SharePoint as an Internal Communication Tool

Posted by Dominggus Paliling on 11.05.14
Dominggus Paliling
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How much time do you spend every day just sending emails to employees and managers?

Forget about your actual job requirements for a minute, and just think about the time you spend pushing communications out. I’ll bet you’ve had days where almost nothing on your “to-do list” got done because you were too busy fighting a losing battle with your inbox. I’ve been there. It’s not fun.

SharePoint allows you create a framework where employees and managers can access information on their own, regardless of their individual needs.

Here are a few examples of how you can use it make your job easier.

Self Service for All Employees

A sales manager wants to see when the next training is scheduled. An employee wants to know how much paid time off she gets. A manager in customer service needs a client churn list for a meeting. Sound familiar? HR people get these requests every day, and answering them all takes an enormous amount of time you could be spending on more productive things.

Using a SharePoint intranet site, people can access this information on their own. Create a site allowing every employee a view of information customized to his or her needs. As soon as that training session has been scheduled in Outlook, it shows up in the sales manager’s calendar on the intranet. And the  employee who wants to know about time off can open the company handbook on her desktop. People can get what they need without filling your inbox with time-wasting requests.

Keeping Information Secure

Sharing information is important, but, in some cases, limiting access is just as critical.

Every department has a pecking order of responsibilities, and you can assign employees different levels of access on SharePoint. Managers will have a certain menu on their dashboards, assistant managers will have another, and employees might have yet another. Everyone will see only relevant information they have access to. Compensation is a great example of this. You can use SharePoint to manage and update employee pay grades and link all managers to the information, while keeping it invisible to other staff members.

Email Alerts

Some workplaces have multiple committees, each with its own calendar of deadlines and responsibilities. You can create an unlimited number of calendars on SharePoint and set up an automated email that goes out to committee members, letting them know an item has been added to the calendar.


Keeping training materials current and accessible is essential, but SharePoint can do much more than that. You can set up automated emails that alert managers when it’s time for employees to get recertified for certain skills. They can also maintain training schedules and track employee progress and create a searchable database of employee skills.

Creating Reports

SharePoint allows you to streamline communication processes and filter data to specific people, but it also helps you make a better presentation. Any report created in Excel can be viewed to surface some data and hide less relevant content . You can also pull up company trends, like staff turnover or sales reports, and share with other managers.

SharePoint helps you customize large quantities of data, and present it in a web based format.

Scheduling Interviews

Each department has its own calendar for meetings and interviews. Managers can have total access, while employees may be limited to viewing only meetings they are involved in. Likewise, if HR books an interview with a potential new employee in Outlook, it will show up in a dashboard tailored to the hiring manager. You can also create an alert that tells the manager that the interview has been scheduled.

Benefits Administration

Along with the employee handbook, all of your company benefits information can be managed and stored on SharePoint. Health insurance, time off, life insurance – staff members can see all of it at any time. You can also schedule an email to go out when open enrollment is coming up. Just create the notice in advance, and you’re all set.

Forms & Reimbursement

Just as people can go to your intranet site to get answers, they can also download forms they need for HR and other business related purposes. Let’s say an employee just traveled out of state to attend a seminar and wants to get reimbursed for his expenses. He can download, fill out, and submit the form on SharePoint, where it will go from one stage of approval to the next. He can log in at any time and see what stage of the process the claim is at, and where it might be stuck if there are delays.

Managing internal communications at work can be like directing traffic at a busy intersection. Every manager and employee has unique needs and, let’s face it, no one has enough hours in a day to keep up with them all without some help.

SharePoint will take some pressure off your inbox by enabling employees and managers to get information themselves, allowing you to focus on other tasks. You will be more productive and less stressed about making people wait for what they need. I call that a win any day of the week.

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Topics: Information Architecture, Development

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