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8 Must-Have Intranet Features that Strengthen Employee Engagement

Businesses all over the world are striving to do better at engaging employees at work. According to Gallup research, “85 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.”

Organizations that are aware and utilize employee engagement strategies, tend to bring out better work quality, improve productivity, and keep their staff happy. Engaged employees outperform other individuals, have longer work tenures, and become active participants in putting new technologies to good use.

Today we are living in a modern digital era, where most of the C-level managers agree that improving employee experience has to begin with adopting advanced tools and technologies. This includes a digital workplace solution which enables people to work and collaborate in more efficient and productive ways.

Modern intranets make it easy for users to find all the resources they need to be productive, helps them connect and collaborate effectively, and unifies various business applications and brings them onto one platform. Organizations can have all that on an Office 365 intranet, for an affordable price.

Here, we have put together 8 features that your intranet must have in order to increase employee engagement.

1. Personalization

Personalization provides your intranet the capability to adapt what it displays to the user based on the user’s profile. You can begin with providing a different home page for each geographical location, such as France, Canada and Mexico. Users can also see targeted content based on the department they belong to, their native language, and access permissions. Personalization offers targeted content and reduces the time it takes to find the information most relevant to a user.

It is important to remember that personalization is good, but to a certain extent. Over doing it might lead your users away from the actual purpose your intranet was designed for. Ensure your users don’t lose focus, explain to them the use cases of a few personalized features and point out how they simplify their experience.

2. Ready-to-go Templates

The market for ready-made SharePoint intranet templates is growing rapidly with several vendors offering them. Templates play a vital role in creating consistency across your intranet and reflecting your brand. Templates make our life easier by saving time, increasing efficiency, decreasing cost, and delivering a uniform product. Popularly known as “intranet-in-a-box” products, these are well-designed, user-friendly, attractive, and installed and set up for use in a matter of days.

Rolling out a brand new Office 365 intranet with exciting features quickly, can increase employee engagement and their willingness to give it a try, rather than one that takes months to develop, deploy, and customize, and where employees loose interest because they start to believe that it is never going to happen.

3. Gamification

More and more enterprises are trying to find ways to motivate their staff to achieve work goals, and gamifying the intranet can help. However, this doesn’t have to be complicated.

An Office 365 intranet has built-in employee recognition features which makes it easy to convey a simple “thank you” to your employees for a job well done. This is a very powerful gesture which can work as encouragement and inspiration to all. You can also make your SharePoint intranet a fun experience by putting up surveys, polls, and contests which will further grow engagement among your users.

Give your employees a platform with a fun and rewarding user-experience and urge them to explore tools on their own, engage more, share ideas, provide feedback, respond to surveys, react on content, and follow people, news and stories they care about the most. You can also set up a monthly reward system for teams that show highest usage, to keep your users enthusiastic and encouraged.

4. Engaging Content

Make sure your digital workplace solution provides easy publishing capabilities to create and distribute the latest corporate news, department stories, videos, and announcements through your Office 365 or SharePoint intranet portal. Remember, engaging users with the content is an ongoing process; content authors can play an important role in developing interest among your employees and keeping them coming back.

Your digital workplace should establish a two-way communication and bridge all the gaps between your employees and organization’s core principles and values.

5. Unified Experience

Many intranets support integration with a variety of complex applications but lack a unified experience resulting in a decentralized, costly, and clunky solution.  

A well-built Office 365 intranet integrates external systems and enables single sign on, allowing you to access information and complete tasks faster and easier than ever. It also helps reduce confusions and create a more streamlined user experience.

Further, an Office 365/SharePoint intranet brings all business-centric capabilities under one roof – a central location to organize, manage, and connect several business functions such as HR & Employee Management, Project Management, Documents, Forms and Business Processes, etc. It keeps everything simple by providing a single, easy-to-use, access from anywhere, workplace solution.

6.Simplicity

Digitally savvy users expect more flexibility and choice than ever before, and the result is an increasingly complex and diverse digital workplace. A single organization can have hundreds of different tools and applications as part of its technology stack.

Although it may be necessary for some businesses to use some unique industry related tools, it still makes sense to choose a solution that facilitates and unites most of their tools on their intranet.

A simple Office 365 or SharePoint intranet that includes only relevant tools can be easy to get around and works far more efficiently than specialist tools. It offers ample flexibility, can connect to specialty solutions easily, and has all the basic features one needs to be productive.

7. Usage Monitoring

So, your new intranet is in place and it promises to save time and increase productivity. But your users don’t show enthusiasm in adopting this new tool.

Nobody likes a change, even if it makes things simpler. To make continual improvements you need to make sure you spend enough time interviewing some of your key users to understand the challenges they face while using the new platform.

You can also configure analytic tools to generate intranet usage metrics. This data is typically found on the SharePoint intranet’s admin dashboard. Monitoring performance and using the insights you gain, can help improve the intranet’s effectiveness, keep it relevant and more importantly, ensure that it remains a valuable resource for employees.

8. Mobility

As a survey report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit reveals, “respondents who rated their organization as a ‘pioneer’ in its use of mobile technology were about 16 percent higher in productivity than the respondents who rated their organization’s use of mobile technology as ‘poor’”.  

A globally dispersed workforce, remote employees, and a surging use of mobile devices has made businesses realize the need to provide state of the art technologies to their employees.

Many enterprises have already joined the league enabling their employees to ‘go to work’ with Office 365/ SharePoint Intranets on their mobile with a consistent experience across devices and Microsoft’s unbeatable enterprise-grade security.

If you are an organization that would like to increase employee engagement and retention with an Office 365 intranet, please contact us at bizinfo@bizportals.com. We can help you evaluate your needs and provide you with a solution that fits you.

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