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How to Integrate Asana With Confluence

Productivity

How to Integrate Asana With Confluence
Asana is an application that enables team collaboration for projects of all sizes. It has a user-friendly interface and allows team members to track tasks, deadlines, and progress. Asana also integrates with other applications, such as Google Drive and Dropbox—making it a versatile project management tool. On the other hand, Confluence is an application that enables users to collaborate on projects and helps improve document sharing. It provides a central location for organizing files and information and allows users to share ideas and work together on projects. Confluence is used by businesses and organizations of all sizes to improve communication and collaboration. The Differences Between Asana and Confluence Asana and Confluence are both project management tools, but they have different features. Asana is designed for team communication and collaboration, while Confluence is designed for creating and publishing content. Asana has a simple, clean interface that makes it easy to create and manage tasks. You can create projects and assign tasks to team members, then track the progress of the project. Asana also includes a chat function that allows team members to communicate directly with each other. Confluence is more complex than Asana, but it offers more features. Confluence can be thought of as a type of knowledge management tool, allowing users to store and share information quickly and easily. In addition to task management, you can use Confluence Search to create wikis, blogs, and other types of content—read our guide to improving confluence search with Unleash. You can also add images and videos while collaborating with other users on documents. Learn more more about improving document management here. If you’re on the hunt for intranet search tools, take a look at our post on key intranet search features. How to Set Up an Asana-Confluence Integration Before you begin the integration process, you need to ensure that the following prerequisites are met: You have an Asana accountYou have a Confluence accountAn existing Asana Task or Project is open and current Once these requirements are fulfilled, follow these steps to set up the Asana-Confluence integration: Using the Atlassian homepage, sign in to your Confluence account.Once you land on the Confluence dashboard’s homepage, from the top menu, select the “Apps” dropdown menu and click on “Find new apps”.From the “Find new apps” panel, search “Asana for Confluence” and select it. Using the built-in Confluence App Manager, this will install the Asana for Confluence app.Once this process is completed, you’ll need to start a Confluence Page. To do this, enter the “Edit Mode” and choose between either the “Asana Live Leak” or “Embedded Asana Project” macro.From here, copy the Asana Live Leak link and, in the macro editor, paste it into your Asana Task and then close the dialogue box.Next, it’s time to head over to Asana. Once you're on their website, log into your account and do the required Asana Task.Asana will then ask you to approve the Confluence integration. Do this by clicking “Accept”. Nice work. You’ve now completed the Asana-Confluence integration. Benefits of Integrating Asana With Confluence Asana and Confluence are both great tools for managing projects and tasks, but when used separately, they can only go so far. When integrated, however, the two can work together to create a more seamless electronic management system for users. One of the benefits of integrating Asana with Confluence is that it gives team members a more holistic view of their projects. In Asana, tasks can be assigned to specific team members and tracked by the due date. In Confluence, on the other hand, pages can be created to document project progress, track milestones, and provide detailed instructions on how to complete certain tasks. When these tools are used together, team members have a one-stop-shop for all their project information. Additionally, integrating Asana with Confluence can provide other benefits for your team: Better task management Asana can be used to track tasks and projects, while Confluence can be used to document the work that is being done. This integration can help ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the tasks that need to be completed and the status of those tasks.Better checklist management Asana can be used to create and manage checklists, which can then be embedded in Confluence pages. This allows team members to easily access checklists when they are working on a project.Better agenda management Asana can be used to manage meeting agendas and minutes. The agendas and minutes can then be embedded in Confluence pages so that everyone on the team has access to them. Aside from Asana and Confluence, another great way to manage documents is through the use of a multi-tool search.
Why Your Customer Support Tools Need a Powerful Search Engine

Productivity

Why Your Customer Support Tools Need a Powerful Search Engine
Is your customer support team productive? Most likely not. According to Forrester’s research, 50% of support leaders say their teams are wasting time switching between different tools and channels to solve customer issues. In addition, 51% of support leaders reported that their team has less bandwidth today than ever before. To keep up with the numerous contact channels and customer support tools required to serve customer customers, it has become essential that companies streamline their customer support operations with a robust and intelligent search engine. A powerful search engine integrated into your customer support stack is the key to improving the productivity and efficiency of your customer support teams. Here’s why. Minimizes Customer Service Response Times The ability to search across different apps and repositories from one place significantly reduces the time to respond to customers. Customers are impatient. Research from HubSpot shows that 90% of customers expect a response in under 10 minutes. The longer it takes for customer support agents to retrieve information beneficial to customers, the longer the customer wait time, and long wait times lead to terrible customer service. The 2020 SaaS Trends Report by Blissfully shows that support teams are using over 10 apps to carry out their tasks. Having to dig through all those different customer support tools to find an answer negatively impacts customer service response time, especially when you consider that support agents are usually fielding queries from multiple customers simultaneously. Investing in a multi-tool search can help agents comb through all the resources available and find the answer quickly. Tools like Unleash let you connect 30+ applications so you can search across multiple repositories at the same time. Provides Relevant Answers to Complex Queries Contextual and semantic search creates a search experience that helps customer support teams provide relevant answers to customers’ questions faster. For example, support agents often struggle to see where their customer has been, who they’ve spoken with, and the information they have already provided. On the other hand, customers dislike supplying the same information multiple times, only to be prompted again when speaking to an agent over the phone. Having historical context solves both challenges. Contextual search delivers personalized search results that zoom into the individual’s customer support history helping support agents provide meaningful and relevant answers to complex questions. For example, if a customer raised a complaint the previous week about the late delivery of an item, the support agent can easily access this information using contextual search. Semantic search analyzes groups of words that typically appear together and uses machine learning to predict what support agents mean when they type in queries. For instance, if a support agent types in “expected delivery date,” semantic search can predict the intent of the search and pull up support tickets or chats from different apps based on that search query. It can also provide meaningful search results when support staff make mistakes in their queries. Combining contextual and semantic search in a unified view ensures that support staff get faster and better-quality answers to customers’ issues. Powerful search engines like Unleash can extract relevant search results for your support teams by providing semantic and contextual search. Increases Employee Productivity A powerful search engine consolidated with your customer support tools stack reduces the amount of context switching required when moving between applications, leading to improved productivity for your support teams. Context switching occurs when customer agents frequently shuffle between applications and tasks. Doing this can lead to a decrease in productivity and cognitive fatigue. Research suggests it takes 9.5 minutes to regain our flow when switching between tasks. Imagine the effect it will have on agents who have to switch between over 10 apps to resolve customer complaints multiple times a day. Research by Pega also shows that an employee who multi-tasks between 30 applications will make 28% more errors than an employee who focuses on a single application. More errors mean unhappy customers, and disgruntled customers lead to less customer retention and ultimately a decrease in revenue for the business. Integrating a powerful search engine for a deeper search helps minimize the context switching of moving between apps to locate or deliver information. For example, Unleash can search through 30 applications and provide one-click app launching and support for email creation and ticket logging, all from the search results. Having all these capabilities in a unified search engine reduces the amount of context switching required by support agents. This allows support staff to better focus on their highest priority tasks, avoid mental fatigue, and improve their productivity. Reduces the Number of Escalations Finding relevant and updated answers to customers’ queries means fewer escalations for support teams. Support agents want to provide faster resolution to customer queries. However, for complex problems involving multiple teams, agents are often forced to pass customers between groups when they cannot assist, which means more time spent and more frustrations for the customers. According to Zendesk research, nearly 70% of customers are irritated when their call is transferred between departments. Imagine a customer of a financial institution gets his card declined at a supermarket counter due to a suspected fraud error. The customer contacts the support team and is passed between three different agents before someone in the team can help resolve his issue. This situation is not ideal for all the parties involved. The customer is frustrated and embarrassed, and customer support agents (with limited bandwidth) have to manage the frustrated customer. The company could have prevented this issue if the first agent could quickly search through error codes and previous mentions of a related problem to help the customer resolve the issue. Even in cases where the customer has to be transferred, powerful search capabilities help agents find information to explain to the customers why they are being transferred. It ensures the customer knows their issue is understood and they’re not just being transferred needlessly. By utilizing a powerful search tool equipped with advanced filters, error code location, and predictive search capabilities, agents can quickly find the answers they need without looping someone else in or escalating it to a different department. Improving Your Customer Support Toolset Increases Retention Your customer support representatives are one of your customers’ direct links to your business. By empowering your customer support team with a powerful search engine, you boost their productivity and allow them to focus on providing excellent customer service, which is key to retaining customers. Since 80% of future profits potentially come from 20% of your existing customers, why not delight them? Learn more about how Unleash’s powerful search engine can improve the productivity of your customer support teams by signing up for a free trial today!
How Better Search Improves Sales Productivity In The Team

Productivity

How Better Search Improves Sales Productivity In The Team
Forrester's sales activity studies have consistently shown that "finding content and information is a significant productivity obstacle for sales teams." Sales reps have built their lives around the excitement and the energy of the office environment. In a viral blink of an eye, the world took a hiatus, everyone went remote, and sales leaders and teams had to develop new ways to be productive outside of their natural working environment. By transitioning from a world of paper files to a world of digital tools, each carrying out a different function in their everyday task, sales reps struggled to fully find all the information they needed to understand and close a prospect. Before sending that first email to launch a sales cycle, sales reps would have had to switch between a plethora of tools first. However, you can get rid of this barrier and compress your sales cycle with fast searching across your company. You can improve your sales team's productivity by making it easier for them to access all the content on these tools to cut down the process of diving deep into a lot of apps to find information. Eliminate Content Silos With a Unified Access Point One of the blockers hindering the sales team's productivity is the inability to easily access important information and content that their marketing counterparts create. 81% of sales leaders mentioned "content search and utilization" as the top area for improving productivity. Only 46% of sales reps believe that they have enough data and insight on a prospect's intent. Data silos frustrate employees by creating multiple bottlenecks. Sales reps often struggle with putting in their very best because they don't know the information available to them and how to find it in the company's shared database. It's even worse when another department, like product or marketing, creates and stores the content. Adopting an enterprise search tool makes it easy for sales reps to access data and other forms of content. It serves as a single, searchable home for all your content assets. It's not enough to organize content by factors such as sales stage, industry, persona, or segment. Having a single point of access to all prospect and customer data can heavily contribute to the productivity of your sales team. With one click, they should be able to access all the information they need on accounts, leads, product updates, etc. When it becomes easier for sales reps to find relevant content and data to use in their everyday activities, they can stop spending time on repetitive tasks, like constantly scrolling through the company's database. Instead, they can spend that time focusing on creating pitches, drafting follow-up messages, and building winning sales strategies. Get a 360-View of Prospects and Clients According to HubSpot's Sales Enablement Report, prospects' buying habits have changed in a post-pandemic world, and sales reps now have to close deals virtually instead of in person. Transitioning to a remote operation model came with incorporating even more tools to understand the prospect and their behaviors. In fact, 72% of salespeople say they need to have at least three screens with multiple tabs open to get that 360-view of their prospects and leads. With businesses already using many apps to document prospect information and behavior, sales reps have to know the exact location of every piece of information if they want to get to it quickly. Before picking up the phone to make that sales call, they need to conduct an appropriate amount of research, and searching for this information can take more time than expected. With a better search tool, they can quickly type in one keyword, e.g., the prospect's name, and get all the necessary information. For example, a B2B sales rep can type in the name of the company they're trying to close and get a full view of them and how they've interacted with the brand. Quickly Find Answers to Urgent Questions Marketing, customer success, product, and sales teams work cross-functionally to convert prospects to retained customers. In most cases, the prospect doesn't interact with the sales team until much later in the buying funnel, after having multiple interactions with the brand. When a sales rep is on the phone with a prospect, it is important that they have all the information relating to that prospect in front of them to make the call go smoothly. The rep can get questions that only the product team can answer on a sales call, but the prospect wants an immediate answer. If the sales rep can't immediately do a quick search and get answers to a prospect's questions, it reduces the confidence in the product, and the company can lose that lead. With efficient and effective contextual search, sales reps can instantly find answers to urgent questions. Contextual search helps sales reps search for data without having to remember the exact title of a document to locate it. For example, a sales rep wrote a prospecting email template in one of their monthly reports. With contextual search, they don't have to remember the exact report; they can easily search for some words in the template to find it. Unleash Your Sales Productivity One productivity problem facing sales teams stands out above the rest: fast, easy access to all the resources and data they need. Thankfully, this is a situation you can solve with a better company-wide search tool! With a one-click intranet search tool like Unleash, your sales team can change how they approach the information they need. Instead of navigating many tools and apps to find different bits of information, they can easily download one tool and search their entire tech stack at once. Unleash provides a Google-like search solution that enables everyone in the organization to find every piece of information in one spot. It connects with more than 30 apps and quickly brings you the data and content you need. Learn more about how Unleash can significantly improve your sales team's productivity problems.
Why Jira Search Is So Frustrating and How Unleash Can Help

Productivity

Why Jira Search Is So Frustrating and How Unleash Can Help
Love it or hate it, Jira is one of the most popular issue-tracking and project management tools out there. According to Atlassian, 65,000 companies currently use Jira. The tool offers a handful of different search engines, each with a unique set of rules. This approach can offer more options for more preferences, but it also makes search a convoluted, multi-step process with a steep learning curve. Get the most value out of Jira and keep employees happy by integrating it with a powerful search engine that can search all of Jira at once. Jira Has Many (Complicated) Ways to Search As soon as you start using Jira, you start seeing search boxes everywhere with no hints as to which search box can search which parts of the software. With this configuration, you’d have to memorize the placement, functions, and limitations of each form of search. Here’s a brief rundown of the different search boxes you’ll find in Jira, what kind of search results you’ll get from each, and what you need to know to use that type of Jira search. Quick Search This is usually the first type of search new users try because it’s right at the top right of the homepage in Jira as soon as you log in. Quick search can search issues as well as everything else (such as comments, boards, etc.) but only allows limited filtering and refining results. This type of search can only handle simple search criteria. Quick search mostly uses Boolean operators to filter results, a search syntax many users will already be familiar with. For instance, if you add “AND” in all caps between keywords, Jira’s quick search will only pull up results with both. Quick search doesn’t require learning JQL (Jira Query Language) to search—in fact, JQL syntax will be ignored when entered into the quick search box. Basic Search Basic search is another attempt to make it easy for beginners to find issues and get started with Jira quickly. Basic search is accessible through the “Filters” dropdown at the top of the page. This allows you to search by project, issue type, assignee, and many more parameters. Navigate to “All issues.” The search box will be near the top of the page but a few inches under the quick search box. The dropdowns here are meant to make basic search more powerful by offering more filters to narrow results. Filters allow users to set up more complex searches than they can with quick search. But for users doing the same search over and over again, configuring the basic search each time can get old quickly. That’s why Jira built another feature to solve that issue: saving filters. If you frequently need to perform the same search over and over, you can save time searching by saving frequently used filters. You can favorite the saved filters you use most frequently. If you have any coworkers who need to use the same complex search parameters, you can share search results/filters with them. And you can subscribe to your team members’ saved filters, too. Advanced Search Like basic search, Jira’s advanced search is also only accessed via the issues tab and is only an issue search tool, but unlike basic search, advanced search is only able to handle JQL queries. To get to advanced search, you start in basic search and then click the link to the right of the search button that says, “Switch to JQL.” Advanced search allows users to make complex queries, but users have to learn JQL to get there. And JQL search comes with a steep learning curve—this isn’t something anyone is going to learn in one day. Not every Jira user wants to put in the time and effort to learn an entirely new query language just to search one platform, but for those who spend much of their days in Jira, putting in the effort to learn JQL can pay off. Board and Roadmap Search image.pngOn top of the other three search engines, Jira also includes a search bar in the board and roadmap sections, which are just two different ways to view issues. To use board or roadmap search, navigate to the board you want to search and look on the left side just below the name. Board and roadmap search is currently limited to quick search functionality. Both of these search engines can search issues and everything else included on your boards/roadmaps but cannot handle any JQL or Boolean operators. These search engines are designed to slightly speed up finding an issue via the board or roadmap view, so users don’t have to hunt when their issues pile up. How a Better Search Tool Can Simplify Jira Pair Jira with a powerful search tool to simplify your searches without sacrificing accuracy. The search engine for a tool like Jira doesn’t need to be split into five different separate tools if the tech is sophisticated enough. Instead of forcing your team to make do with Jira’s maze of search boxes, search all of Jira at once from a single search box. In addition to reducing the learning required for new team members, using one search for all of Jira can save your team time and improve the Jira user experience. Users don’t have to navigate to Jira just to check the status of an issue in progress, saving your team time and frustration. And because you’re adding a tool and not altering Jira itself, any users on your team who still want to use the search boxes located in Jira won’t be affected. They can still use Jira as they always have. Unleash the Best Jira User Experience With a Single Search Engine That Can Do It All Unleash can not only search all of Jira at once but also searches other tools your team uses, like email, Slack, GitHub, Bitbucket, AWS, and dozens more. Our tool can also do more than just search. With one-click app launching directly from search results and a calendar view, every Unleash feature is designed to make your team’s jobs easier. We’re constantly fine-tuning our search engine to provide users with the best search functionality possible. In February, we updated our Jira search to add special filters such as sprint number, status, labels, project name, and last edit time. Learn more about how Unleash can improve Jira along with many other apps your employees use.
Make Your Employees’ Lives Easier With These Key Intranet Search Engine Features

Productivity

Make Your Employees’ Lives Easier With These Key Intranet Search Engine Features
Is your company’s intranet software helping or hurting your employees’ productivity? A new report from Reclaim.ai found that employees are spending an average of only 2.24 hours a day on actual task work and are interrupted about 31 times a day. This constant app switching is terrible for employee engagement and productivity. To tackle these issues, today’s intranet search engines need to have certain features to offer value to enterprises and intranet users. To get the most out of your intranet, make sure your enterprise search tool has multi-app search functionality to reduce app switching, semantic and contextual search to streamline the search experience, and end-to-end encryption to protect data. Multi-Tool Search Is Vital for Employee Productivity To create a cohesive user experience for your employees, you’ll need to make sure your employees can use one search bar to search many of their tools at once without leaving the intranet. Employees are now using so many apps that their days are spent fragmented, switching between apps, frustrated, and overwhelmed. That frequent context switching drags productivity down. Researchers at Stanford University’s Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute say the negative effects context switching has on employee productivity are well established: A rich body of research in psychological science has documented that the behavioral costs of task switching are typically unavoidable: individuals almost always take longer to complete a task and do so with more errors when switching between tasks than when they stay with one task. This means that your intranet search functionality can’t be limited to the intranet site or app—it also needs to include the other tools your employees use daily. Modern intranets can help enterprises create a more unified employee experience by using a search tool that delivers relevant results from all the apps your organization uses. Say your organization gets an intranet platform up and running, but your employees still need to access other apps like Dropbox, Box, and Google Docs. Without multi-tool search functionality, employees still have to go to each individual app to search. But with multi-tool search, it’s all accessible from the search bar, and intranet search results include the whole tech stack employees use to do their jobs. Semantic and Contextual Search Brings the Human Element to Search Functionality Semantic and contextual search together create a search experience that feels natural and requires less time and effort so employees can find critical information faster. Machine learning can find patterns in metadata and user behavior to improve search results. Semantic Search In a semantic search engine, search terms don’t have to be exact because the search engine considers other words frequently used with the search term. This is the key feature that rocketed Google search to success in the late 90s and helped people find things on the internet much faster and easier. Semantic search analyzes groups of words that typically appear together and makes educated guesses as to what users meant when they make typos in search queries. For instance, if you’re looking for a statement of work in a search engine with semantic search functionality but mistakenly type “SPW” instead of “SOW,” you’ll still get documents with “SOW” on your search results page. End users now expect semantic search in every search tool they use. Semantic search should be included in every search feature in your company intranet if you want a search engine that’s easy to use and feels natural for your users. Contextual Search While semantic search analyzes large amounts of search data from all users to make search more efficient, contextual search zooms into a specific search end user and gets to know the individual’s history. The search engine can then deliver results based on personalized search analytics. Take that hypothetical statement of work you were looking for in the last section. If your intranet search engine has contextual search, it will give you the statements of work you most recently or most frequently search first. This search feature makes your search engine more effective the more it’s used. End-To-End Encryption and Strict Data Privacy Standards Protect Company Data Enterprise data breaches are not only increasing in frequency, but research on the subject also shows data breaches cost more than ever before. Your intranet search engine should include top-of-the-line data security protections to prevent data breaches. End-To-End Encryption To avoid the headache of a breach, keep your digital workplace secure at every point with the best end-to-end encryption available. For data that’s at rest, the best encryption option is AES-256. AES stands for “Advanced Encryption Standard,” and 256 refers to the fact that AES-256 encrypts and decrypts data in 256-bit chunks. For information on the move, another kind of encryption is needed. TLS 1.3 is the current gold standard for protecting information moving over the internet. TLS 1.3 uses two-sided encryption, sometimes referred to as a “TLS handshake,” meaning both the sender and receiver have a unique key that they share with each other before sharing data. It’s easy to see if any site you’re using is protected by TLS 1.3. Look for the little lock before a URL in the address bar tells you that TLS 1.3 is actively protecting your data. SOC 2 Ready SOC 2 is a set of standards for security, privacy, and financial reporting set by the AICPA (Association of International Certified Professional Accountants): “A SOC 2 report helps organizations manage risks related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality or privacy.” And those are vital security features for an intranet search engine. SOC 2 compliance requires an audit, and from there, organizations are instructed on what they need to do to be in compliance. Look for organizations that openly state they are SOC 2 ready to ensure you’re only trusting organizations who’ve done considerable work to ensure their products are safe and secure. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Compliant GDPR is the EU data privacy law passed in 2016. It’s widely regarded as the strictest user data protection law currently active in the world. In short, you can’t get more careful about user data privacy than the GDPR. To be GDPR compliant, you’ll need to follow many different data privacy rules that cover everything from the language you use to explain your privacy policy to users to how you collect user data to how and when you delete or alter user data. Whenever possible, opt for tools from companies that are GDPR compliant to keep your data safe. Unleash the Power of Your Company Intranet With Better Search In addition to multi-tool search, semantic search, contextual search, and advanced security features make sure the intranet search tool you use can help you build a centralized company intranet that improves employee engagement. Unleash provides a quick calendar view and one-click app launching for a more efficient intranet search experience. By using a multi-tool search, you can reduce the app switching your employees have to do throughout the day. According to surveys with our own users, we save our customers an average of 1.5–2 hours a week per user. For a team of 500, that means every week they could save between 750 and 1,000 employee hours. Learn about all the ways Unleash can help your employees get the most out of your company intranet.
How to Improve Intranet Search: Taking a Holistic Approach

Productivity

How to Improve Intranet Search: Taking a Holistic Approach
When intranet managers run an annual satisfaction survey to see what users really think about their intranet, it’s often the areas relating to search and findability that come up short and require improvements. Many teams struggle to make a good impression on intranet search users, even if other elements of their intranet are working well. A key role for any intranet is to help people find the information they need to get things done and perform their role, so, how well search performs is critical. The million-dollar question is how intranet teams can optimize intranet search and move things forward so that next year, when the satisfaction survey runs, there is a tangible uptick in users’ perception of intranet search. In this post, we’re going to explore the importance of taking a holistic approach to improving intranet search that covers content, people and technology; when intranet teams define a search strategy that considers all three of these elements, they will be on the path to intranet search success. Taking a Holistic Approach to Intranet Search Optimizing intranet search is not always just about one action that will fix everything. It requires a range of different tactics and actions; for example, we recently covered seven ways to supercharge your intranet search, including extending the scope of your search and allowing advanced filtering. These search improvement tactics need to be viewed holistically across the three areas of content, people and technology, and in context with each other. For example, you might introduce a fantastic new search solution but you need to optimize your content to take full advantage of it, and you may need to train your content publishers on how to optimize the content to make that happen. Below, we explore the approaches you need to adopt across content, people, and technology. Content Intranet search success is all about finding content that meets your users’ needs. Without the right content, your intranet search will not necessarily be perceived as successful by your users. Amount of Content The amount of content searched is relevant to content success. All too often, intranets get bloated with content over the years, hampering search quality if there are too many items being returned. Often, when new intranets are developed, the amount of content is reduced for the platform, sometimes by as much as 80%. Relevance and Quality The relevance and quality of content is also critical for a successful intranet search. When there are reams of “noise”, it’s harder for users to find that relevant piece of information; ultimately, content needs to have a purpose and be well-written, accurate and up-to-date. When content is poor or missing, users might blame the search. Search relevance can be improved by: Trying to remove any “noise” and low-quality contentUsing personalized searchesAdding sources that contain useful content to help employees get things done Optimized for Findability Content can also be optimized for search, making it easier to find. This includes having the right title to indicate what the content is about, using keywords, metadata and tagging, and simply having well-written content. People On the surface, it might not seem like improving your intranet search is much to do with people, but moving the needle on findability actually involves working with users, content publishers and information owners to get the very best out of your search. Like any improvement project, optimizing intranet search entails a degree of change, and change is all about people. Working With Content Publishers Most intranets work within a decentralized publishing model, with central intranet teams playing a role in training content publishers on how to best prepare and publish their content. Here, ensuring content is written to maximize findability is key for improving intranet search. This can involve tagging and metadata, using the right keywords, optimizing titles and more. Training and supporting your content publishers to fit these guidelines will make a difference to intranet search. Working With Information Owners A great intranet search will allow users to access content from right across your organization, but sometimes, information owners in different functions are not sharing their valuable content. These damaging data silos can hold organizations back and limit the success of your intranet search. There might be cultural factors making individual owners reluctant to share; here, working with different information owners is key to ensure you have a truly holistic intranet search. Working With Users Helping users get the very best out of intranet search can make a difference to their perceptions of search effectiveness. Targeted communication and training for particular groups can help if not all users are aware they can use advanced search filters, for example. Intranet search powered by Unleash has some very useful shortcuts and additional actions that can improve the search experience, and users will need to be informed about these. You should also encourage users to send you feedback about their search experience. How effective did they find the search? Could they find what they needed? Have they got any suggestions? Getting specific feedback can provide actionable data to improve intranet search and content; perhaps there is an additional source you can add to the search or a gap in content that could meet a need. Using user feedback to improve your search will also help improve perceptions of it. Technology Having the right technology to power your intranet search makes all the difference. Some base intranet search technologies can hold you back, either by simply not being fit for purpose, or by lacking those features that transform an “okay” intranet search into a “great” one. There are a whole range of technology features that impact intranet search – some of the main ones are explored below. User Experience Users tend to have high expectations about their experience of search. They’re used to using Google, and want to be able to use just one search box to return what they need with easy options to then filter their search. Having an intuitive, straightforward search solution can make all the difference to the success and adoption of your intranet search. Semantic and Contextual Search Users expect an intelligent search that can understand what they are looking for. Having semantic and contextual search capabilities which understand natural language queries and can even extract answers from within pages and documents delivers on modern search expectations and helps employees access the information they need quickly. Full Text Search Across Different Content Types Not all search solutions actually look through the full text of different content types such as Word documents or PDFs. If your search solution only searches through titles, items get missed. Configurability of Sources and Filters Many intranet search solutions don’t provide easily configurable options for intranet teams to improve search, or it is prohibitively expensive to make any changes because it necessitates external help. A strong intranet search solution should allow you to configure the search experience by adding sources to the search or creating advanced custom filters, for example. Personalization Personalization can help ensure search relevance by matching different results to employees’ profiles. For example, someone may search for an HR policy and return the specific policy for their location. A Joined-up Approach to Improving Intranet Search Intranet search is essential, and invariably needs optimizing. Intranet teams need to adopt a joined-up approach that covers people, content and technology in order to move forward and optimize their intranet search, driving both efficiency and adoption.
How Powerful Intranet Search Improves Employee Productivity

Productivity

How Powerful Intranet Search Improves Employee Productivity
Ever wished there were more hours in the day to get everything done at work? Improving levels of employee productivity is high on the agenda for organizations, managers and employees themselves. The speed and quality of output and our ability to get things done impacts important everything from meeting project deadlines to delivering support for customers; low productivity ultimately influences the bottom line. On a personal level, our productivity influences our wellbeing, our work-life balance, perceptions of our performance and even our relationship with our team members. In this post we’re going to explore the link between poor search and low productivity, and look at how a powerful intranet search tool like Unleash can improve employee productivity. The Time We Waste Wasting time is the sworn enemy of employee productivity. One unnecessary activity which continually drains those precious hours is the time that gets wasted on fruitless searching for information and files. How much time do you and your co-workers spend on finding that one document you need, or that single, critical piece of data? The extent to which this is a problem is truly eyebrow-raising. A landmark article from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that knowledge workers can spend as much as 19% of their day looking for and gathering information. Although the McKinsey data is a decade old, and even it is an overestimate, poor search remains a huge problem today. Anecdotally most of us recognise that we waste significant time on searching for information. Let’s look at some of the specific reasons why poor search is such a drain on our productivity. Proliferation of Apps and Repositories One of the reasons why it’s so hard to find things is the proliferation of cloud-based apps that we use every day. Microsoft 365, Slack, Dropbox, Confluence, Jira, SerivceNow, G-suite. The list goes on. Surveys continually show that the number of apps that a person uses across the working week is colossal; estimates suggest that workers use an average of 9.4 apps per day and that organizations use an average of 110 SaaS apps across their workforce. These cloud tools are fantastic and help us get our work done, but the flipside is that the information and files that we need to find are now spread across multiple repositories. Looking through all these places takes up time and effort. Employees are not just looking for a needle in a haystack – there’s a whole field of haystacks to search through! Perhaps the most popular feature of Unleash is its ability to search through multiple cloud repositories at the same time. When you integrate Unleash into your intranet search it means employees can look through nearly 40 (and rising) common cloud apps all at the same time, supporting better employee productivity. The Damage of Context Switching Having to search through multiple apps doesn’t just drain productivity because of time wasted, it also breaks our natural flow and concentration. The “context switching” that occurs when we jump from one digital app to another causes a lull in productivity and can even produce fatigue; research suggests it takes 9.5 minutes to regain our flow when we make that switch. Research also suggests that a person who is multi-tasking between 30 applications will make 28% more errors compared to someone who is working with less. When we’re working across multiple apps every day, context switching starts to become a major factor on helping us get things done. When we built the Unleash platform, we wanted to tackle this issue head on, not only through the ability to search across all your favorite cloud solutions from one application with one search box, but also in the “Action” feature that allows you to trigger common tasks such as creating a new email in Google Mail or logging a ticket in ServiceNow. By integrating Unleash into your intranet search, it can become a launchpad for your apps and help reduce the impact of context switching. The Consequences of Not Finding What We Need Unsuccessful searching also has a range of other consequences that are a further on drain productivity. Frequently, one person’s failed search becomes another person’s problem as they ask their co-workers to help them. If a team member wastes fifteen minutes trying to find an item and then emails three of their colleagues asking who has a particular item, that’s then the time wasted and flow interrupted for four people. The problem spreads! There are also the actions that follow as a consequence of not finding information. For example, people recreate documents that they don’t need to (or don’t have the latest version) and there is a duplication of effort. There are also multiple use cases where people across different departments – sales staff, tech engineers, customer support staff- can’t carry out key tasks efficiently because they can’t find supporting information they need to prepare for a sales meeting or resolve a customer issue. Again, when we built Unleash we wanted to ensure it could also be used across teams and help swerve the consequences that are caused by poor search. The ability to filter the search by app helps to pinpoint what you need, and then easily share resources with a colleague to Gmail, Outlook or WhatsApp all from within the search tool. Transforming Your Intranet Search Into a Productivity Engine Intranet search tends to be the go-to place that all employees can access and is used to find what people need. But invariably intranet search is poor and is more likely to be a drain on productivity rather than saving time and raising efficiency. When you introduce a tool like Unleash you can effectively transform your intranet search into a tool that raises productivity through: Having one solution that works across all the cloud apps you use every day and where work actually happens, meaning everyone can find what they needActing as a launch pad for all these applications, triggering actions and with the added ability to share resources across the teamEnhancing findability right across the organization, increasing the visibility of documents and files that support knowledge management and avoid people reinventing the wheel Our analysis suggests that on average Unleash can help every individual employee save three hours per week. When this extends across your entire team, this is far more time to focus on higher value activities and improve output. Arrange a Demo! If you’re interested in finding out more and want to see how your intranet search can transform into a productivity tool, then arrange a free demo!
7 Ways to Supercharge Your Intranet Search

Productivity

7 Ways to Supercharge Your Intranet Search
The number one complaint from employees about their company intranet is that the search sucks. “I can’t find what I need.” “There are too many results.” “Why can’t it work like Google?” “It just returns a load of noise.” These are common complaints about intranet search and unfortunately, they are often justified. Intranet search is often very poor and employees just can’t find the results they need quickly or even at all. This can cause immense frustration because one of the key jobs of a good intranet is to help employees find information quickly and easily to get things done. Instead, users waste huge amounts of time just finding the right item, and sometimes they give up altogether. There are a variety of reasons why intranet search sucks – sometimes it’s about the content, and sometimes it’s about the high expectations of employees, often shaped by using Google. Sometimes it’s also about the limits of your intranet search solution. However, there are several ways that IT or intranet teams can transform the search experience and really supercharge their intranet search – saving time, reducing frustration and creating an intranet search that employees will want to keep using again and again. Let’s look at seven ways to supercharge your intranet search. 1. Extend the Scope of Your Intranet Search A key source of user frustration with intranet search is that the scope is very limited and does not return the content they really need. A search tool is only as valuable as the content it returns and when it only searches through intranet pages or a limited number of repositories, then it may be that an employee then has to carry out further searches through a plethora of different systems, document libraries and applications to find what they need. When you extend the scope of your intranet search to be able to search more or even all of the systems that employees use every day such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Confluence, Jira and so on – then you truly supercharge your intranet search. With a product like Unleash, you can easily integrate searches from all your organizational systems into your intranet search so you end up with one search box for everything. 2. Ensure the Search Is Full Text A key reason why relevant pages, documents and other items are not returned to a user is that the intranet search is not searching through the full text of an item. When a search is only looking through titles for example, it will inevitably miss highly relevant results meaning users can’t find what they really need. The titles of documents, articles and discussion threads are rarely created with future search needs in mind, and sometimes can be misleading about the true topic or content that is covered. An intranet search that carries out full text searching will inevitably improve search accuracy and relevancy. Another common intranet search problem is that the coverage of formats that have full text searching enabled is patchy, for example the search may cover the full text of a Word document but not a PDF. Having a robust intranet search that covers full text searching for all formats is key. 3. Allow Advanced Filtering A common complaint about intranet search is that users can’t filter a large set of results to quickly find what they need. Having to scroll through seven pages to find something of value is not what your users want. Generally, users want to filter by different criteria such as content format, the system where the result is stored, the date, organizational elements such as locations or business lines, and even topics and subjects. Sometimes an intranet search might have filtering options, but these don’t have the right level of granularity or cover the right attributes to have value. Enabling meaningful and advanced filtering based on options that matter to your employees can add huge value to your intranet search, save lots of time and end up with more successful searches. When your employees can slice and dice their research results, they will find what they need more quickly and easily. 4. Bring the Search to the Flow of Work Even if your intranet search is powerful and covers a variety of different sources, it might not enjoy great adoption because people tend not to use your intranet. This might be because the intranet search is not directly in the flow of their daily work; for example, they might have to launch the intranet first, and then use the search, an extra step which can deter use when employees are mega-busy. One way to supercharge your intranet search is to make it available more directly in the flow of work. For example, we’ve made Unleash available as a separate app that users can keep open on their own desktop, effectively meaning they can get the same powerful search experience from wherever they are. They don’t necessarily have to be on the intranet. We’ve also integrated Unleash with Slack, and there are more integrations planned on our roadmap, truly bringing excellent intranet search into the everyday flow of work. 5. Make Sure the Search Is Personalized Another common complaint about intranet search is that results returned are not relevant. Relevancy is a critical factor in the success of a search – not only in terms of the suitability of what is returned based on the search terms entered, but also in relation to the employee who has made that search. If search results that are returned to an individual make more sense to that person because of their role, or because they are documents that person has worked upon, then the search is far more likely to deliver value. Enabling a contextual search that considers the context of a person such as their location or role, as well as their contributions across different systems, can improve search relevance. Here the context of the individual user can influence what is returned, or the order that items are returned in. 6. Deliver a Semantic Search to Match Natural Language Most employees are used to using natural language using Google to phrase their search queries in natural language. You might ask, for example, “What is the company policy on paternity leave?” Some intranet searches can’t handle this kind of question and will get confused, which can end up returning inaccurate and unsatisfying results. This will mean your intranet search is not meeting the expectations of employees about the kind of intranet search experience they receive. To remedy this, you need to ensure you have a modern, intelligent search solution that encompasses semantic search capabilities. This means users can ask questions in natural language and receive a more Google-like experience from your intranet search. 7. Make It Super Simple to Use One of the reasons that Google has been so successful is because of the simplicity of the user experience. Enter your term in the search box. Hit return. Go. Some intranet searches are complicated – two boxes for example to return different results, or the need to use an overwhelming advanced search screen to get any meaningful results. Having a super simple search experience on your intranet makes a huge difference to the perceptions of your intranet search, as well as levels of adoption. Having one search box for everything, plus simple and intuitive options for filtering, is imperative. Your users should never have to think. Getting the Right Intranet Search Solution When we created the Unleash platform, we created a product that can be integrated easily with your intranet search and delivers all of the above: Extended search scope by integrated over 40 cloud-based solutionsFull text search across multiple formatsAdvanced custom search filteringAn app to deploy on user’s desktop if they wishContextual search for personalized resultsSemantic search to answer questionsSuper-simple interface, with just one search box. Arrange a Demo! If you’re interested in finding out more, or want to see what a supercharged intranet search looks like in practice, then arrange a free demo!
Can a Great Intranet Search Really Support a Better Employee Experience?

Productivity

Can a Great Intranet Search Really Support a Better Employee Experience?
Improving employee experience (EX) is a goal for both large and small organizations – making your company a great place to work can generate a range of high-value benefits. Everybody wants to have happier employees. There are a variety of factors which influence EX, but there is no single magic ingredient to perfect it. Instead, companies need to employ a range of different tactics to move the needle on employee experience. At first glance, improving findability and search through your intranet may sound like it has little to do with EX and has minimal impact on how employees feel about their work, but think again! Search can play a much more significant role than expected. In this post, we’re going to explore why a great intranet search can support a better employee experience. Why Do Companies Focus On EX? Most companies focus on providing a strong customer experience (CX), delivering a consistently high-value experience across all their external touchpoints which leads to increases in sales, brand loyalty and more. In general, less attention has been paid to the equivalent employee experience (EX), but that has started to change. Many leaders and HR functions from both large and small organizations realize the advantages of providing a strong EX across moments that matter, and, indeed, all aspects of the touchpoints between employee and employer. This can lead to everything from better talent attraction and retention, to higher productivity and even better customer service; EX is now being recognized as strategically crucial. What Factors Influence EX? Like its big sister CX, there are a lot of factors that influence EX. This includes fundamentals like pay and benefits, work flexibility, opportunities for career development and the nature of a person’s role. Other softer areas such as wellbeing support, the relationship with your line manager, organizational culture and even the mission and purpose of your organization can also be important. For example, one of the ways we focus on making Unleash a great place to work is to make sure everybody is invested in our mission. Employees’ everyday experience of workplace technology is also part of employee experience. With our total reliance on the systems and applications we access to get our work done – especially with the increase in remote working since the beginning of the pandemic – this is unsurprisingly influential. In a global survey of 7,000 employees, having the right workplace tech and tools in place ranked in the top five most important factors in providing a good experience. Moreover, a survey of US employees found that nearly half (49%) would consider leaving their job due to bad workplace technology. Poor Search Is Often at the Center of Poor Technology-Related Ex Let’s be honest, poor technology at work can be really frustrating, especially when you’re under pressure with a deadline. How many times have you sworn at your screen? How many times have you wanted to throw your laptop across the room? One of the big-ticket pain points for staff is not being able to find what they need at work. Finding that elusive piece of information or obscure document wastes time and causes frustration, in direct contrast to employees’ experiences of using Google outside work. They expect great search at work, but they’re rarely getting it. In fact, research suggests that only 22% of employees are truly satisfied with their intranet search, with a whopping 40% dissatisfied or very dissatisfied! Poor findability can really start to impact our employee experience. The Problem of App Overload Another area where a good intranet search can have a positive impact on employee experience is tackling app overload. In our recent post on how intranet search can improve employee productivity, we described how the proliferation of cloud-based apps in regular use within organizations is a major cause of low productivity, with one of the reasons being constant switching between different apps. It breaks our flow of concentration and can be very tiring; in fact, research suggests that 43% of employees believe switching tasks causes them fatigue. We already know that information overload is overwhelming and stressful, but app overload can be too. One survey suggests that 70% of employees are swapping between apps up to 10 times an hour, an experience which can be disorienting. When it also hampers our productivity, it can increase the stress of feeling behind where we need to be in our working day. Wellbeing and the ability to work efficiently can both influence our everyday experience of work. One of the characteristics of Unleash which customers love is the ability (and relief!) of having one interface not only to search across up to 40 different cloud-based apps, but also to act as a launchpad to open and even trigger actions within these apps. One interface is less jarring and overwhelming, and supports a better overall employee experience. Supporting Remote and Hybrid Work Another key component of employee experience is the flexibility for employees to successfully work when and where they want. This has grown significantly in importance with the onset of the pandemic, when lockdown forced many of us to work from home, sometimes for the first time. This has allowed both individuals and organizations to experience both the benefits and downsides of remote working. The bottom line is that now, many individuals want to continue remote working and organizations are committing to a hybrid model of work. Research has shown that feeling connected is one of the biggest challenges of working from home; a 2020 survey found that “feeling disconnected from colleagues” and “feeling disconnected from what’s going on in my company” were the two biggest issues. When you’re in the office, you can usually ask your desk neighbor to help you find something, but that is harder when working from home. Not being able to find what you need impacts your ability to carry out your role, but can also increase that feeling of isolation and disconnection, particularly for newer employees. Here, a great intranet search is not necessarily going to address all these issues, but it can help. A popular element of Unleash is the ability to search through all the systems that connect an employee to what is going on in their company from one search box - not only the news on the company intranet, but also systems like Slack where you communicate with colleagues. This helps increase your connection with your network of colleagues and the information you need, making remote work that little bit easier. Intranet Search and Employee Experience There are many factors that influence a good employee experience. A great intranet search can support better EX by helping employees find what they need across multiple systems, thus reducing overwhelming app overload, supporting better employee productivity, enabling remote working and also contributing to a better experience of work technology. If you’d like to find out how a search product like Unleash can support a better employee experience, then arrange a free demo!

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