An all-in-one website for employees that pulls together the information and resources staff need is a game-changer. Employee websites (also called intranets) ensure staff communicate, collaborate and connect from one central hub. No more all-staff emails or overloaded shared drives. And no more need for workers to have multiple enterprise apps and tools. Think that sounds like a pipedream? The good news is employee intranet software makes a website for employees within anyone’s reach. And that includes the tech novices among us.
However, before you get stuck into developing your employee website, there are a few things you need to know. To be successful, a website for employees must have a people focus. If the intranet doesn’t satisfy the needs of your staff, it’s unlikely to be widely adopted.
Here at MyHub, we have been helping businesses set up websites for employees for many years. And we have learned a thing or two about the essential features needed for success.
So, if you are developing a website for employees, here are the top 17 must-have features.
1. Team And Company-Wide Newsfeeds
Keeping up to date with news and events is a top priority for workers. And for the organization, it’s an excellent way to reinforce company culture and keep everyone on the same page. Team and company newsfeeds are the number priority for employee websites.
Rather than straightforward news headlines, why not give employees the option of personalizing their newsfeeds? That way, they will be presented with a tailored digest of team and company news, reflecting their needs and interests.
Furthermore, there are endless ways to present news with the intranet’s multi-media capabilities. You can use videos, infographics, colorful photos, and images to bring news stories to life. Even better, allow workers to like, share and comment on newsfeeds. And incorporate a company calendar, so no one misses a critical deadline or important company event.
Overall, intranet newsfeeds offer a more engaging employee experience than old-school newsletters and all-staff emails.
2. Team Chat
With distributed teams of remote and office-based staff now standard, staying connected with business IM is vital.
Fun and easy to use, team chat has a familiar social feel, making it a popular workplace tool. Conversations can be public or private and are powered by an advanced search. This makes it easy to locate that nugget of information when needed.
Employees can follow trending topics with # channels such as #marketing, #sales, or #tips. And the @mentions feature ensures no one misses out on a crucial update.
Employees can see at a glance who is online and able to chat. And they can turn the chat feature on and off when they need to focus on a task.
Team chat makes for faster, more effective decision-making. And help and advice are just a ping away.
3. Employee Profiles
Remember your first day at work and all those new faces? Memorizing names, let alone job titles was impossible, right? Employee profiles not only take the stress away for recruits, but they also help to connect workers.
Intranet employee profiles go beyond just names and contact details. Nowadays, employee profiles support collaboration by showcasing internal knowledge. Workers can reach out to colleagues across the business. And personal activity walls highlight company expertise and help to connect people with knowledge.
Employee profiles should also include personal details such as hobbies and achievements outside work. That way, you will strengthen those all-important personal relationships in your workplace.
4. Centralized Information Hub
From corporate policies and handbooks to SOPs and sales data, employee websites should be an information hub. Centralized access means there’s only one source of truth for the whole organization. Employees know they can easily find that vital information and from any location.
Save on paper and do away with confusion and the possibility for error with a digital library of data.
However, make sure you accurately tag and categorize information, so it’s easily discoverable. Check out our blog on intranet search for helpful tips. And have processes in place to regularly review content. The credibility of your website for employees relies on information being current and up to date.
5. Automated Requests & Approvals
Paper or email approvals processes are a major bottleneck in many businesses. For employees wanting to book leave or purchase equipment, quick and easy approval is vital.
Automated online processes are super easy to set up and streamline the whole process. Automatic routing and updates give both requestor and approver greater oversight of where things are at. The result is faster approvals, fewer errors, and smoother information flow.
6. Discussion Forums
Employee website discussion forums give employees a voice. Many organizations use forums to gather feedback, encourage innovation and idea-sharing and promote employee engagement. Discussions can be company-wide, department, or team-based.
7. Project Workspaces
Project workspaces are another must-have feature, especially in distributed teams. Workers come together to brainstorm, share insights, problem-solve and track progress in a secure private forum. Project workspaces on the employee website make collaboration a breeze. Regardless of location, employees can collaborate in real-time.
It could be a detailed employee engagement survey or a snap poll on the Christmas party location. Either way, survey tools are always popular with staff.
Surveys are helpful in several areas. Annual staff opinion surveys allow you to benchmark and track employee engagement over time. Simple to set up on the intranet, they are also far more cost-effective than expensive external consultants.
You can also use surveys to gather feedback on a range of workplace issues or new initiatives. Find out what workers really think about internal communications. And improve decision-making by gaining insights from workers on the new employee wellness package.
Surveys are a versatile tool, making them an essential feature for your employee website.
Quizzes can be fun and informal. Why not use a quiz as an icebreaker for your next departmental webinar?
You can also use quizzes to support learning and development. For example, many organizations have incorporated quizzes into their onboarding to assess learning and understanding. Workers and managers can readily identify any knowledge gaps and take follow-up action.
10. Learning And Development Portal
Top-performing businesses such as the Fortune 500 all have one thing in common. They have a strong culture of training and development. Staff feel valued, and in turn, the business benefits from new knowledge and skills. And the benefits of training and development extend to increased productivity and reduced employee turnover.
Your website for employees is the ideal platform for a learning and development portal. Training could be in-house and online. Or it could be external programs and workshops. Either way, the employee has one central hub to access all company training and development resources.
11. Integration With Enterprise Apps
Nowadays, most organizations use a wide variety of enterprise apps in the workplace. It could be Google Workspace, Office 365, or CRM systems like Salesforce. Single sign-on access to enterprise apps should be a feature of your employee website. Gateway access makes for a streamlined, more coherent user experience. And it means staff are not wasting time flicking between multiple apps and juggling several passwords.
Whatever enterprise apps are used in your business, make sure these are integrated with your employee website.
12. Smart Search
Every website for employees has to be supported by an advanced smart search. Imagine navigating your way around the internet without Google’s help. It would be impossible, right? An advanced search ensures workers easily find what they need at exactly the right time.
Intelligent search is an absolute must, so make sure yours is readily accessible anywhere on the employee website. Use quick previews and filter results by tags, authors, date, and topic.
Not only will you improve the user experience, but you will also help tackle information overload. Plus, workers will not waste valuable time locating critical data and will be more efficient and productive.
13. Centralized Onboarding
Getting that new hire quickly up and running is a priority for all organizations. And an intranet-based centralized onboarding resource will go a long way to achieving just that.
One location for all onboarding resources makes for a streamlined process. Employees can complete all new-hire forms online, familiarize themselves with company policies and procedures and explore employee profiles.
Simplified onboarding is good news for both the employee and employer. It ensures the recruit can hit the ground running in no time.
14. Knowledge Management
A knowledge management system is also on the employee website’s wish list. According to research, knowledge workers in the US waste an incredible six hours each week waiting for vital information from co-workers or rebuilding existing company knowledge. Frustrating for the individual, it also means lost productivity and missed opportunities for the business.
The website for employees is the perfect platform for capturing, sharing, and managing internal knowledge. The intranet readily incorporates all the essential elements of a successful knowledge management strategy. Forums, project workspaces, wikis, blogs, newsfeeds, and search are critical to efficient and effective knowledge management.
15. Employee Recognition
There’s nothing like a public thank you to boost employee and team morale. Some organizations showcase employees of the month in the intranet newsfeed. Others prefer to have a dedicated #shoutout channel where staff can acknowledge the good work of colleagues. The important thing is to ensure your website for employees recognizes workers for their efforts.
In one study, 44 percent of workers said that a lack of recognition drove them to switch jobs. Using the employee website to recognize staff is one easy-to-implement way to support employee retention.
16. Mobile-First Design
Working from home is now an established part of the workplace. And so, your employee website must have a mobile-first design. On-the-go staff, deskless, and remote workers need access to the same rich functionality as office employees.
For mobile users, navigation should be short and sweet. Plus, tools and menus should be finger-friendly and adapted for touchscreens. Graphic rather than text-based buttons work best on smaller mobile screens. And make sure fonts and font sizes are legible on mobile devices.
17. Incorporate Fun And Social Elements
It doesn’t always have to be about the daily grind. Introducing some fun, social elements to your employee website will enhance team spirit and corporate culture.
Use the intranet to celebrate birthdays or significant achievements outside work. Incorporate emojis in team chat. And why not set up a classified section where staff can locate after-work gym buddies or share yummy recipes. Some organizations have made using the intranet a competition. The most-active user each month is rewarded with a $20 gift voucher. And #timeout channels on the team chat have helped address the isolation and loneliness remote workers sometimes experience.
These fun ideas will ensure your employee website engages workers while also delivering on organizational needs.
Ready to get started on your website for employees? MyHub has the expertise and knowledge you need for success. Our cloud intranets are used by organizations of all sizes and industries across the globe. Find out why with a free demo or 14-day trial.