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The Best Way To…

September 16th, 2003 · No Comments

WSJ has a special report on the best way to:

Research a Consumer Product
Communicate With Employees
Dig Up Information on Someone
Run a Board Meeting
Create Buzz for Your Product
Recruit New Workers
Find a Job
Start a Blog
Display and Develop Photos
Tap Into Government Contracts
Trace Your Family Tree
Organize a Protest
Protect Your Wi-Fi Connection

An excerpt from the “communicate with employees” article:

Corporate portals — essentially Internet sites created by companies to be a gateway to all types of applications and employee information — may be one of the best ways to communicate with workers and to create a sense of community among employees. While public portals like Yahoo Inc. (www.yahoo.com) were a dime a dozen during the dot-com boom, many closed down in the ensuing tech flameout. But despite that bust, corporate portals have slowly been spreading, with more companies adopting the sites in the past few years.

Portals have now evolved to the point where employees can perform tasks on the sites, such as enrolling in benefits programs and completing numerous other actions. And over the next five years, workers are likely to be able to complete more-complex tasks through portals, such as accessing sales figures and other financial data and generating their own reports using such information.

The benefits of all these new portal uses are manifold. A portal eliminates the need for numerous intranets and multiple Web sites. By allowing employees to enroll in benefits, file expense reports and access other information through the site, a company can also cut down on paper forms and administrative layers. In other words, not only can a portal increase communication with employees, it also saves on costs.

When constructing a portal, Ms. Rager Wise says, certain features should be incorporated to attract employees. The ability for workers to compile lists of tasks they need to complete, receive alerts about schedules and deadlines, and personalize the information they get from the portal, for instance, is popular. And posting relevant reference materials — for example, putting health-care brochures online — saves workers from having to make the extra phone call to the human-resources department. “In surveys, we found that the big satisfiers of portals are when workers can start a task, understand it and then accomplish it without having to go outside the portal for help,” she says.

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