Search by Algolia

Sorry, there is no results for this query

Improve enterprise workplace search efficiency

Imagine you work for a company and you’re asked to put together a proposal. You need to find details that you can’t remember about a project that was abandoned and then later picked up after a couple of months. A project assignment had been set up in Atlassian Jira; then your team discussed it at length on Slack, as well as in email. You search each of those platforms, which could turn out to be a time-intensive endeavor. 

This scenario is familiar to millions of employees at organizations of all sizes. Many lament why the inability to easily find information on the job is a continuing problem. After all, they’re used to enjoying seamless digital experiences in their personal lives. Work should be no different…in fact, it should be better. 

Too many silos, too little time

Wouldn’t it be great if workers could pull up a single search bar and return relevant results from every applicable piece of content, with a handy index showing which platforms were searched, the number of items found, and where every piece of information is waiting? In the Information Age, shouldn’t your employees be able to enter a single search query in a single interface?

It makes perfect sense. What also makes sense, however, is that the focus for search has understandably been on externally facing ecommerce sites, with an eye toward maximizing revenue. What’s less obvious is that effective internal workplace search and knowledge management could be equally impactful.

The concept of internal workplace search is indeed consequential for employees’ everyday needs and typically underutilized, whether it functions as more of a way for all employees to find any piece of information or it’s used only for a limited-scope purpose, such as helping sales representatives locate key data about earlier sales.

Companies typically have a multitude of separate content repositories, domains, and platforms dedicated to the various aspects of corporate activity: a tech-support portal, an HR site, a chat app, online workspaces, a document-storage database. 

“For starters, there’s the dreaded silo problem,” notes Forbes Technology Council writer Sid Probstein. Silos “don’t really connect to other sources or make the data you store there available outside of their ecosystems.”

Still, employees need information about everything from clients and presentations to required training and company holidays. And when it takes people too long to find information they need, their overall productivity can be impacted. 

Statistics attest to this problem. For example, according to a 2018 study done by IDC, “data professionals are losing 50% of their time every week”—30% searching for, governing and preparing data plus 20% duplicating work.” 

Taking the work out of workplace search

How can you respond to modern workplace expectations? A modern internal search experience enables employees to quickly and efficiently access the types of information they need. 

The answer is relatively simple: Stitch together the content and information from all your company’s disparate systems and repositories to create one unified, searchable system. Then, use an enterprise workplace search tool to make it easy for your employees to find whatever content they need. 

What would that involve? You would use a site crawler to gather all your internally searchable corporate content stored in places such as documents, production tools, forms, email, videos, digital workspaces, and online chat. No matter how many pages of documents and how much data you have, if it’s well organized and indexed, your site search tool will be able to parse it. 

Then you would implement custom internal site search with federated search, letting employees search multiple data sources and have their results displayed in separate indexes. For example, in response to a query about a new work-from-home policy, your search interface could intuitively display links to related company announcements, policy details, and employee FAQs.

With customized workplace search, using features such as dynamic reranking, custom ranking, and query search suggestions, you can test, tweak, and iterate your search tool and UX to best meet your employees’ needs. You can also fine-tune their search results based on what they enter in the search bar. For example, with search as-you-type functionality, employees’ results can be intuitively made more accurate with each additional keystroke.

You’d probably also want to optimize particular search results for particular groups of employees, tailoring what’s returned to be pertinent to, for instance, tech-support folks or editorial teams, or to groups at a certain reporting level.  

You can also:

  • Have related content appear in search results, which could lead employees to discover additional helpful guidance
  • Create snippets—related, commonly entered queries that appear below the search bar—which could give people shortcuts to their sought-after information
  • Accurately respond to synonyms of words entered and account for misspellings and other variables

Workplace wins

In addition to the concept of putting employee materials under one searchable digital “roof,” this search and discovery technology can be applied to subsets of corporate  needs. One example:

At The Times and The Sunday Times in London, where management was grappling with trying to move faster in the age of instantly produced digital media, the editors needed an internal search tool that would let them easily create, edit, and publish the news. 

With a production system called Edition Builder built with Algolia, now they can search across various content repositories for news items they need. And the team is keeping up: search results are returned an estimated 300–500 times faster than with the previous system, and they calculated that their team saves a total of 3 ½ hours of work per week as a result. 

Make your employees’ day 

Algolia can enable your business with AI-powered internal enterprise search with a multipurpose indexing framework and cloud-based hosting service designed to support back-office systems, employee tasks, business workflows, and productivity tools. Whether you want, for instance, only certain people on a marketing team to be able to search Salesforce and a collateral database, or all of your employees to be able to search tech-support and HR content, we can help you set up search that utilizes advanced features and analytics capabilities. 

Yes, you can turn your corporate search into an experience that wows your employees, but more importantly, makes them more efficient and gives them back valuable time that they can use to be productive in ways that count. 

Contact us to learn more about how you can move beyond siloed content and transcend your employees’ search constraints today.

About the author
Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer


Recommended Articles

Powered byAlgolia Algolia Recommend

What is an intelligent workplace and how does it improve productivity and the employee experience?

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

Building Enterprise Search and Discovery for your customers and employees

Peter Villani

Sr. Staff Writer

Search personalization 101: how to capitalize on personalized search and discovery

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer