A document management system (DMS) seems like such a simple thing, a basic aspect of business that is often overlooked to the point of being forgotten. So why are DMS’s an essential part of every business stack? Because it is an essential part of employee internal communications. The simple ability to load a document onto the manager for others to access is a vital feature of any internal business communication structure, which is why it’s so baffling to find companies that truly have forgotten to source one.
When planning your internal communication system, document management plays a vital role. Documents can be uploaded or created, collaborated. But you don’t have to go on generalities alone, let’s dive into the seven ways that document management systems creates a healthy internal communication network between employees.
The very first thing you can do with your DMS is upload, tag, and categorize all the files that you want employees to have open access to. This may include the digital version of your employee handbook, the brand policy guide, and helpful guidelines to all the regulations your business must adhere to. Throw in the company phone directory, the emergency exit maps, and how to call IT in case of malware or sparking equipment.
In other words, your DMS immediately becomes your employee’s go-to resource help center if you did not already have a help center portal. In fact, if you open this way, you might find that employees start writing their own guides to share. For example, one of your accountants might submit and share a guide on how to submit expense reports correctly just because they want the rest of the company to know.
Along the same lines, your DMS also becomes the quick-access repository for every form your employees may commonly need to fill out and submit to one department or another. If they need a fresh inventory sheet, they can pull it off the shared document manager. Or if they need a seldom-used family leave form, that can be easily found as well. No more having to email specific documents back and forth, getting the wrong document, and doing it again. The DMS makes it easy for employees to find the right form on their own, fill it out, and submit in a streamlined and user-friendly fashion.
Document management is also essential to optimize your workflow. When employees need to share documents, there are several dozen ways they could go about this. The the most common is to upload and email the documents, requiring the recipient to download, make changes, upload, etc. This is not only heavy on the network, it’s also unnecessary.
With a DMS, your team members can upload a document once and everyone can reference it directly from the internal document management platform. No need to keep downloading and uploading. Especially if they are collaborating on changes, which takes us to the next use.
Document management is essential for collaborating on documents and using a source document to inform a collaborative project. A document manager allows an entire team to access and work on the same document, live. Many document managers contain version control, so that the changes made by each team member are tracked and can be individually credited or reversed as needed.
Document management systems makes it possible for an entire team or even multiple departments to collaborate on one document or a cluster of documents without constant uploading, downloading, or manage the hassle of asynchronous changes.
Sending and receiving paperwork from HR is a big part of what HR does for employees. HR sends information or the blank necessary forms (or links them in the manager) and a team member reads and/or fills out those forms and sends them back. With a secure tag-and-permissions based document manager, interacting with HR becomes worlds easier.
You will now have a secure way to send documents back and forth, without constant uploading. HR can even provide live guidance on how to fill out forms correctly, get any information that is missing. Consider this true of any internal department that needs to constantly trade paperwork with employees based on your company structure.
A DMS also makes it easier for IT to troubleshoot problems with employee computers, systems, and software. The document manager can make it quick and easy for employees to, for example, upload their log-files and screenshotted error pages so that IT can see exactly what’s going on.
The documents can flow in the other direction as well. Your IT team might put together a set of handy how-to guides so that employees can learn to take care of the most common errors on their own. This can save hours of time communicating with IT when employees can follow a few quick steps that fix their problem in a matter of minutes.
Onboarding is often one of the bigger challenges for any business, even if you are transferring employees to a new internal position. A DMS is a great resource for onboarding staff into new positions because you can package up all the information they need into organized digital folders. Self-starters will dive right in and learn everything they can from the documents alone while those who need a little more guidance essentially have a digital textbook to follow in conjunction with training from their new manager.
In this way, document managers can double as a very simple LMS, holding all the lessons and materials you need an employee in training to have access to.
For our bonus tip, there’s another beneficial way that document management interacts with internal communications: Phishing protection. Phishing is when a hacker pretends to be someone known to the targeted employee, often a coworker or boss, to convince them to click an infected link or share sensitive documentation.
But if your team is using a document manager and the hacker doesn’t know that, their scam is immediately blown. Because no internal team member would say “Click this link,” they would say “Check out this document in the manager.” No team member would say “Email me this information” they would say “Share this info in the manager.” So having a document management system as an integral part of how your employees interact will protect them from the vast majority of hacker phishing attacks.
Document management is an essential part of any business software stack, especially if you are building an internal communications system. Contact us today to find out more about what a document manager can do for your business and how to build it into a robust internal communications system for your team.