While there are many keys to success for a small business, one of the most important keys is your employees. Employees need to be able to work together while fulfilling different roles. If they can’t quickly and easily access necessary information, productivity can be affected. One way to enhance collaboration is by employing a system like Microsoft SharePoint.
SharePoint was launched by Microsoft in 2001 as a document and content management program to be used on an intranet – a closed network within a company. Over the past 11 years, SharePoint has added a ton of useful, new capabilities and features that make it an integral part of the IT infrastructure for many businesses. One of the biggest advantages of SharePoint is that it closely integrates with Microsoft Office and Office 365. Here are five things you can do with SharePoint to help make your company and employees more productive.
- Centralize essential documents. A common problem many small businesses face is that important files are spread out, perhaps kept locally on an employee’s computer, which makes sharing difficult. SharePoint allows you to organize your files in a central location while allowing employees or other parties to access and share these documents.
- Collaboration. With centralized document management, your employees can collaborate easier. No more having to email another employee to request a document, then struggle with compiling different versions into one document. With Sharepoint, employees have access to the same document with changes made clearly visible.
- Solidify goals and roles. Employees in small businesses often complain that they don’t know what their roles are and what exactly the company is doing. With SharePoint you can create lists with your goals and document your expectations of employees, and place them in areas they can access. Clearly defined goals and roles will go a long way in keeping employees productive because they will be able to see exactly what they should be doing.
- Project management. Project management can be one of the toughest things to keep on top of. One team may be using a separate calendar and documents that other teams don’t have access to, causing productivity bottlenecks. With SharePoint, you can create calendars and workflows that are shared on the network, so you know exactly who is working on what, when it’s due, and what’s left to be done.
- Stage-gate implementation. With the combination of calendars, workflow, and shared documents, you can establish clearly defined stage-gates. Stage-gates are set points where document drafts, workflow processes, and any other project work must be approved before it moves on to the next step. This creates an element of control that keeps projects on track, and necessary parties informed at all times.
Through clever use of SharePoint and the different available add-ons, you can rein in uncontrolled projects, keep better track of projects in process, and ensure your employees know where their efforts should be directed, and when. Employees that are organized and that have easy access to data and collaboration tools will help your business see an increase in productivity. To learn more about how you can use SharePoint for your business, please contact us.