In Tip #1, we suggested providing phone instructions on the intranet. If workers know how to use the phones, that’s a great starting point. But what if the person they want to reach isn’t discoverable through the phone system? As is often the case, the company directory challenge falls to HR, but HR is frequently not given intranet authoring access. The directory, if put online at all, gets stale and out of date, so only the new hires try to use it.
Integrated “unified communication” system try to do what Microsoft Exchange did long ago: integrate access to email, phone numbers, office locations — even job titles, to facilitate collaboration. But while Exchange was used in almost every setting over 50 employees where I’ve worked, that capability was underutilized — if at all.
As anyone who’s worked on intranets already knows, a “Directory” is just the tip of the discoverability iceberg. Information-hiding, turf wars and organizational silos all contribute to the problem.
Start simple and keep it current. Skip this step and you won’t be able to take advantage of many other tips on the list.