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How Your HR Intranet Can Improve Employee Relations

  2. 2 Traditionally, the primary focus of the human resources (HR) department has been people and relationships. In today’s digital world, those face-to-face relationships are changing. The Covid pandemic has accelerated what was already a growing trend towards remote working. HR professionals need to find new avenues to connect with staff and modernize internal communications. They also need to discover new ways to maintain a people focus to their operations. The HR intranet may well be the answer. Here we explore how HR intranet portals deliver on two-way communications, relationship building, remote working, and employee engagement. Plus, we also examine how they can help to set you apart with a strong employer brand.
  3. 3 ADVANTAGES OF HR INTRANET PORTALS The benefits of HR intranet portals for disseminating and sharing information quickly and efficiently are now widely accepted. For HR departments, employees can access the full range of information, including: • policies and procedures • job descriptions and recruitment processes, such as inductions and exit interviews • benefits and entitlements, including employee wellness initiatives • staff appraisals and performance reviews • annual leave procedures • internal job vacancies • training and professional development opportunities • employee self-service options and online HR forms.
  4. 4 This self-service approach has two significant benefits: • First, it empowers staff with the ability to source data directly. • And secondly, it frees HR from responding to day-to-day requests for information. The operational efficiencies involved can quickly translate into significant savings. Automated processes eliminate the possibility of information going astray or being misplaced. Streamlined HR processes are faster, paper-free, and mean employees can get on with other more important jobs. All the information they need is at their fingertips, and it’s guaranteed to be up to date. Plus, intuitive site navigation and powerful search functionality make it easy to find that vital resource. Alongside the operational advantages and cost savings on offer are the ‘softer’ additional benefits of the intranet portal. These are perhaps more important to HR professionals and ensure the intranet has a real impact on people relationships.
  5. 5 Keeping the lines of communication open in the digital era is very important. With the increasing trend towards flexible working, many staff work remotely in different locations or even different continents. In this scenario, maintaining effective two-way communication alongside a strong company culture is a real challenge for HR professionals. The HR portal helps to connect HR with staff and vice versa. An HR blog or forum is an excellent vehicle for direct communication with and between employees. Plus, the ability to discuss or comment on current issues is empowering for employees. It reinforces that their opinions matter and are making a difference. Furthermore, HR senior managers and executives’ active participation sends a clear signal to staff that the board is listening and values them as employees. Many businesses are now using instant messaging (IM) as an additional communication tool. Studies show that real- time conversations make for speedier decision-making. Employees can ping an IM through to HR with a simple query for a swift response. And HR can set up #channels to communicate directly with staff and update them. Cloud HR intranets work 24/7. Therefore, employees can connect with HR, complete online tasks, and resolve issues at a time and place that suits them. The intranet portal is working for you even when HR personnel are not available. IMPROVED TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION WITH EMPLOYEES
  6. 6 The starting point when it comes to relationship building has to be the initial contact with HR. Usually, this involves a job application or vacancy. The HR portal should be your forward-facing platform for all recruitment processes. A central platform provides all the answers from vacancies to job descriptions and person specifications, interview scheduling, and references. Moreover, the workplace is increasingly becoming globalized. HR is no longer depending on a local talent pool. And so, the ability to connect and communicate remotely is critical. In fact, an intranet portal enables HR to communicate and promote a great company culture for all employees. It also makes managing recruitment an easier task internally. All tasks and interactions are completed online without the costs associated with paper forms, printing, and mail outs. The next important step when it comes to relationship building is employee onboarding. Use the HR intranet to seamlessly complete all the steps required to get an employee up and running. Furthermore, comprehensive online induction ensures recruits are well-versed in the company culture and their contribution. And a central knowledge management hub means they can easily tap into corporate knowledge and best practices. Employees can complete onboarding at a time and place that works for them, even outside standard office hours. The upshot is these new recruits are up and running more quickly than in the past. Whether office or home-based, they can be productive members of the team from day one. USING A HR INTRANET FOR RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
  7. 7 Online staff directories are another valuable tool for building strong workplace relationships. Bring employee profiles to life by including a personal biography, current work projects, and areas of expertise. Putting a face to a name and knowing something about colleagues fosters the personal relationships your business depends on. What’s more, employee profiles support collaboration and joint working across the business. Staff can reach out and connect with colleagues in other teams. Workers can also source expert help and internal knowledge directly. The HR intranet’s collaborative project areas allow for creative vertical and horizontal joint working, and not just on HR issues. Brainstorming ideas, soliciting feedback, sharing ideas and information, and team collaboration build good workplace relationships. And it ensures organizations are more agile and able to respond to and solve problems faster. Some companies, seeing the benefits available with strong workplace relationships, have chosen to introduce social intranets. In addition to the standard intranet features, companies are increasingly adding more social features. These include instant messaging between staff, individual or team activity walls, plus follow-me functionality.
  8. 8 HR PORTAL BUILDS STRONG EMPLOYER BRAND A strong employer brand gives you a head start on recruitment and retention. And the HR intranet is the vehicle to promote your company brand. A shared sense of values, culture, and mission is critical. In addition, make sure the intranet aligns with your external brand. Be consistent in your choice of colors, fonts, and ensure your intranet matches the corporate website’s look and feel. A recognizable, coherent approach will reinforce a strong employer and customer brand. Another way to enhance your employer brand while also reducing costs is to recruit more internal candidates. Use your HR intranet to retain the great talent you already have and save on external recruitment and training costs. Furthermore, the intranet allows you to talent scout and identify potential leaders. Keep an eye on comments posted to internal blogs. Feedback and comments can be a useful indicator of an individual employee’s ability to rally colleagues on a particular topic.
  9. 9 ABOUT There’s plenty of evidence suggesting engaged employees are more productive. And engaged employees are also less likely to take time off work due to sickness or absenteeism. Furthermore, companies that have highly engaged workforces tend to have lower levels of staff turnover. And so, it’s important HR takes the lead. Improved communications, increased collaboration, and more efficient sharing of information are all drivers of employee engagement. However, there are other ways HR portals contribute to increased employee engagement. Quizzes, surveys, and opinion polls are a fun way to gather staff feedback on important issues. Employee development is another top priority. Not only is this essential for the individual employee, but it also impacts the organization as a whole. Employee development is fundamental to staff retention and talent management; a skilled workforce helps to future-proof your business. HR intranets support the administrative side of employee development. Use the HR intranet for online form filling, tracking of progress, and collecting and analyzing feedback. Develop a learning and development portal with links to external resources and platforms that support upskilling. Also, showcase any internal opportunities, including mentoring arrangements, webinars, videos, and quizzes. Finding ways to celebrate the successes of workers on the intranet portal will impact employee engagement. When it comes to measuring employee engagement performance, the HR intranet is a valuable source of evidence. Monthly tracking of key performance data, including sickness rates, absenteeism, and staff turnover, will help the early identification of any underlying trends and early warning signals for problems management need to address. Similarly, qualitative data gathered from exit interviews can inform the organization’s state of health on employee engagement. Conduct online exit interviews through the HR intranet rather than face-to-face consultations with a manager or HR professional. INCREASE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR HR PORTAL
  10. 10 The modern face of HR has indeed changed for good. The challenge for today’s HR professionals is maintaining their traditional people- building role in the technology-dependent workplace. And the shift to remote working brought about by Covid has intensified the challenges for HR. As companies grapple with continued lockdowns, supporting remote workers’ wellbeing is more important than ever. Many remote workers report feelings of isolation and loneliness alongside health concerns around the pandemic. It’s a toxic recipe that can quickly impact productivity. HR has a role to play in supporting remote workers and promoting wellness. Ramp up internal communications and use the intranet to educate and inform employees. Publicize wellbeing resources and tools on the HR intranet. Start the working day off with a Zoom 5-minute workout. Encourage staff to vent their fears and frustrations on a team chat #channel. And above all, check-in on remote workers regularly. MORE EFFICIENT PEOPLE FOCUS FOR REMOTE WORKERS
  11. 11 The best thing about HR intranets is that staff can access all the great features we’ve identified through just one platform. Employees don’t have to switch between different apps with multiple logins. Just one login ensures workers have access to all apps in a fully integrated, company-wide intranet portal. Super-easy to set up and manage, a company-wide intranet offers excellent flexibility and streamlined, seamless operations. And with unlimited data storage and numbers of users, it’s also a cost-effective choice. Are you considering introducing an HR intranet portal in your office? Or perhaps you are interested in exploring the efficiencies on offer across your business as a whole? If so, then contact the team at MyHub for a no-obligation demo or sign up for a 14-day free trial. HR INTRANETS: GATEWAY ACCESS TO ALL ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS