Whether or not you need to hire a full time resource would depend on a few factors such as:
1. How large is your company database files.
2. Do you have more than one information portal that requires maintenance.
3. Does the files/pages require constant updates and used as a reference point.
4. Is there are need to provide a one-stop standardized reference for offices and branches at various locations.
5. If there is a need, was there frequent complaints that the information is updated, sometimes resulting in service issues when an employee provided the wrong information.
If your company has a large database of files, processes and procedures as well as knowledge base articles that are constantly changing and needs to be updated, you may want to allocate a dedicated resource to manage your intranet or information portal(s).
For example, solution and service orientated industries such as airlines, telecommunication, insurance, finance and electronics would do well with a full time resource dedicated to ensure that the information contained are up to date and is able to address queries of customers. Continuous feedback needed to be gathered from frontliners to further add either as part of a process or scripting.
Real life experience
A person who believed that there is a need to allocate a full time resource to manage an information portal was my former boss who is one of the person I have deep respect for (which I have served across 2 organizations).
What happened was that she was sent to our branch office in India to undergo one month attachment to understand their processes. She mentioned that our branch offices in India who are serving a huge number of customers actually have 2 full time headcount dedicated to manage their information portal. This is to ensure information provided to customers are consistent and accurate across all their branches in the country.
With the knowledge, she came back to Malaysia and presented the insights to our Management team who was willing to give it a try (we had resource issues so it was not easy to convince them to allocate one full headcount to do the job full time). This is because we were migrating to a new information portal during that time.
Previously, we had a pitiful looking information portal that was updated by a staff who was already overloaded with other work. Basically he was given the instruction to update and then he would do exactly as he was told.
My boss’s implementation paid off and I was tasked to do the job full time. First, it took time to gather feedback and convince people to use the new site (because they did not think they could find any information there).
After a while, the staff started using the portal as a reference rather than running to their supervisors or sending emails back and forth to search for a simple answer. Eventually as the amount of relevant information grew, staff begin to refer to the portal and it frees up their supervisor’s time ….time that could much better be used for staff development and coaching.
When you allocate a dedicate resource and free the staff from doing other tasks, the staff would be able to concentrate to get the information updated in a structured way.
With one headcount, you would save everyone’s time and allow your managers to do what they are being hired to do….staff coaching and leadership instead of being involved in time-wasting jobs of answering menial and repetitive questions.
On a personal note, I will forever be grateful for this wonderful boss of mine for without her help, I would not be able to discover my passion 🙂
In the next article, I would be sharing on the criterias that you need to look into when hiring someone to manage your company’s intranet or information portal.