How Your HR Intranet Can Improve Employee Relations

The human resources (HR) department is at the heart of every organization. Traditionally, its primary focus has been people and relationships. In today’s digital world, those face-to-face relationships that have been so integral to HR 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, even in the technology-dominant workplace. 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.

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.

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 intranet processes allow employees to, for example, update personnel records, book annual leave, submit expense claims, and complete pre-appraisal forms. What’s more, the HR intranet automatically routes online forms to the correct staff member to action. 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. Workers no longer waste time searching through inefficient manual filing systems or overloaded email inboxes. 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.

However, 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. Let’s look in turn at each of those we identified earlier.

Improved Two-Way Communication With Employees

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. This notion is essential for remote workers who may already feel disconnected from colleagues.

Furthermore, HR senior managers and executives’ active participation sends a clear signal to staff that the board is listening and values them as employees. And feeding back to the workforce on what has happened following their input is just as important. However, it has to be a genuine two-way dialog, or staff will quickly become disinterested.

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 with news and events.

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. It could be during their daily commute, attending an overseas conference, or working from home.  The intranet portal is working for you even when HR personnel are not available.

Using A HR Intranet For Relationship Building

Organizations are basically made up of people, and doing business is all about building relationships. The HR department plays a fundamental role in promoting relationships within the organization. And the intranet is a great way to do so.

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. When it comes to attracting the best talent in the marketplace, first impressions really do count. A central HR hub providing seamless access to all recruitment issues is the way to go. HR portals offer applicants gateway access and a single source of knowledge. 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. In 2021, workers could be freelancers, contractors, or working remotely. And so, the ability to connect and communicate remotely is critical.

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 savings soon add up to have a significant impact on recruitment budgets.

The next important step when it comes to relationship building is employee onboarding. The HR intranet also has a significant contribution here. Get the onboarding process right, and you’re off to the best possible start. The new recruit is set up for a long and fruitful career with you. Use the HR intranet to seamlessly complete all the steps required to get an employee up and running. From notifying IT to setting up payroll, online forms make it easy.

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. Rather than reinventing the wheel, colleagues can share insights and experiences across the organization.

In fact, an intranet portal enables HR to communicate and promote a great company culture for all employees. Showcase company values and goals and demonstrate how these relate to business targets plus team and individual goals.

Incorporate a variety of media for a truly interactive experience. HR intranets have used videos, wikis, podcasts, and online checklists. 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.

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. Whether it’s identifying subject experts or participants for cross-departmental working groups, staff can do this directly using the online directory. There’s no HR input needed.

Watch the above video to see how MyHub’s HR Portal solution can benefit your organization.

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. Easy to set up, these collaborative areas will replace conference calls, long on-site meetings, and complicated email threads.

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.

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. And we have already examined how the HR intranet supports the dissemination of these crucial messages.

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 overall 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. Advertise job openings on your intranet’s news feed. Internal candidates can apply using an online application form without interrupting employee workflow.

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.

Increase Employee Engagement With Your HR Portal

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. These are all key performance indicators for HR departments. And so, it’s important HR takes the lead on promoting employee engagement.

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. They also give employees a voice within the organization.

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. And it’s well worth making the investment. Forbes reported on a LinkedIn survey when 94 percent of employees said they would stay longer with their companies if employers took an active role in their learning and development.

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. The following activities will build a sense of pride within the workforce and a culture of team recognition.

  • Posting customer testimonials on the HR intranet.
  • Showcasing the employee or team of the month on news feeds.
  • Promoting a company-wide, formal employee recognition program.
  • Supporting and developing staff with training and professional development opportunities.
  • Celebrating the achievements of staff outside work in, say, completing a marathon.

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. HR intranet metrics provide an early warning signal for problems management need to address.

Similarly, qualitative data gathered from exit interviews can inform the organization’s state of health on employee engagement. Staff leave for various reasons, and not all of them will be related to employee engagement. But, if they are to do with the organization and company values, then you need to know. Conduct online exit interviews through the HR intranet rather than face-to-face consultations with a manager or HR professional. Departing employees are more likely to give honest and frank feedback that can move the company forward.

HR Intranet Portals: More Efficient People Focus For Remote Workers

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.

Since the onset of the pandemic, employee wellness has taken center stage. 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. Simply staying in touch and providing a listening ear could make all the difference to a struggling colleague.

HR Intranets: Gateway Access To All Enterprise Solutions

The best thing about HR intranets is that staff can access all the great features we’ve identified through just one platform.

Single sign-on delivers a simplified employee experience. The HR portal provides gateway access to all your enterprise apps. From Salesforce to Google Workspace and Office 365, 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. See for yourself how easy it is to implement an HR intranet and make a difference to your business.

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