5 reasons why your intranet is the key to an unrivaled employee experience

Corporate success is more than a good customer experience; true victory starts with the satisfaction of your biggest asset — your employees. It’s time for your organization to make a strong case for their employee experience.

A lot of organizations hash their bets for success on their customer experience without genuinely realizing the role that employee satisfaction plays on their bottom line. What they don’t know, is that prioritizing employee experience (EX) can be just as powerful, if not more so.

You’ll often see the word ‘holistic’ applied to the idea of employee experience. This is because the employee experience goes beyond just the daily role of your staff. EX refers to the full spectrum of an employee’s experience at a company, including but not limited to:

  • Workspace and work conditions
  • Digital tools, software and systems
  • Work-life balance
  • Relationships between colleagues and management
  • Pay and benefits
  • Professional development and learning opportunities

EX drives efficiency, ensures engagement and increases productivity and retention of top talent. According to Deloitte, 80% of executives rate employee experience as important, but 59% feel they are either not ready or somewhat ready to address the associated challenges.

In fact, A Deloitte study completed with Facebook found that only 14% of companies believe their internal processes for collaboration and decision making are working well.

Solutions are on the rise, however. As organizations refocus efforts on creating strategies to improve EX, we find that a modern intranet is something that you cannot do without.

Here are five ways in which intranets can contribute to unrivaled employee experience.

Entrance to the digital workplace

By now, the importance of technology in the workplace has been well defined and documented. Gone are the slow, outdated organizations of the past. Now, employees expect technology to be as integrated into their workplaces as much as it is assimilated into their daily lives.

When the quality of the digital workplace is lacking, employees become more frustrated with the inefficiency of their work lives.

Don’t let your employee experience suffer. The digital workplace is now extraordinarily diverse, and integration with technology via the intranet has become the key to success.

Traditionally, the intranet of the past was seen as a Document Management System (DMS), Enterprise Social Network (ESN) and a productivity tool. However, today’s intranet serves a different purpose, one that allows it to work alongside the newer applications and tools that your employees are asking for.

The digital workplace supports business success

Your intranet enables a focus on ‘one-to-many communications’ and becomes an access point to the digital workplace. From there, your staff can connect with everything they need.

The best part is that it doesn’t claim to do all these different functions itself. It works intuitively and applies an employee-focused mindset to connecting staff to what they need instead.

From the intranet, they can not only get news, updates, and information about their organization; they can search across different apps, connect with information and more.

While considering the need of your staff, remember that the digital workplace is multifaceted. With the help of your intranet, employees satisfy their different needs while getting a better idea of how their digital workplace fits into the overall picture.

Get employee feedback

Answering the holistic needs that an employee experience demands requires not only the right tools but also requires a way to capture employee feedback.

One of the biggest mistakes an organization can do is neglect the needs of their employees. All staff has a voice, one filled with ideas, requests, and comments on how their company can better serve their needs. When those are neglected, the way that employees view their overall experience can be negative and undesirable.

The integration of survey tools and programs via the intranet is an effective countermeasure in this instance.

Today, 22% of companies survey employees quarterly or more often, 79% survey employees annually or less, and 14% never survey employees at all (Deloitte).

Your intranet can give your employees the means to have their voices heard. Features such as forums, blogging, and survey tools allow ideas to be expressed in a way that management can quickly receive and address.

Staff can comment on blogs, post discussions on specific issues within their community, and find common ground with polls and surveys. Integrating pulse surveys into your corporate strategy is also an efficient way to make sure your organization is continuously taking feedback from your staff and responding in kind.

Winning at your employee experience means making sure your employees feel like they have a voice that is heard. In turn, your employees will feel more engaged and valued; both things that help drive a strong employee experience.

Support flexible working

Employee experience is not just about what happens in the workplace. The holistic nature of EX means that employees look at everything happening at work as a cohesive experience that impacts their lives outside the organization as well.

If they feel like their personal needs (overall physical, professional and emotional well-being) are not being met or are unsupported, then their view on your organization will be sprinkled with doubts. These doubts can manifest as lowered productivity and a higher turnover rate for your staff.

While 84% of organizations have some program to measure work-life balance, only 23% claim their solutions are excellent.

A modern intranet can reinforce that key part of a valued EX by supporting the balance between life inside and outside of work. This can be particularly beneficial for employees with families, health issues, or those who are out on the front-lines and across locations.

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An intranet provides an increased amount of support for those employees who must work remotely. With a secure and accessible mobile intranet, access to critical information and collaboration tools is available on multiple devices.

The ability to work seamlessly from any location or time zone removes the stressors some employees may be battling. Generating a way for your employees to work just as effectively remotely, while also catering to their personal and emotional needs dramatically improves your employee experience.

Company values and leader support

While chasing the ultimate employee experience, the involvement of management and your C-suite has a substantial impact.

Senior management is often the direct link between corporate goals or vision and employees. Without their input or direction, the staff has the potential to become frustrated by lack of information, lack of support and lack of purpose.

Employees expect their leaders to do just that — lead. Without proper guidance regarding the values and culture of the company, the company brand deteriorates alongside the employee experience.

Surveys from LinkedIn have shown that company “purpose” — a sense that the work employees carry out matters and make a difference in the world beyond commercial factors — is regarded as important by many employees.

With the help of an intranet, messages from senior management can be relayed to staff, effectively communicating a sense of purpose to employees. A News page can act as an access point for employees to receive critical information from management or hear good news communications about the company living up to its own values.

Having an intranet is best practice for enforcing the company brand into employees. Make use of your intranet’s homepage; due to its high visibility, it is the perfect place to share the company vision with all employees.

C-suite members can also take a more active role by posting monthly CEO blogs, employee recognition posts, currents company gains, and news.

An intranet is an easy way to share the vision behind your organization; together these features work in tandem to strengthen your employee experience.

Connect the community

This benefit of utilizing an intranet for your EX hails from the core purpose of an intranet itself — to connect people.

Employee relations is a large part of every employee’s experience in an organization. Staff feeling like a part of a community often supports a strong employee satisfaction, closer ties to the organization, and loyalty to shared company goals and vision statements.

Social capabilities, colleague relationships and even relationships with management are things considers when an employee assesses their future at an organization. Without the presence of these tools or potential for these connections, employees feel distant from each other, and from their corporation.

Deploying an intranet is a great way to strengthen these social ties within your workforce regardless of role, location or time zone.

intranet planning

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With a social intranet software, your organization can successfully foster an atmosphere of collaboration and communication in the workforce.

Your intranet software has numerous features that support integration and make interacting with teams across the organization simple:

  • Team Spaces that break down silos and simplify group collaboration by providing team spaces on the intranet for groups with common interests or related hobbies.
  • People Directory promotes collaboration by helping employees find each other
  • Ability to follow and @mention colleagues provides feedback on intranet posts and bring others into the conversation.
  • Rewards systems as a peer-to-peer recognition tool that allow users to award points to a colleague acknowledging great work or just as a more open way of saying thanks.

Your intranet connects staff on the holistic level required for a peak employee experience. The features available are not only work-related but also include social communities, hobbies and other shared interests that may be a part of your employee’s lives.

Prioritize your employee experience

Instead of the old custom of prioritizing stakeholders first, customers second, and employees third, organizations are flipping it around. Prioritizing your employee experience guarantees happy employees who in turn take care of customers and stakeholders.

A modern intranet molds together community, provides easy to access information and social tools, and creates a connected holistic experience for your employees.

In this way, it becomes the starting point for a more innovative and well-rounded employee experience.