Why is Employee Engagement suffering and how a Company Intranet on Office 365 can help?
It is common knowledge that Employee Engagement is important. We all know that employees are the most valuable component of any organization and that satisfied employees are happy employees. We also know that productivity and profitability of a business depends on its employees.
But the truth is that employee engagement is usually an afterthought and it is suffering.
A study conducted by Harvard Business Review, shows that less than 25% of businesses are confident that their employees are highly engaged within the organization. That number is even more shocking when you look at an article by Gallup which found that the percentage of engaged employees was at 34% in 2018.
This means that if your CEO and top executives lined up 10 employees to compete in the business world, 7 of them are not even going to try!
Why the number of disengaged employees is rising?
There is a myriad of reasons why employees are not engaged – lack of access to pertinent information, burdened with manual processes, ineffective search and lack of recognition, to name a few. This prevents employees from being immersed in their work and thinking about the well-being of their company.
In this blog we will look at some of the recent corporate trends which are contributing to the engagement lags and falling productivity.
Multiple generations at work – these days it is not rare to find three or even four generations working side by side in a company or on a project.
Each generation brings their preferences, experience, and personalities to the table. And these differences could lead to negative stereotyping. The Generation Xers may find the Millennials to be too impulsive and tech-dependent; while the Millennials may find the Baby Boomers to be too slow and conservative in their approach.
Unless this gap is bridged and each group can see how the other brings value to the workplace, there could be a lot of negativity among employees leading to poor engagement and a loss of interest in work.
Distributed workplace – in the recent past, every industry has seen a steady growth of telecommuters. Remote employees have doubled over the last 10 years and although a distributed workforce means a bigger talent pool, reduced costs, and flexibility for employees, it has its disadvantages that contribute to decreasing employee engagement.
Remote workers often complain of feeling isolated and miss the synergy of working with their team face to face. Communication also becomes scattered and with most team members working at times that suit them and being miles apart, connecting with co-workers becomes difficult.
Advancing technology – technology is advancing at breakneck speeds and we’ve evolved from on premise/behind-the-firewall systems to a SaaS model for almost everything – from emails for daily communication, to CRM solutions, to ERP systems which support all business’s processes and operations including manufacturing, marketing, financials, etc.
This trend has had a tremendous impact in the intranet space. Intranets were built to provide connectivity and integrations, as they help connect to the rest of the world. As technology advances, the intranet must adapt and change too; because if it doesn’t it becomes outdated and nobody uses it, causing low employee engagement.
Technology also has put a hand-held device in everybody’s hand. There are lots of options to choose from and most people develop a preference for one over the other and will not switch unless compelled to do so. If your company sanctioned tools and apps do not work on their device, they will abandon them (tools/apps) causing dispersal of data which then becomes hard to share and find.
Information explosion – users are technologically savvy and are comfortable downloading and trying out different software and applications to help them automate tasks, set reminders, create calendar invites, and communicate with people – to name a few. However, in doing so, they accumulate way too many tools (estimated to be an average of 11 tools per user), each with a different log in and interface. And these tools may not even integrate with each other which may cause duplication of information and confusion.
We also have to remember that information these days is not only documents – it is images, videos, meeting recordings, graphs, charts, etc. Information is continuously growing at exponential rates and users are inundated with it. They have a hard time finding what they need and spend about 20% of their time locating information.
How does a Company Intranet improve Employee Engagement?
It brings your employees together – A company intranet is a central place where employees can find and access the information, people, and tools they need to get work done and be more productive. Additionally, it provides a central location where employees can get news and alerts, updates to information, self-help and self-service tools.
It is easy and intuitive so everybody (yes, including the baby boomers) can start using it within a short time. It improves collaboration and communication, increases productivity, and modernizes the way your business and employees work. In a nutshell, it helps your employees by making their working lives simple, connected and more engaged.
Reduces information overload with targeted search – It is common knowledge that people have become used to the predictive and user-friendly search engines like Google and Amazon that spit up information in the blink of an eye, and are getting accustomed to being served up information of their interest or that is relevant to them (the work of artificial intelligence); instead of spending hours looking for it.
A company intranet on Office 365 uses Microsoft Graph technology for its search functions. Graph tracks content interaction and draws links between people, content and activity which allows it to pull up pertinent and personalized information when a user conducts a search.
Also, since an Office 365 intranet allows its users to organize content in libraries and folders, tag them with keywords and categories, and save their often-used search criteria, it can surface quick and relevant search results – saving time and improving productivity.
Mobility helps shrink geographical distances – Since intranets can be accessed over the internet, work can be conducted from anywhere and at any time. Employees don’t have to be at work to do work. They can access and work on their documents, manage and update their tasks, check the status of their projects, submit forms, etc., from wherever they are.
They can also catch up on news and announcements at the workplace and join the chatter if they feel like – this way they never miss a beat on the “water cooler” conversations and feel that they’re part of the office culture even when they are not physically present.
Mobility helps tremendously in bridging the location gap when teams are scattered, and it also provides a lot of flexibility which employees appreciate and value.
If you are suffering from any of the factors discussed in this blog, or from employee disengagement in general and would like more information about what a company intranet is and how you can get one, please contact us. You can also schedule a demo to see the features and functionality BizPortals 365 provides.