By invitation only: revolutionize collaboration with your extended workforce

The primary function of your digital workplace is to promote productivity by facilitating enriched communication across your workforce. Yet we know that external entities, such as contractors and consultants, are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the day-to-day running of a business, without enjoying the benefits of a unified hub of knowledge. Thanks to Unily’s June 2018 release, this problem is no more! External user invites offer a simple solution to providing third parties, even those without Office365, with tailored access to all the relevant tools and information they need to successfully support your business at the touch of a button.

The emergence of the extended workforce

The face of the global workforce is changing. In fact, Deloitte’s 2018 report on Global Human Capital Trends dedicates an entire chapter to the changing workforce ecosystem, finding that only 42% of its survey respondents were composed primarily of salaried employees. The implications of this emerging trend are far reaching and present many challenges to employers, including the need for a robust internal communications strategy that is inclusive of the external workforce.

Up until recently a company intranet has not been equipped with a solution. Granting access and governing security and permissions have been the cause of many headaches, for both IT and HR. Enter External User Invites.

Utilizing the external invite feature properly gives key external stakeholders access to the same collaborative potentials as your internal team are already benefiting from, whilst also allowing for the tight management of the resources available to them. The resulting increase in efficiency makes it a seriously inviting tool, pun intended.

External user invites in practice

To truly understand how external user invites can be used to revolutionize the way you work with your extended workforce, let's take a look at some examples.

Third parties

Suppose you’re working on the release of a new product and you’ve created a dedicated channel on your social feed that is buzzing with questions and feedback from your employees. Instead of tasking someone with feeding this input back to the external design agency responsible for implementing changes, simply invite them to collaborate directly via their external email. Not only will this speed up the rate of response, getting the job done faster, but it may also present opportunities to increase innovation through collaborative thinking. Equally possible is the option of creating a dedicated workspace that can be used as a central hub for all information specific to the project, accessible by internal and external contributors alike.

Starting to see the benefits? Let’s apply this to some other scenarios.

Temporary workers

Bringing on board temporary staff to make up for a provisional shortfall in manpower is becoming increasingly common in a business landscape with fluctuating demands. Designed to ease workload, in reality bringing on temps creates additional work for other departments such as IT who need to set up each new worker with access to the system. External user invites remove this burden completely. Rather than setting up each temp with company credentials so they can access the internal content needed to perform in their roles, you would simply invite access via their personal emails in a few simple clicks. You could even create a bespoke site specific to temporary workers, where you could include health and safety information and new starter FAQs that would further save time for other departments such as HR and Accounts.

Frontline staff

In a retail setting, external user invites present a unique opportunity to give frontline staff, based outside the office on the shop floor, the ability to stay connected with internal affairs without having to have a company email. They won’t need access to the same information as office-based workers, however they would benefit from updates on company policy, news and social interaction. After all, the relationship between employee satisfaction and inclusive communication is well documented. In this scenario, you would be able to invite front line staff to access a targeted homepage, customized to exclude any information irrelevant to their role. Instead of relying on management teams to filter information down to the shop floor, these employees will now have direct and immediate access to all information relevant to their position and the ability to participate in company-wide conversations, straight from their mobile phones.

Controlling the flow of information

Understandably, the concept of inviting external users into your company’s intimate workspace may provoke fears surrounding the security of sensitive information. The first point to make is that only users with security permissions will be able to invite external users into the intranet, so your protected from the new intern inviting their friends to peruse your curated resources. Furthermore, cancelling invitations and withdrawing access to external users is easy. Users with the necessary permissions will have access to an overview of all external user invites and the ability to cancel invitations in bulk or individually. So, if your concerned about the activity of a particular user, or you’ve completed a project and no longer need to collaborate with the external agencies involved, you can withdraw their access within minutes.

Also worth mentioning, is the ability to security trim content and restrict access to information either not needed by the external user or confidential to internal employees. CMS permissions can be easily controlled, allowing you to tailor the content each user has access to with ease.

Get started – now

Now your interest has been firmly peeked, the good news is that you can try this feature out now, free of charge. Each Unily platform includes 50 external user invites per month at no additional cost.

For more information or to arrange a demo, get in touch today!

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