Engaged employees are the best asset a company can have. They're more productive, less likely to leave and more creative than their disengaged counterparts. But how do you get employees engaged? The answer could be an employee portal.
An intranet portal is a central resource of company information that is available on demand from any device (phone, computer or tablet). These centralised digital workplaces include everything your employees need to make their work lives easier, including training materials, latest company news, department resources, schedules for meetings and events, project work groups and more.
The importance of having highly engaged employees
Employee engagement defined:
Employee engagement refers to the level of commitment an employee feels to the company.
80% of employees are not engaged with their work - that's according to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace 2022 report. According to research of more than 600 US mid-size businesses with 50-500 employees, 63.3% said retaining talent is more challenging than hiring them.
Bottom line: if you're going to stay competitive and win "the talent war", employee engagement is essential to attract and retain people.
Engaged employees are:
More productive. They are more likely to be creative and proactive, as well as get their tasks done on time. Their work is also of higher quality.
More loyal. They feel a sense of ownership in their company, so they're more likely to stay with it through good times and bad—even if they have other options available elsewhere!
More likely to recommend the company to others (and the people those people know). This can lead directly back into your company's growth by attracting new talent or generating revenue from referrals and existing customers who want access too!
An intranet provides a place for two-way communication
An intranet portal should be a digital workplace that promotes and encourages two-way communication between teams and management. This is especially important, for remote or hybrid working employees, who don't have an active presence within an office, as well as large organizations that have hundreds or thousands of employees, where it may not be as easy to give each individual a voice that's heard.
Tools that promote two-way comms, like employee intranet portals, make it easier for employees to ask questions, offer their feedback or share their knowledge, and engage better collaborate with teams and management. They also provide a secure space to share information and communicate privately with other team members, helping to further drive collaborative communications.
As a company, you may want to focus on getting your message out there to your employees, but you'd be surprised how promoting two-way comms with your company news and content, can actually drive better employee engagement with that content. Asking people's views on a subject, or sharing praise, can greatly increase engagement and make your employees feel valued.
Boosting employee engagement with a social Intranet
Gallup's meta-analysis showed companies with the most engaged employees had 21% higher profit levels than the bottom 25% of companies. These companies with highly engaged workforces also scored 17% higher on productivity.
An intranet can be the effective social tool that lets employees share ideas and knowledge with each other, resulting in better collaboration and innovation, while also encouraging team members to take ownership and pride in their work. Features like Group Forums are a fantastic tool to harness the power of social collaboration to achieve work tasks and boost employee engagement.
By making everything centrally accessible within an intranet portal, it helps to deliver a better employee experience for both internal and external teams, as they everything they need right that their fingertips. From resources and information, to team messaging and project work groups, your intranet portal becomes the place for employees to engage with the people and content they need to get their work done - and if its quicker and easier to access all these things, then that makes for a happier, more productive workforce.
Give employees a platform to share stories and ideas
Harvard Business Review reports that people tend to respond more positively to storytelling than to other forms of information sharing.
People love stories - especially about people they know, so why not showcase success stories about your team? Having employee stories on your intranet are a great way to connect with your team, and they can be a way to help remote workers feel connected to your company culture as a social community.
If you want your intranet portal to truly drive employee engagement, then you need to harness the power of storytelling and make sure your employee intranet is full of spaces dedicated to sharing stories and ideas about - you guessed it - your employees! Celebrate their success stories and the individuals behind them, because at the end of the day, your company revolves around its people.
Make it easy for employees to ask questions and find answers
Having job role clarity leads to employees being 53% more efficient and 27% more productivity than when there's role ambiguity. Fast answers to questions help enhance role clarity and give your employees clear direction on how best to perform their role, with research suggesting there's a 25% increase in overall employee performance after getting quick answers (HR Analytics). With a corporate intranet portal, employees can ask questions and get those answers - fast.
Employee engagement can be improved by enabling your people to give their direct feedback and suggestions. There are several ways you can do this:
Create Q&A sections on your intranet portal.
Provide polls, feedback surveys or suggestion boxes for employees to submit valuable feedback anonymously (or with their name, if they want).
Encourage employees to talk about what's working well and not so well in your company culture (ideally anonymously), so that you can look to improve their working environment.
Provide employees with easy access to documents
A good search function is a key component of any intranet portal. It allows users to find the information they need in a timely and efficient manner, and it also makes them feel like they have full control over their experience.
Ideally you'd look to make your intranet's navigation menus and page structure as user-friendly as possible, to easily direct employees to the information they need quickly and easily. But sometimes information can be elusive, or you just want to get there a little quicker, and that's where a great intranet search tool comes in handy.
Here are some best practices for creating an effective search feature:
A powerful search capability which allows employees to find what they need in less than three clicks.
Advanced filters, such as date ranges, keywords tags or content type, to help narrow down results according to an individual's search preferences.
A smart search engine which provides multiple ways to find the same information. For example, a user could search "company policies" or "policy" to find information about company policies.
Quick tag searches, allowing users to simply click on a keyword tag on any given page, to find all content on your intranet associate with the same keyword tag; i.e. clicking on the "HR" tag, takes you to everything on your intranet tagged with "HR".
Federated search, enabling employees to use your intranet's search tool to show results for files not only on your intranet, but also within your connected cloud drives, such as GDrive or Sharepoint.
Luckily, intranet portals like Hub have all of these search features!
Create a searchable database of employee knowledge and expertise
Employees need easy access to information and expertise to do their jobs effectively.
If you've ever worked in an office, you've probably noticed that sometimes the most important information you need is buried deep on a company drive in a labyrinthine of clicks. An unstructured, unorganized company database makes it hard for employees to find what they're looking for - which leads to frustrated employees that can swiftly become unengaged.
The solution? Create an easily navigable, searchable database of employee knowledge and expertise within an intranet solution. This will help employees to quickly and easily find the information and answers they need to do their job effectively - making them more productive.
Delivering employee training with a modern intranet portal
Learning and development is a big deal for employees. In fact, 94% of employees would stay with a firm for longer if it invested in their learning and development. (Rallyware, 2021). A modern intranet portal can provide you with the space and tools to offer employee training, and acts as a knowledge resource for future development.
Your intranet can also showcase progression opportunities with internal vacancies, providing the means for employees to easily view and apply for new roles within the company.
Modern intranets support employee upskilling by:
Offering a wide variety of learning options, from assessment tools for formal courses, or sharing access to training information and videos.
Creating a dedicated space for appraisals and personal development. Intranets like Hub can create private spaces for individual employees, where they can review their role, track personal objectives, set development plans with their manager, track 1-2-1 meetings and more - helping employees to feel empowered in their role.
Providing a dedicated learning environment. Intranets like Hub allow you to create a whole new community within your company intranet specifically for learning and development. This separate environment can have bespoke homepage resources, custom navigation menus and content specifically geared around the training and development of your employees. This is also perfect for onboarding and training new employees.
Encourage sharing of industry information and expertise
You can encourage employees to share their knowledge and expertise by providing them with a platform on your intranet. If you have an intranet blog, you could also ask employees who are experts in certain areas to write articles for internal publication. This gives other employees an insight into other parts of your business, and can lead to greater understanding and engagement between departments.
Boost intranet engagement by encouraging management to participate
Management and company leaders should be the first invited to become active members of your intranet portal, and start participating in employee engagement initiatives. They can then invite other employees from different departments, team members and peers to join them.
If your Executives are seen to be proactive on your intranet, then this will help you in gaining a bigger employee engagement network that can help in achieving wider adoption of your intranet.
Invite your executives to participate.
Encourage them to become active members of the portal.
Ask them to start participating in employee engagement initiatives.
Encourage them to communicate with employees and other stakeholders through the portal on a daily basis.
Use polls and surveys to monitor employee intranet engagement and wellbeing
One of the best ways to engage your employees is by soliciting their feedback. You can use polls and surveys to gauge the mood of your employees, and how they feel about your company and your intranet content. This will help you understand what's working, what isn't, and whether or not your intranet is meeting their needs.
You can also encourage engagement and employee feedback by focusing on their wellbeing. It's important, especially with so many teams now disconnected with hybrid working, that companies regularly keep check of employee wellbeing and mental health.
Your intranet portal is a powerful tool that enables you to quickly and easily understand how your employees are feeling, and highlight those individuals who may need more support. Tools like Polls and Surveys can be anonymous, which encourage greater engagement and honesty, enabling you to get a more accurate picture of how your employees are coping, and what you can do to effect change and better support them.
Offer relevant content that helps employees do their jobs better
With a modern intranet portal, you can help employees do their jobs by providing relevant content that helps them get better at what they're doing.
Relevant content means that it's timely, it's useful for the job, and it's something employees want to read or use. You could provide tips on:
how to do a particular job better or faster;
offer information about the corporate culture so they feel better connected;
share videos of leadership speaking about their vision for the future of your organization so employees are kept informed and inspired.
Having the opportunity to provide remote employees with access to company information and news is a great way to boost employee engagement, offering a chance for even those who don't work in your office to feel like part of your team. With access to all this information, whether that be via their smartphone or tablet device, employees won't feel disconnected from what's going on in your business.
In addition to hosting training materials and information about upcoming events, intranets make it easier for you to streamline your training programs and onboarding. Employees can share manuals, policies, procedures, and resource guides through the intranet, facilitating better internal communications and document management. Ultimately, the easier it is to use, the more likely employees will keep its functions in mind while they're at work and feel motivated by it.