Why Does Accessing Internal Information Still Feel like a Wild Goose Chase?

We recently had a conversation with an HR team for a mid-sized professional services organization, and asked how their employees get access to information within their organization. “Well,” they replied, “We have everyone’s work experience in our HRIS, we put polls in our Slack channel, we have benefits information on our intranet, we keep a list of coffee orders and birthdays in a Google Sheet, and we just did personality assessments, but those are in a different system.” “There’s a spreadsheet for coffee orders?” another responded. The laundry list of communication channels and data repositories went on, each system with varying levels of access, most in desperate need of updating. Information was siloed, outdated, and inaccessible for a majority of the organization. One thing was clear: something needed to change.

Too many organizations unknowingly create barriers to resources by keeping information siloed in disparate systems. Many enterprise HRIS systems are not conducive to integration, forcing HR teams to choose between replacing legacy systems or adding additional tools to supplement their existing software stack. Each new system requires staff time to implement, manage, and maintain, and if left unchecked, will eat up valuable time and staff resources. Worse yet, by spreading information like organizational values, staff expertise, company policies, contact information, benefits offerings, and other critical internal resources across multiple systems, access to information becomes exponentially more difficult for your employees.

The Cost of Chaos

How much time will your best employees dedicate to finding the tools or information they need in disparate systems? Chances are, your top performers are resourceful, and know how to access the tools, information, and documents they need to get their jobs done. Now think about your average or unengaged employees and managers. Will they go out of their way to find resources locked in multiple systems, or will they continue in their daily routine, without using the information that could help them develop within your organization? By making it difficult to access information, you all but ensure disengaged employees will not bother to use the resources that could help them develop and grow.

Not only does wasted search time frustrate employees, it also costs your organization in lost productivity. A recent study suggested that employees still spend 38 minutes on average searching for a single resource internally, even as organizations adopt new cloud resources to facilitate access to internal assets. Lack of access to internal documents or information might also impact your team’s overall morale. Researchers at Censuswide found that more than 80% of employees wanted more access to internal information, and 1 in 4 employees surveyed reported leaving an organization due to lack of internal communication. Organizations need to rethink their approach to organizing critical internal information, and provide a simple, mobile-ready solution to getting employees the internal resources they need to grow and thrive.

Many systems promise to become your new communication portal or employee resource hub, but few deliver on their promise to break down silos that keep employees from accessing the right information. In our Employee Success Playbook, we’ve outlined a few ways to rethink your approach to ensuring access to internal resources:

Create an internal database of all employees’ skills, personalities, and contact information.  Make it simple to get in touch with people within your organization. Without access to the right people, employees will struggle to solve problems, develop their skills, and collaborate on strategic initiatives. Org charts and phone lists are time-consuming to create, and are instantly outdated if an employee gets promoted or leaves the organization. Try to create a space that combines relevant work experience with contact details in a single database to make it easy to find and connect with the right people. Make sure this database can consume information from relevant HRIS systems to keep information updated.

Centralize access to internal marketing, sales, customer success, HR, and other resources in a frequently visited location. If you’re hoping to cut down on the confusion, create a central location or directory where employees can find internal information with one click. It may not make sense to store all relevant internal resources in the same space, but you can make it easy for employees to find what they’re looking for with simple searches or directories of information in a centralized platform.

Customize access to resources, making sure the right employees have access to the right resources to get work done. Certain teams may need access to different resources. Make sure you offer ways to customize access to information for different teams based on their needs, location, interests, or responsibilities.

Ready to learn how leading organizations are rethinking the way their teams access internal resources? Get the Structural Employee Success Playbook to find out what you can do to streamline access to internal resources.

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