How a Modern People Directory can Create a More Productive, Connected, and Transparent Organization

In some ways, a company is like a brain. It’s made up of a multitude of parts that each carry out their own functions, but work together to share information and perform essential tasks. It’s only through these connections that a business runs effectively, so when it’s not efficient, it can hinder – or even paralyze – how an organization operates.

Learn how a modern people directory can facilitate and improve these connections in this interactive eBook.

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A person's head with a window  into their mind, an email flying out, a time clock, high-fiving a coworker

As the workplace becomes increasingly more distributed, organizational leaders have been tasked with finding ways to improve connection and keep their teams engaged – both with their work and the larger organization.

Previously published usage data of Sift proved that the modern people directory is a crucial tool used across entire organizations. But usage data only shows how people use Sift, not the reasons why. To find that out, Sift surveyed more than 1,000 of its users.

The results revealed how Sift helps its users engage with others in their organization by facilitating connection, bringing clarity to organizational structure, and streamlining work.


How engaged are you?

Have you wondered how engaged you are at work? We’ve surveyed over 1,000 of our own users, see how you rank amongst our Sifters.

Build better connections

One argument against remote work is the idea that connection – both among employees and the wider organization –declines with remote work.

Research has shown why having these connections is so important. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), building positive relationships with co-workers can create a more pleasant working environment, increase employee satisfaction, and “foster a sense of loyalty, camaraderie, and moral support and engagement among staff.” Additionally, the Institute of Leadership and Management determined building close relationships with colleagues to be the most important factor in determining job satisfaction.

It can be a little more difficult to develop these connections while working remotely, but the right tools or practices can help. Almost half of the people surveyed said Sift has facilitated forming working relationships.

Sift’s rich, customizable Profiles allow employees to share information about themselves, such as hobbies, interests, professional backgrounds, and more. 86% of the survey respondents said they have updated their Sift Profile to more accurately reflect who they are, which allows them to represent themselves to other team members in a way that makes them feel comfortable (according to nearly three-quarters of those surveyed).

And since all the information on Profiles is searchable, it’s easy to find and connect with others based on shared interests and backgrounds. One Sift user says, “[I] really like being able to search by interest. This is helpful for relationship building and to deepen connections.”

Do you have a best friend or a core group of people at work that you can be yourself around?

According to Gallup, having a work bestie attributes to your happiness and engagement at work.

"Our research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job."

If you don't have a best friend at work, that's okay too. Do you have one or more coworkers that you enjoy chatting to during the day? Could be a close friend you haven't considered!
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Improve organizational understanding

In distributed or large organizations, it can be difficult to understand who does what or how one’s work actually contributes to the company.

However, studies demonstrate that employees who understand how their work ties back to the larger organizational strategy are more likely to be inspired at work. In turn, inspired employees have been shown to be 2¼ times more productive than those who are simply satisfied with their jobs.

By having a clear representation of the company’s organizational structure – i.e. an org chart – accessible by everyone across the organization, employees can better understand how all the different parts of the organization work together.

Sift’s org chart is one of its most-used features, with 97% of users we surveyed stating they’ve used Sift to look someone up on the org chart. Once they find who they’re looking for, having an intuitive, up-to-date, and clear picture of their organization’s structure leads to a better understanding of their co-workers and the organization as a whole. 86% of our survey respondents agreed that Sift gives them a better idea of who they work with outside of their immediate team, and 83% said using Sift has given them a better understanding of how everyone in the organization fits together.

To put it in a user’s words:

“Sift helps me understand the org structure for our family of companies. We have several companies that have to work together and Sift helps to clearly identify how the companies are connected through their people.”

Have you used your company org chart to understand your fit within the company?

Having access to the org chart not only helps you understand your roles and responsibilities within your entire company, but also unlocks a career progression roadmap, a clear line of communication, and provides valuable information for a newly onboarded employee.

If you don't have access or unsure where to find your company's org chart, we suggest reaching out to your Human Resources department to start.
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Be more productive

Trying to get an answer to a question, advice on a project, a document reviewed, or a purchase reviewed – especially in a large organization – can be a headache. Tracking down the right person, corresponding back and forth, waiting for a reply, and coordinating schedules and workloads can take up a lot of time (that would probably be better spent on actual work).

In fact, employees spend more than half of their days (58%) on “work about work” (such as communicating, looking for information, switching between programs, dealing with changing priorities, and tracking down status updates). To put that another way, that’s 150 days a year of lost productivity! When you take into account every employee in a company, that’s literally years wasted.

Lack of access to collaboration tools is at least partially to blame. A report from Alludo found that 64% of employees feel that poor collaboration wastes at least 3-5 hours of productivity per week.

54% of office workers also believe poor employee collaboration costs organizations revenue. It’s not enough, however, to use just any collaboration tool. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of employees feel that poor collaboration tools stunt overall business growth.

Sift helps companies better collaborate and get back some of that lost time (and resulting revenue). Specifically, it helps users:

A chart depicting out of 1000 surveyed Sift users, 95% state Sift saved them time from having to find people

Sift is so helpful to its users, 78% said that they use it at least once a week! All that Sifting adds up: on average, Sift saves its users 38 minutes per week. That’s equal to almost 33 hours and more than 4 workdays a year per employee.1

1Based on a standard 8-hour day/40-hour work week.

How often do you spend time tracking down the right person to answer your questions?

95% of users we surveyed said [having an org chart and directory] saved them time finding the right person.

When you know who's responsible for what, it becomes easier to communicate and collaborate with the right people to help get your tasks completed and continue progress on your projects.
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Build connections to boost collaboration & productivity

The survey data is clear: a better-connected organization leads to more engaged, satisfied, and productive employees – which can, in turn, actually benefit your company’s revenue.

Ready to stop losing money due to wasted productivity? Try Sift for free and see how an always-accurate org chart, instant people search, and detailed profiles & pages can propel your organization forward.

Begin your 14 day trial and start connecting the dots across your organization