When building a website for an academic department, I used a form to get information for online bios. One of the fields I asked people to fill out was "office number" (which was the physical address of the office and clearly differentiated from the "office phone number"). While I was sitting in my office, paring down a long list of another faculty member's publications, I got a phone call from a confused faculty member.
"What is this office number that you're asking for?"
"It's the number on your office door," I said. "So students can find you." (Admittedly, there are are benefits to not being able to be found by students, but most professors are contractually obligated to interact with them.)
"And how would I get that information?" he said.
"Well, you could try walking out into the hall and looking at the number outside your door," I said, doing my best not to sound like a smart aleck.
While it would be easy to dismiss this story as the folly of academia and ivory towers and whatnot, the truth is that people often have less information than we think they do. There are employees who don't know their own phone numbers or how to access their voicemail, let alone what their manager's phone number is. An employee directory is an easy and convenient way to ensure that all of your employees have the information that they need.
Here are the three most common benefits of this kind of mobile technology:
1. Orienting New Hires
Take away that "first day at a new school" awkwardness by having all new hires download the employee directory on their first day. In addition to providing vital information like office location, phone number and email address, when your app includes pictures, it will take some of the stress off of trying to remember a million new names. New hires can connect the name with the face later in the privacy of their own offices.
Also, being able to browse titles and departments at their leisure will allow the new hire to more quickly learn your organizational structure and acclimate to company culture.
2. Connecting Company Resources
Marketing needs to talk to shipping, or sales has to get in touch with HR. There are any number of combinations for how people in your company need to talk to one another. With an employee directory, all of that information is available in an easy-to-use and convenient platform. Connect people and resources across departments with ease.
An employee directory has obvious uses outside of the company as well. Employees can easily discover common links at networking events or share the right information with the right people. Meet someone at a convention who needs help with marketing in your industry? Why not let them have Joan's contact info.
Your employee won't have to worry about having everyone in the company in their personal contacts, and it's easier to facilitate connections with people you might not have had as much personal interaction with. An employee directory like this guarantees that employees can make the most of opportunities while socializing or conducting business outside of the office.
An employee directory is a low-cost, low-labor way to make vital information available throughout the company. With a quick build, your directory will save time in the long run, and make it easier and more convenient to connect resources and people throughout your organization.