5 ways personalized intranets can juice employee engagement

The workplace is changing rapidly.

According to social media management platform Buffer’s 2023 State of Work report, more than 98% of all respondents prefer some form of remote work. In response to this growing trend, around 48% of all companies surveyed by KPMG have introduced a standardized remote working policy.

Though it holds promise for employees and firms alike, remote setups also bring significant challenges, with employee engagement arguably the most pressing among them. How can you foster the kinds of strong ties that drive retention, innovation, and camaraderie when your team is dispersed?

An unlikely hero has emerged in response to this challenge: the intranet. Not the traditional information graveyards of yore, but appealing, personalized intranets that make everyone feel closer and more plugged into the company — and more productive to boot. 

In this blog, we explore how these advanced intranets are not only improving the employee experience but enhancing employee engagement.

1. Personalized onboarding for new hires

Onboarding is a new hire’s first impression of a company and a tone-setter for employee engagement. According to a survey by Bamboo HR, 89% of employees reported that an effective onboarding process helped them feel very engaged at work. 

Unfortunately, the inverse is also true.

Poor onboarding is a real stumbling block when it comes to engaging employees. After all, you can’t really engage with employees if they don’t stick around. In fact, a whopping 64% of new hires reported leaving their company within their first year due to a poor onboarding experience, according to data from HR software provider HiBob. And organizations with an effective onboarding process can see 50% higher productivity from new employees, according to the Society of Human Resource. 

Confluence intranets built with Refined Sites can make the onboarding hub feel welcoming and personalized.

Onboarding hubs can easily be built in Confluence and other intranet tools, but unless the interface is welcoming, intuitive, and personalized for the user, it risks alienating those it’s intended to serve. Customization tools like Refined Sites can help you create user-friendly pages that cater to new employees’ needs, and design an interface that makes it easy to access the documentation, training, and resources they’re likely to need most in their first weeks and months.  

Tip: Use View Permissions on portions of Refined pages to display resources tailored to different new-hire user groups based on factors like their roles, geographic locations, or seniority. 

2. Improved access to information and tools

One critical factor contributing to disengagement in the workplace is the lack of access to necessary tools and resources. When employees struggle to find or utilize the tools or information they need for their job functions, frustration builds, productivity decreases, and engagement levels inevitably drop. 

This problem is more common than you think — over 47% of digital workers reported struggling finding the information they need at work, according to a survey by Gartner.

Promoted Search Results can help users locate relevant information faster.

Personalized intranets can take a number of different approaches to resolving this issue. One approach is to offer enhanced search capabilities. Some Confluence intranets help users find content quicker by recommending pages based on the input of specific keywords, for example, while others do so by adding additional search points to the intranet, empowering users to locate the information they need no matter where they are in the system. 

Some intranet managers are also adopting a more proactive approach to this issue. Rather than enhancing the user’s search experience, they are circumventing it altogether by focusing their efforts on the intranet’s structure, navigation, and design. The goal is to build landing pages that anticipate the content their users need so they don’t need to go searching for it, and to carefully structure information pathways within the intranet for maximum accessibility.

Over 47% of digital workers reported struggling finding the information they need at work, according to a survey by Gartner.

3. Greater collaboration and teamwork

Collaboration is a huge part of what keeps employees engaged. When people feel like they're part of a team and connect well with coworkers, their engagement and satisfaction soar—and so does their productivity. Stanford researchers found groups that work well together are up to 50% more productive, which in turn translates to more positive business outcomes. Proof: companies with engaged employees are 23% more profitable than their competitors, according to Gallup. 

Personalized intranets are making it easier for teams to collaborate. Here is a cool example. They can facilitate the creation of cultural and interest-based groups, which can lend to a more inclusive and connected workplace.

With pre-built templates in Refined, intranet managers can easily set up landing pages for different groups.

For example, a software company might set up a space called Java Junkies using pre-built templates in their Confluence intranet. Here, developers can exchange tips, keep up with the latest in Javascript, and work together on internal projects or coding challenges. 

The best part is, intranet managers won’t have to do much extra to keep this running smoothly. Using View Permissions in Refined, they could create a My Interests or My Groups section on the home page that displays only the groups the employee is enrolled in.

4. Learning and Development

A significant driver of employee disengagement is the lack of growth opportunities, with 68% of employees preferring to learn and grow at work. Accordingly,  80% of employees will stay at a company longer if they can tell the company is invested in helping them learn.

Personalized intranets can play a pivotal role in enhancing Learning and Development (L&D) by offering a more tailored and relevant experience to their users. An accounting professional doesn’t need to see their intranet cluttered with reminders to complete a Digital Marketing 101 training module, right?

Intranet managers can achieve this level of personalization by collaborating with the relevant stakeholders at the start to organize the proper learning goals, incorporating those into the design of the intranet, and ensure that employees only see the L&D programs that are relevant to them.

Besides having a positive effect on employee engagement, an improved L&D experience also signifies the company’s commitment to a strong learning culture, which can improve productivity by up to 52%, according to Deloitte

5. Fostering a Culture of Recognition 

A toxic workplace can severely dampen employee engagement, creating an environment where low morale and high turnover are common. 

One major symptom of such a culture is the pervasive feeling of being undervalued or unappreciated among employees. When employees don't feel recognized for their efforts, their commitment to organizational goals wanes, and productivity suffers.

Unfortunately, this problem is all too common: more than half of all American employees surveyed by WorkHuman reported feeling only somewhat valued or not valued at all by their organization.

Intranets built with Refined Sites and Confluence can make employees feel valued and engaged with blog feeds recognizing employee milestones and achievements.

Personalized intranets offer innovative solutions to foster a culture of recognition, which can help high-performing employees feel valued. They can include announcement banners, liking and commenting functionality on pages, or blog feeds on their homepage to broadcast employee achievements, which can be anything from “Mike just closed a $500k deal” to “Sierra just completed her MBA.”

Final thoughts

Personalized intranets are essential for any modern business that truly wants to connect and engage with their employees, be it via fostering a culture of recognition, improving accessibility to important company information and tools, personalizing the onboarding experience, driving L&D efforts, or fostering a culture of greater collaboration.

To personalize your Confluence intranet and create a workplace culture that drives meaningful employee engagement, try Refined Sites for Confluence for free for 30 days on the Atlassian Marketplace.

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