Employee experience has never been more important, so when it comes to choosing the right employee experience technology, enterprises need to understand what to look out for.
A modern intranet is a holistic employee experience platform that is designed to bring your workforce together, no matter how dispersed it might be. When it comes to getting an intranet project off the ground though, there are many factors to consider. From ensuring your chosen EXP provides the right mix of comms tools and channels for your enterprise, to working out the potential ROI of an intranet you can deliver through the project, there is plenty to think about.
Finding digital employee experience technology with the right set of features for your organization will make this journey much easier, so here are a few of the essential features that we recommend you look out for in a modern enterprise-grade EXP.
1. UX that makes everything easy for everyone
From intranet managers to content authors and employee users, you want to make certain that your EXP has an easy, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience (UX).
Your chosen platform should provide flexibility for users to engage with content via desktop and responsive experiences as well as in native mobile apps. At a granular level, content can be deliberately configured so that responsive views are rendered in a desktop format, thus improving the overall experience of viewing the user interface (UI).
On the mobile app, layout and content selection should be controllable by intranet managers (e.g., horizontal or vertical scrolling of content). Mobile apps should also have MDM/MAM (e.g., MobileIron, Microsoft Intune) distribution options and should offer the ability for organizations to customize design in line with house styles. This can increase brand recognition for users.
Your employees should also be able to access intranet content and internal communications through apps such as Teams and Slack. The Interact platform, for example, can be accessed through the Teams app, which increases the ability to integrate all content and communications in one place.
Accessibility should be an essential consideration, so the right solution should align with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA. Your chosen vendor should also be able to produce alternative themes as required (e.g., high contrast) to enhance your accessibility options.
2. Multichannel capabilities to reach every employee
Reaching employees in dispersed locations, as well as in different time zones and languages, is a historic challenge for internal communicators. To overcome this, modern intranets now include multichannel messaging as standard. In addition to publishing desktop and mobile content via the CMS intranet, admins should be able to use the same hub to communicate updates about these and other events with employees.
Audience segmentation should be extremely granular, meaning communications can be sent to the entire organization, to individuals, or to defined groups. Interact’s Personas feature allows administrators to create dynamic groups (e.g., all managers in NYC who started in the previous six months), based on employee metadata and without involving IT.
The multichannel options for communicating with the organization or individuals may include:
- Homepage lockout (pop-up with acknowledgement tracking on desktop/native apps)
- Homepage banners (desktop/native apps)
- Employee email newsletter templates
- Slack and Teams (push into channels)
- Digital signage
Another way of ensuring that content reaches every employee is through the configuration of user homepages. Parts of each homepage can be targeted to different audiences so that they see different content based on their position in the organization. This is especially useful for communicating with different locations and levels of seniority. If you need to instruct managers only on how to deal with a situation involving their direct reports, this is a popular solution that avoids the need to send out multiple emails directing people to a range of different content.
3. AI-driven content recommendations
From the moment they’re launched, intranets become continually richer across a wide variety of data points. In the most advanced systems, as users add more data and create common pathways in how they use the software, they contribute to activity patterns and AI-automated content recommendations. Just by using the platform, users enrich the software’s knowledge and social graphs so that more relevant content can be recommended to each user for a personalized experience.
When properly deployed, features relying on an AI-recommendation engine can become more accurate over time. Interact utilizes AI to provide numerous services.
- AI is used to provide topic recommendations based on the data graph built per user. The recommended topics then allow users to personalize their homepage feeds for an improved experience.
- Within the CMS intranet, AI automatically detects duplicate pages, auto-populates missing metadata, and performs sentiment analysis capable of offering positive/negative and non-gendered language suggestions.
- Interact also supports inline translation (where content is translated alongside the original language) across the platform so that messages can be translated to the user’s local language. These translations even apply to small updates like blog comments and support comes for 60+ languages.
- The system also offers pre-publication translation, where a web page can be written in one language and then the author can auto-translate to 60+ alternatives (user sees their language first).
- Language packs are used on the desktop and responsive experiences to provide a UX (on menus, for example) in over 100 languages. Native mobile app localization is also able to provide mobile intranet UX in over 50 languages.
- Stock image usage automatically results in the usage of alt text in the search index.
4. Powerful enterprise search
All organizations store resources that employees need to do their jobs. From HR policies to product information, a company intranet should be a well organized repository that workers use to find up-to-date, authoritative material.
You want your employees to find content easily, so your chosen digital employee experience technology should allow metadata to be embedded in published content using variables including Topics, Tagging, Categories, Classification, Confidentiality Rating, Date Published, Date of Expiry, Review Date, Author, Owner, Title, and Summary. Users should also be able to suggest missing keywords to authors to support discovery.
All of these tools improve content discoverability, particularly when seen through the lens of a search tool like Interact’s Enterprise Search. The metadata embedded into content supports the intranet search tool so that it can order results by relevance. Metadata also improves the discoverability of related content by providing AI-driven recommendations.
For administrators, metadata is used heavily in content lifecycle management. The metadata added to content can be used to issue automated warnings on content retention and review as well as other reports (e.g., expired pages by Authors). These alerts enable admins to take action and keep content fresh and relevant. Within our new CMS editor, metadata is automatically applied using AI-based signals.
Interact’s Enterprise Search uses full text, metadata, and tags for a multi-faceted experience that surfaces relevant content for users. The search tool scans data in over 18 media types – including images, pdfs, and html. Search results can also be tailored to end-user activities such as previous searches, device, and location. This all ensures that search results are relevant for each user.
To further strengthen global access to your resources, multilingual search is supported across more than 60 non-English language indexes.
Finally, an effective intranet search tool must integrate with third-party repositories such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, and Google Drive for a single-search experience that covers all documents right across your organization.
Other important considerations
When it comes to choosing the right holistic EXP, it’s important to check that the vendors on your shortlist can demonstrate how they have added value for a variety of other enterprises, and that their software offers integrations and interoperability with content repositories, enterprise applications, and other business-suite products.
We hope this has given you plenty to think about when it comes to choosing the best EXP for enhancing your employee experience and improving communication across your enterprise.