The hard-hitting phase of the pandemic has let many businesses to be off guard. The HR sector among all was one of the most disrupted lines of business, grappling with the business continuity plan. Furthermore, driving them to rethink their strategies on: How to support the dispersed workforce as work from home is the new norm? How to onboard new hires without in-person interaction? Many such situations have bottlenecked the HR processes.
However, according to a recent Gartner snap poll, 54% of Human resource leaders indicated that inefficient technology and infrastructure is a huge barrier to effective remote working in an organization.
An organization with the right digital workplace tool, precisely a modern and flexible intranet, was able to handle the crisis and communication effectively. Organizations especially HR’s have a key KPI around keeping employees informed, happy, engaged, and productive within the hybrid workplace. With the growing focus on employee engagement and the unfolding of a crisis, the need for an intranet in the hands of HR is considered a mandate.
Whether it is capitalizing on existing intranets and modernizing them further or deploying a new one, the advent of new technologies like AI as the top-up is adding its charm. An intranet helps achieve the HR goals effectively resulting in an optimized company’s culture, performance, and productivity.
After the pandemic, HR’s predominant challenge was recruiting highly skilled candidates. In addition, as the crisis unfolded, HR anchored with a lot of new priorities like looking out for employee wellbeing during a global health crisis, key communication broadcast, new guidelines for safety measures, etc. An intranet is one such tool enhancing the digital workplace experience along with employee experience besides acting as a bridge between HR and Employee communication and collaboration.
Due to the current pandemic, many employees are working remotely or in hybrid work culture, which necessitates a digital workplace solution more than ever. Using a modern intranet, the HR department can deliver employees the right tools and information to work effectively and efficiently, working from anywhere.
For supporting employees need within the digital ecosystem, an intranet is proving to be beneficial in the scenarios below:
In a pre-pandemic situation, research by SearchYourCloud published: “workers took up to 8 searches to find the right document and information.” A research by IDC indicated that employees spent 2.5hours in looking for relevant information. Remote work has made it even worse.
In the Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes, Nintex has revealed that, 39% of the people interviewed observes broken document management/sales processes within their organization.
The Unstructured data including HR documents, resources, forms, files, and data scattered across different devices, emails, internal servers, and multiple business applications creates an unprecedented challenge for HR departments wanting to use the information for work. The next gen knowledge mining technique of intranet, lets users manage, analyze, and extract valuable insights from this ever-growing unstructured business data making it more discoverable and searchable.
So, to cut down the time to locate relevant information and not to reinvent the wheel due to inefficient search results, intranets have infused itself with intelligent auto tagging mechanisms and smart cognitive enterprise search functionalities surfacing personalized results.
An AI-infused modern intranet personalizes and recommends the relevant news, articles, insights, and information based on the employees’ profile, activities, geo, and departments. The right information in critical times is the key to maximizing the ROI.
Imagine a new employee looking to access information related to the department. It would be difficult to reach out to many for the right document. The intranet is one such place where all the relevant information pops up based on the department associated with. If not, the intelligent enterprise search leveraging cognitive capabilities does its job of surfacing the relevant information via search.
This jarring time has brought many changes in everybody’s life and due to which working style and policies are updated. The intranet acts as a centralized repository for sharing HR documents, ranging from health insurance documents, policies, contact information, and training manuals. By putting this information in one place, your employees can self-serve and access them whenever they are in need.
No longer will HR need to answer the same question repeatedly or send the same document multiple times. Just a common link to the page where they can access the information needed, to serve the purpose. It enhances employee adoption and productivity by making the relevant information accessible at their fingertips. Besides, it eliminates employee frustration because of long waits to get the query addressed.
Irrelevant to where the employees are working, recommendations powered by office graph and personalization based on location, interests, job roles, and activities can do the job of pulling the best of a customized knowledge base rather than digging a dump yard for specific information.
Integrating your intranet with HR applications will iron out the hassle of logging in multiple devices for a particular task. Furthermore, the dashboards that get surfaced on the intranet make it even more convenient to measure, analyze and optimize critical KPIs.
Besides, HR can also use the intranet as a platform for sharing best practices and safety measures. On the flip side, employees can also share their thoughts and experiences too.
57% of employees report not being given clear directions and 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with the employees in general. (HR Technologist)
Effective internal communication is the key to addressing any crisis with a dispersed workforce. Consolidating internal communications on the company intranet with leadership news or HR / IT updates proved to be an effective way of distributing information than circulating over email, which often is an overcrowded space.
Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers (Think talent)
With interactive blogs, newsfeeds, and a one-stop-shop for all information, you can transform your intranet into the ultimate internal communications channel. And the social features such as likes, comments, and share, will increase engagement and create an ongoing, two-way dialog between employees and the leadership team.
You need to determine whether the communications or HR team should own specific messages and associated activities, but ultimately you’re working together to ensure the safety of employees and support business operations.
Coordination is key, says Abigail Blair, Sr Specialist, Advisory, Gartner.
Still in a dilemma about the preferred choice of employees returning to the workplace. Worry not, intranets can help you conduct a survey to figure it out.
HR can collect employee feedback and conduct survey through the modern intranet portal regarding working from home and return-to-the-workplace policies, including when and how employees are interested in returning to the workplace, what are the key concerns, etc.
The tale of effective communication isn’t only circled around key broadcasts of information. HR’s can now celebrate birthdays and anniversaries through personalized message updates, organize special events, and help employees know each other better virtually through the intranet. Posting photos and videos of office events bring in collaboration and camaraderie.
Monitoring employee performance is crucial to company success and for developing employee skills and talent to reach the organization’s future goals.
However, many organizations are using outdated technology and processes to measure employee performance. These technology investments often fail to get results in how employees perform and the desire to succeed.
A well-developed HR intranet makes monitoring employee performance simple. With modern intranet features such as performance management dashboards, charts, and feedback, surveys, your HR department can efficiently track and monitor employee performance from one easy to use, accessible place.
Integrating it with your line of business applications can further help in tracking the key metrics in one common interface of the intranet. This information projects a holistic visualization of employee’s performance and the areas of improvement. Extracting data, knowledge, and application information from across systems like HR, ITSM etc., can also help in identifying the gaps or a pattern that has occurred as a ripple effect of the crisis.
Being on the verge of change caused by the pandemic, employees have multiple concerns regarding the current work-from-home policies or return to workplace strategy, for which they need answers from the HR department. Addressing all the questions for the HR team in real-time is impossible to handle due to the high call volume.
Quick access to a common repository with guidelines around remote work will have a substantial impact on the high call volume. Most of the questions/ concerns are covered and contained in the policy documents. Employees can access them at anytime and anywhere, reducing the support desk overload along with addressing the employee panic.
Furthermore, a 24/7 chatbot can automate routine tasks that are handled by the HR team, thereby enhancing their efficiency. “AI and conversational chatbots, in particular, are useful in enhancing and automating the experience of repeatable tasks.
said Jeff Mike, vice president and head of research ideation for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting.
Intranet chatbot is not just in the limelight for answering the FAQs of employees, but also supports employees as coworkers. With their ability to conduct human-like conversations they are helping employees in eliminating loneliness and isolation.
In the past, an employee with a question about how to get something done would ask a knowledgeable colleague for an answer,
In the future, they’ll ask a conversational agent, and artificial intelligence will answer their questions.
said Franke, author of a KPMG report on conversational AI
The intranet has evolved to a great extent from a document management system to an enterprise collaboration space and much more. Often intranets are mistaken as a place to dump knowledge. However, intranet capability and usability are a lot more than that. To sum it up, they are acting as a center piece of organizational communication and collaboration needs in addition to maintaining a healthy organizational memory.
In the middle of a crisis, lies a great opportunity – Albert Einstein
This crisis has unlocked a superior version with a multifold advantage acting beneficial for HR management exponentially. To take due advantage of the opportunity, organizations are considering an upgrade to the modern intranet. Infusing AI has its own way of delivering top notch results along with perfect usability in the millennial and Gen Z workforce.
Check out the World’s Best Employee Experience Platform – Mesh which comes with plenty of modern features to facilitate digital workplace needs for the crisis and beyond. Get in touch with one of our AI and digital workplace experts to schedule a personalized demo of AI powered intranets.
If you’d like to learn more about Mesh, please feel free to get in touch with one of our AI and digital workplace consultants for a personalized demo.
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