mind – whoever you are.
If you’re in Communications, your menu will include information that makes you productive – links to style guides, your communications strategy, your editorial calendar and more. If you’re a developer in IT, you can access a code base, share code with others and get information about your next project deliverable. If you’re a manager you can join the conversation happening at a leadership site as well as get regular tips. If you’re an executive, you can see dashboards to determine how your employees are progressing on key metrics.
Also, imagine a system that gives you news based on who you are and what you do. If you’re a manager, you get manager notifications and news that improves your team’s performance. If you’re part of the disaster recovery team, you can receive news and alerts related to that, ensuring you can handle crises.
It’s all possible and it cuts down on hunting and searching for information as well as noise you see on your home page. If it’s available on your intranet in your menus, you’ll speed along to the next task without issue.
2. Know what I need.
Wouldn’t it be great to have an intranet with your personal touches on it? It’s possible. And it goes beyond brand colors and logos. You can:
• Add your own resources – links to external or internal items that make you more productive or happy.
• Add information about yourself, encouraging co-workers to enlist you in projects that could grow your career while helping the organization.
• Engage with others online, joining a conversation that gets information you need while networking with co-workers.
• Get news you can use because you signed up for it.
• Give kudos to co-workers and see kudos for you, too – spotlighted on the home page.
3. Know where I work.
If you’re like most employees, you probably see events you can’t attend, located in the headquarters, as well as news about their community involvement activities, alerts about their system outages and more.
With smart intranets, you can get information about your facility – news, events, alerts, notifications and even kudos. It’ll cut down on the noise and keep you focused … as well as reduce the envy of someone else’s cool party.
So, if you’re thinking about productivity and working smarter, maybe your first step is a smart intranet. Other technology, like lights that turn on when you approach your workspace and computers that boot up as you approach surely can’t be that far away.