This post is brought to you by Alexandria Nelson, who’s bringing her knowledge of intranets – and why they’re a useful tool for enhancing employee engagement – to the H&H blog
For many organizations, an intranet is a key component of their internal communications.
A well-designed, engaging and genuinely useful intranet holds the power to capture the attention of each and every employee. It provides a localized and easily accessible source of information in one place. But just because employees have internal comms to hand doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be engaged. That takes much more than just sending out content and hoping for the best.
According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, only 24% of organizational leaders think their employees are engaged – even though 71% rank employee engagement as very important to organizational success. When employees are disengaged, disjointed and uninformed it can lead to poor performance that ultimately diminishes your organization’s productivity.
But what does this have to do with an intranet? A great intranet can enhance employee engagement because it offers the tools, content and insights that will encourage conversations, interaction, and employee involvement – as well as providing a central hub through which to distribute inspiring and compelling internal comms.
Here are 8 ways an intranet can enhance employee engagement…
1. Communicating your vision
Your organization’s goals should always be communicated to your employees. But posting documents and sending out emails that give an outline of your organization’s mission and values are not usually enough. Although those forms of communication are easy to create and distribute, you may be missing out on the opportunity to not only connect with your employees, but also make sure they are all on board with your vision. An intuitive intranet will give you the necessary tools to stimulate a two-way conversation rather than a one-way directive, leading to increased employee engagement.
2. Delivering much-needed content
You cannot expect engagement from uninformed employees. Sometimes the easiest way to combat disengagement is simply to share information. Keep employees up-to-date on organizational updates, new processes being implemented, and tips and tools to help them feel supported and valued. And an intranet can host a variety of content which employees can access anytime, anywhere. From industry news, to blog posts, to entertaining videos or even more serious documents and articles, being able to access this information from one place is what makes an intranet so uniquely beneficial. Encourage your employees to share their own content too. These types of posts will create a sense of community within your organization and will help to boost engagement.
3. Making room for some fun
An office that is all work and no play can be draining for anybody, no matter how engaging their job. A little bit of a fun can go a long way in making sure your employees feel motivated and committed and can improve morale. Consider starting up some engaging, thought-provoking forums via a company intranet. Start an online chat for movie lovers or share some entertaining videos that you think might give people a laugh or two (these can be related to the workplace). It’s little things like this that help to spice up the day; it doesn’t have to be about seriousness and professionalism all the time!
4. Adding a virtual water cooler
Nurture relationships between your employees! Taking the time to make connections goes very far in fostering a positive culture and increased productivity. According to Gallup research, workplace friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work. Create a chat room on your intranet where they can feel comfortable discussing non-work-related topics and sharing stories. An intranet is the perfect place to combine professional and social in a way that enhances your organization’s culture and employee engagement.
5. Getting feedback through surveys
An intranet is not only good source of information for employees – it’s also a great platform for employees to speak their minds on too. Feedback is imperative if you want to improve company culture and processes. Engagement surveys allow for an inside look at how your employees are feeling across the board and can provide insight into where issues lie within your organization. When designing an employee engagement survey, try to keep the questions straightforward, open-ended, and most importantly of all, brief. Employees need to have their voices heard and surveys provide a crucial window of insight into their feelings and desires.
6. Showing employees they matter
If your employees feel their voices are being heard, they are usually more dedicated and committed to their work. As I’ve just discussed, quick and easy surveys and quizzes can be sent to employees to obtain feedback and to show that those at the top are actively listening and care about their views. A recognition and rewards scheme can turn an employee’s routine into an opportunity for engagement. Your intranet can help leaders and managers to celebrate success on a continual basis (rather than just once a year at performance reviews), and more importantly, show employees that they’re an important part of the organization.
7. Keeping everyone in the loop
Keeping employees informed and updated with what’s happening day-to-day is vital to enhancing employee engagement, and an intranet is designed to do just this. Interactive calendars make it possible to keep your entire company up to speed and in sync with important meetings and events – as long as it’s regularly updated. They also prevent important tasks from being overlooked, and can send out ‘push’ reminders for important deadlines to keep everyone on track to achieving results. It’s important not to overload employees though, as this can result in unnecessary stress and confusion which can inadvertently harm productivity.
8. Creating a home for expression
Creating a judgement-free environment where employees feel comfortable enough to freely express their ideas and concerns is a key cornerstone of employee engagement. Employees need to feel that management are listening to their opinions and taking them into consideration. An intranet makes this easier than ever. Employees can ask questions and raise concerns through online forums, surveys, posts or even direct messages. An intranet allows for fluid, two-sided conversations between managers and employees which aren’t always an option when it comes to more traditional means of communication.
Enhancing employee engagement in your organization is a continuous and long-term project; however, a well-designed and oft-utilized intranet will go a long away in helping you reach your engagement goals.
The benefits of employee engagement are unquestionable, and the helping hand of an intranet – and the suggestions I’ve listed here – will make them even more attainable in any organization.
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