Employee engagement is a crucial factor in the success of any digital workplace – and the intranet is the secret weapon. Engaged employees are more productive, motivated, and committed to their work, resulting in higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and more engaged employees. The intranet can be the key driver of employee engagement (when done properly).
Small increases in employee engagement increase the value and ROI of the intranet and increases corporate profitability. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.
Harvard Business School conducted and ROI-engagement study that revealed for every 1% increase in employee engagement, the return on investment (ROI) for a social intranet increased 1000%.
Though intranet technology is nothing new, using it beyond a document dump and bulletin board or newsletter is still a stretch for some organizations. Very few organizations, in fact, have full social collaboration capabilities. The intranet, at the hub of the digital workplace (all digital tools), can promote two-way dialogue with and between employees, promote collaboration, and foster a sense of community within the organization.
Improving employee engagement
An intranet provides a platform for employees to communicate and collaborate on projects, ideas, and feedback. It enables employees to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise with their colleagues, resulting in increased productivity and innovation. Commenting, discussion groups, idea jams, article sharing, wikis and blogs all encourage collaboration and idea sharing.
Adding comments to news articles and content pages can promote conversation, questions and comments. This dialogue can help intercept problem issues by alerting senior management and communicators to potential problems, as well as quash problems before they happen – not to mention promoting an active, connected culture that promotes discussion and idea sharing. This cannot help but pad the bottom line.
Online contests also help promote connection and a sense of belonging and engagement. For example, Canon has been encouraging employees to submit their own personal photos to the intranet and has held regular contests for the best photos from everything to weekend outings to holidays photos. Keysight Technologies won a best of the year intranet award for its collaboration features including an employee photo contest that runs every month.
An intranet can be used to recognize and reward employees for their contributions to the organization. This can include employee of the month programs, peer recognition, and other forms of recognition that help to boost employee morale and motivation. Many award-winning organizations ask employees to promote and nominate employees for recognition and rewards right on the intranet – on content pages, in discussion forums and in blogs. Some even add recognition badges and gamification to spice-up the collaboration and recognition process.
Highlight and award an employee of the month: create an employee of the month program and feature the winner on the intranet. Include a brief bio of the winner, their photo, and a summary of their accomplishments. This can then be highlighted on the home page, the employee newsletter and via internal network sites such as Yammer and Teams. Some intranets use recognition platforms and badges and point systems to reward and recognize employees on the intranet.
An intranet can be used to gather feedback from employees on various aspects of the organization, such as policies, procedures, and work environment. This feedback can be used to improve the organization and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Promote and ask for feedback at the end of news stories, and have a Feedback link and form in the footer of every page.
Quick polls can also be highly engaging. Quick polls are one question, mini-surveys that you can add to the home page, or any content page. Embed quick polls to related content such as a quick poll that asks what employee think of the new intranet during the first week of launch.
Training and Development
An intranet can be used to provide employees with access to training and development opportunities via the intranet. This can include online courses, webinars, and other resources that help employees to develop their skills and knowledge. Online training seems old-school and passe, but most employees want to continually learn throughout their career.
E-learning, or online learning, refers to the use of electronic technology to deliver online courses and facilitate learning outside of a traditional classroom setting. E-learning has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many organizations and educational institutions adopting online learning platforms as part of their training and development programs. The value of e-learning lies in its ability to provide flexible and personalized learning experiences that meet the needs of learners and organizations alike.
One of the primary advantages of e-learning is that it is accessible from anywhere and at any time. Employees can access course materials and complete assignments at their own pace and according to their own schedule. This makes e-learning an ideal option for individuals who work full-time or have other commitments that make it difficult to attend traditional classroom-based courses – and allows non-office employees who work from home to feel more connected to the organization.
An intranet can be an effective tool for improving employee engagement. In the age of short attention spans, high demand for high-technology workplaces and inpatient millennials, the intranet can be a mission-critical force for driving employee engagement. By providing a platform for communication, collaboration, recognition, training, feedback, and benefits, an intranet can help to create a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.
View the complete slides from: Intranets Drive Employee Engagement
Toby Ward, a former journalist and a regular intranet and digital workplace columnist and speaker, is the President and Founder of Prescient Digital Media and the Digital Workplace & Intranet Global Forum conference series.