Internal Communication Blog

Pros and Cons of Sharepoint: Why You Need More Tools Than Just Sharepoint to Reach Your Staff

As the internal communications landscape continues to develop and adapt, organizations keep searching for the most effective ways to communicate with their staff. For organizations on Microsoft 365, SharePoint seems like a self-evident first choice. However, Microsoft SharePoint wasn’t specifically designed for internal communications, so it may not be the best choice. Read our blog to learn about the pros and cons of SharePoint and solutions for any challenges that may come up when using SharePoint.

Before we look at SharePoint’s benefits, disadvantages, and solutions for these disadvantages, we’ll first make a quick stop and quickly explain what SharePoint is.

What is SharePoint?

Organizations mainly use SharePoint to create internal websites. Most devices are compatible with SharePoint, which makes it a great tool for sharing, storing, and organizing information. It is used by many to give people easy access to the information they need; organizations store information, manage documents and centralize policies and procedures in their SharePoint environments.

Pros and cons of SharePoint

While we agree SharePoint is a great tool, there are also some downsides to using SharePoint. Let’s take a look at the pros, the cons, and any solutions for challenges that SharePoint may give your organization.

Pro: SharePoint can be used for top-down communications

One reason management may choose SharePoint for employee communications is that it enables them to communicate with various audience groups within the organization. Traditional SharePoint intranets are designed for top-down communications. Those at the top rely on SharePoint to spread important org-wide news and updates.

Con: Mostly only applicable for top-down communications

SharePoint helps your C-level to pass down information to their staff. However, it doesn’t enable employees to voice their opinions or take part in the conversation. One of the developments in employee communications that we love is that more and more organizations understand that communication should be a two-way street. Organizations across the globe are searching for tools that enable (social) interaction, collecting feedback, and bottom-up communication.

This is a great development for employee engagement; employees who feel their opinion is valuable to their organization have a better employee experience. This positively impacts your employees’ productivity and your organization’s bottom line. Unfortunately, SharePoint doesn’t help organizations achieve this.

Solution: an employee communication platform combined with SharePoint

A third-party solution, such as an integration with an employee communication platform, can enable two-way communication. Netpresenter’s SharePoint integration, for example, extracts SharePoint headlines automatically from your SharePoint and publishes them without interference onto every screen in your organization that’s connected.

Our Desktop App and Mobile App will automatically show your latest SharePoint news. Our social interaction features will enable staff to engage with your posts, share their opinions, comment on each other’s comments and provide leadership with an overview of the overall sentiment within your organization.

app employee engagement sharepoint closeup

Pro: SharePoint enables staff to access information safely from anywhere

You may store your documents on your servers with SharePoint on-premise, which means the information cannot be accessed unless staff is at work inside your (office) building. However, SharePoint Online is cloud-based, meaning that employees can access files from wherever they are working. Data encryption will help keep your data safe, so staff can genuinely access information safely from anywhere.

Con: The platform isn’t accessible or inclusive for frontline or non-desk employees (without a Microsoft 365 license)

If your organization wishes to adopt SharePoint fully, every employee that is going to use SharePoint will need a Microsoft 365 license. This can be a challenge for organizations with large groups of frontline employees or non-desk workers, as they won’t always have access to a Microsoft account or a company email address. As a result, they don’t have access to SharePoint and can’t see the important company updates your management publishes through the tool.

Solution: a third-party tool that enables (limited) SharePoint access

A great solution to include frontline workers, non-desk workers, and other employees who don’t have easy access to your SharePoint environment? A third-party tool that enables SharePoint access without a Microsoft 365 license. Our SharePoint integration automatically publishes important SharePoint headlines onto every screen in your organization. This means your non-desk or frontline employees without a license still get to see the information.

When they pass by a Digital Signage screen or a PC with Corporate Digital Signage, they will automatically get to see the information – without any extra effort. Admittedly, they still can’t actually access SharePoint, but it will give them the low-down on any important management updates and other company news on the platform.

Pro: Sharing and storing information in a centralized space

SharePoint was designed to allow easy document sharing, management, and storage in one central location. The platform enables organizations to control document access and invite staff to collaborate on one document. It also enables organizations to manage how employees share content. Features such as metadata and tagging make locating documents easy, so as long as your storing structure is logical, employees shouldn’t search too long to find what they need.

Con: Sending the right information to the right people is difficult

A challenge when using SharePoint is sending the right information to the right people. SharePoint offers some targeting capabilities, but there is room for improvement. The downside is that employees already receive too much information on any given day, and SharePoint documents only add to the problem of information overload organizations may face these days.

Solution: Target your content with a third-party tool

Again, a third-party tool such as Netpresenter is your friend. We enable organizations to target their content using a targeting feature. This enables you to send your SharePoint updates to specific devices. You can choose which PCs or TVs should get the SharePoint updates and connect them with our SharePoint integration. You know your headlines will only get the attention of the right employees, making SharePoint a lot more valuable as it helps not to add to the information overload in your organization.

Screensaver SharePoint Headlines

Pro: Optimal content management

Content management is very good within SharePoint, as it has functionalities that allow users to create and submit content for approval. Editors can approve the content, and when approved, it can also be scheduled to go live on, for example, social media platforms.

Con: SharePoint traffic and adoption are low in many organizations

We’ve heard customers say many times that SharePoint adoption and traffic can be very low. Employees simply don’t have the time to visit your SharePoint. Users may also think it won’t be useful, or they just don’t know where to start as it doesn’t bring information directly to staff. They have to search for documents, updates, and information on their own initiative, which can be difficult when the organization doesn’t have a solid structure. So, although content management is easy, traffic and adoption can remain low.

Solution: bring SharePoint to your employees

Connecting SharePoint to your existing tools is a great way to increase adoption rates and traffic. Our SharePoint integration will automatically bring the information to your employees, as important updates automatically appear on their workstations, a mobile app on their smartphone, or digital signage across your building.

Add a button that redirects them to the right article when they click it, and reading updates or finding the right document just got a lot easier! We’ve heard various customers say intranet adoption rates were never this high before they started using our integrations, so we’re convinced it will drive employees to your SharePoint!

We’re confident our SharePoint integration will help your organization and employees embrace your SharePoint. However, if you need more tips on SharePoint user adoption, download this checklist to see what your organization can do to increase SharePoint traffic. Do you wish to see what our SharePoint integration can do for your organization? Get in touch with our consultants or schedule a free 30-minute demo; they are happy to discuss how our integration and platform works and will elaborate on our customers’ positive experiences with our integration.

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Bente
Bente Pieters

Bente is, besides a language purist, a communication wizard. She knows all internal communication ins and outs and likes to share these in impeccable language. In her spare time, you can find her at the gym or reading books at home.