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Improving the Digital Employee Experience With an HR Intranet

Kristen Ruttgaizer

May 18, 2021 · 4 min read
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The workplace has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. The new digital era ushered in a world of possibilities in terms of innovation and the speed at which a company could do business. We also witnessed an upswing in remote work, the proliferation of apps, increased competition for talent, and a workforce made up of two distinct generations.

Employees are more empowered than ever before, and they seek out organizations that provide a positive employee experience — from recruitment to exit. According to Gartner research, more than half of HR leaders say improving the employee experience is a top priority.

There is no silver bullet to creating an award-winning employee experience, but in this digital era every HR leader needs to know how digital workplace tools and technology (including an intranet) can be an enabler for success — and at the same time, strengthen participation, productivity, and retention. By adopting intuitive digital tools, businesses can ease the pain points in HR while fostering culture and engagement in employees. Here are some HR intranet approaches and methods that can help recruiting, nurturing, and retaining your company’s most important asset: people.

Company challenges and HR solutions

Strengthen company culture

A healthy culture fosters engagement in all kinds of employees, but especially in the largest generation in today’s workforce. Millennials now make up more than one-third of workers, and they place a high value on culture. According to LinkedIn, 70 percent of professionals would turn down a position at a leading company if they lacked a strong focus on culture.

Solution: Cultivate culture from day one by connecting new hires with company social networks and helping them see where they fit. An interactive feedback center in your next-generation intranet gives employees a forum for sharing ideas and weighing in on products and services. You can also use a Social Center as your virtual water cooler for social interaction and sharing information about events, contests, and clubs.

Drive self-help

G&A Partners found that more than 70 percent of HR time is spent on administrative tasks, which leaves very little time for strategic initiatives. In addition to that, how much time do employees spend tracking down HR policies on vacations, training, benefits, and more? Likely far too much.

Solution: A next-generation intranet creates self-serve portals that satisfy most employee queries, housed in a one-stop digital destination. Even better, HR intranet software integrates with the apps you already use, including HRIS solutions. A digital Employee Handbook lets you store and share workplace policies and guidelines, while the single source for all policies, procedures, and documents related to regulatory requirements can be found in the Governance Center. By helping people to help themselves, it reduces the administrative burden on your team while giving employees the efficient, seamless experience they’ve become accustomed to.

Improve employee onboarding

Many organizations have developed — or overhauled — onboarding programs in response to the overheated labor market, but the majority are still falling short of employee expectations. When onboarding falters, productivity suffers, and turnover increases. Losing new hires in the first couple of years is expensive, up to three times an employee’s annual salary.

Solution: To ensure employees feel supported during the first weeks and months on the job, build an Onboarding Center. Complete with new employee checklists, a digital employee handbook, important links and forms, key contacts, and an FAQ section, it’s a positive, memorable way to root the employee experience, and a cost-effective method to accelerate the productivity of new recruits.

Empower remote workers

As remote work increases drastically, so do the needs of your workers. Flexibility is a leading consideration for job-seekers, including the 50 percent of millennials who say it’s “very important” when choosing where to work.

Not having to go into the office every day has economic, health, and lifestyle advantages for employees, and it can save money for organizations. However, the downsides include remote workers struggling with loneliness and a lack of community, which can lead to burnout, low engagement, and decreased productivity. More than half of remote workers in a recent survey said they missed out on important information and/or were excluded from meetings because they weren’t on site.

Solution: An HR intranet brings all employees together in a central digital destination where they can collaborate, socialize, and easily find the information (and people) they need to do their best work. It also supports more informed HR planning and decision-making by providing a quick visualization of the company structure — including any gaps or redundancies. Using a mobile app also lets remote employees connect and contribute from wherever they are, on any device.

Employee recognition programs

In the age of the empowered employee, recognition programs matter more than ever. Unfortunately, the old approaches don’t work and the stakes are higher than ever. Employees who feel adequately recognized are half as likely to say they’re going to resign in the coming year. Yet only 30 percent of U.S. employees strongly agree that they’ve received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week.

Solution: An HR intranet is the ideal spot for shining a light on employee effort and success, while integrating with existing tools. A Recognition Center is a one-stop solution for sharing company-wide kudos, peer nominations, publicizing promotions, and keeping talent feeling engaged and rewarded.

Keep employees up-to-date

Communicating your company’s vision and objectives is critical to employee performance and engagement. Yet, with the average knowledge worker spending almost 20 percent of their workweek searching for and gathering internal information, frustration — not engagement — is the outcome.

Solution: A Leadership Center showcases everything leaders are doing and saying — and provides a path for employees to ask questions and leave comments. Meanwhile, having a Virtual Town Hall bridges the gap between employees and senior leaders by ensuring no one misses out on the chance to get the latest company updates, share event information, and hear from employees.

Learn more about the benefits of an HR intranet

The key to getting buy-in from senior leadership for an intranet investment is to clearly demonstrate its value. How will it save the company time and money, maximize your existing technology investments, and improve employee engagement?

An HR intranet centralizes and streamlines daily HR functions while enabling new tools to improve the employee experience. By connecting people and resources in a single destination, it can help you solve your current, and future, HR challenges.

HR leaders are in an ideal position to affect positive change for both employees and company leaders. However, this transformation isn’t possible without first recognizing the need — backed by real data and insights — then choosing the best tools and technology to help you reach your goals.

Learn how to enhance the employee experience with digital workplace solutions for HR.