How can companies combat churn and boost employee engagement? Through the use of intranets. Organizations can deploy these hubs to share information, connect with coworkers and executives, and ensure that their staff feels valued
In today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make sure they’re routinely engaging with their employees. According to Pew Research, millennials are officially the largest generation in the workforce (with Generation Z nipping at their heels) and they have become notorious for changing jobs a lot throughout their careers. In fact, millennials will move companies an average of four times in their first decade after college, highlighting how important it is to foster loyalty.
From extra hours spent on training, to a loss of organizational knowledge, and even potential customer turnover, employee churn can lead to significant financial ramifications for any company. Finding ways to better engage employees is therefore essential. This is where intranets can be invaluable. There is currently plenty of debate as to whether intranets still have a role to play in today’s digital workplace, but when it comes to engaging employees there are a few simple reasons why they are more relevant now than they ever have been – particularly for millennial workers who have lived their entire lives with technology at their fingertips.
Connecting employees to the company
For the most part, employees just want to be kept in the loop. They want easy access to the information they need to do their jobs, so it’s important to have this available in one central location. Intranets serve as the gateway to the broader digital workplace, connecting workers to the information and tools they need to be successful and feel like they have a pulse on what’s going on in the company. Integrating documents, connections to other digital workplace tools, forums, directories or corporate communications right into your intranet deployment can be an extremely effective way of broadcasting important messages and keeping employees in touch with the company. It can also be a sure-fire way of beating the employee rumor mill. Sharing content like press releases, internal news, mission statements, and annual reports through an intranet platform will make employees feel that the company is being transparent which, in turn, can increase loyalty.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that we live in a digital age and being able to access specific information at the touch of the button is now expected. Fulfilling this expectation with a readily available repository of content on your company’s intranet will, therefore, go a long way towards helping employees feel connected and engaged.
Connecting employees to each other
Intranets aren’t just about getting things done, they’re also about facilitating employee collaboration and helping them connect with the right people. With today’s workforces being increasingly dispersed across multiple offices and geographies, it can be hard to know who to turn to for additional insight and expertise on a task or project. An employee in Berlin might need the expertise of an employee in Los Angeles, but not realize it because they rarely communicate (or even know each other exists in the first place). The same is true for employees in the same office with large workforces, as teams tend to work in silos and may not know who outside their immediate team structure can add a valuable new perspective.
An intranet can solve this issue by creating a connected and people-focused ecosystem. Employee directories, for example, allow employees to search for co-workers based on their title, expertise, and interests, creating a more unified company experience by connecting colleagues through their professional and personal interests.
Intranets also facilitate two-way communication and interaction, helping team members connect and foster collaboration. Features such as blogs and quizzes can give employees a platform to share stories and exchange ideas. For millennials who are used to keeping in touch with family and friends through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, social media-like features offer these workers a familiar way to build a greater sense of community among their co-workers.
Making employees feel valued
In order to identify and reduce potential churn, businesses need to keep a constant eye on the satisfaction of their employees across the entire organization. Pushing out pulse surveys through an intranet can be an effective way of achieving this, enabling HR teams to easily and continuously collect data that they would have otherwise had to collect in paper or email form to gauge employee sentiment. These surveys, which should be short, concise and very specific, can identify particular areas where the company may need to improve, as well as instilling a culture of continuous improvement.
It’s also important for employees to feel like their hard work is being recognized – both by their peers and by management. Therefore, HR departments should consider deploying tools or initiatives such as employee recognition programs that allow staff achievements to be highlighted across the business. Recognizing employees for doing an exceptional job on a project, reaching a new milestone, or celebrating work anniversaries and promotions can be hugely effective in boosting both employee satisfaction and engagement.
Most importantly, employees need to feel like they’re valued and being heard within an organization and will expect to see their ideas turn into action for the betterment of the workplace. Creating a constant feedback loop and establishing a values-based program to recognize employees who embody the values of the business are but a couple of different ways in which intranets can be used.
Highlighting achievements through a company intranet adds a personal touch and provides a level of authenticity that the modern, millennial workforce needs. It also shows employees that they’re not just another number on an excel sheet, but are actually valued components of a very intricate corporate ecosystem.
The great thing about a company intranet is that there are so many different ways it can be used to keep employees engaged. Businesses just have to remember that employees want to be kept in-the-know, feel valued, and be connected to other people within the organization. Failing to achieve this can lead to disengaged employees that are more likely to seek fulfillment elsewhere. Despite a growing generational divide in the workforce, an investment in an engaging intranet can be an easy way to let all workers know that the company cares, fostering long-term loyalty and a satisfied workforce.