How HR teams are using Personalized Service Points to build better Confluence intranets

Gone are the days when HR was just about hiring and rule-enforcing. Today, HR teams are the artists and architects of our workplace, molding the organizational culture, sparking employee engagement, and navigating the maze of today's job world. Their expanded role calls for cutting-edge tools to set both them and their organization up for success.

Enter intranets, the unsung hero of HR’s modern mandate. 

No, we aren’t talking about the clunky intranets of the past that were nothing more than just storage for everyday documents and policies. 

Today, the modern intranet is both a dynamic, branded reflection of the organization it serves and an indispensable platform tuned to each employee's needs, taking into account variables like their location, role, job status, onboarding and development needs, and more.

Confluence is a popular choice for HR teams looking to build a modern intranet. Besides having great out-of-the-box, intranet-friendly features, Atlassian has a strong presence in agile, tech-forward organizations. That keeps Confluence ahead of the pack when it comes to personalization as well as flexibility, add-ons, and interoperability with other tools in the Atlassian stack.

Yet, there are ways to get more out of Confluence-powered intranets. That's what we're unpacking here. We'll poke around their weak spots and see how Personalized Service Points can deliver a better experience for employees and HR and intranet managers alike. 

How Confluence has transformed intranets for HR

Confluence has become a game-changer for HR managers aiming to build comprehensive HR intranets. These aren't your old-school intranets but dynamic platforms that push past the limitations of earlier intranets — security risks, limited functionality, and burdensome customization and upkeep costs among them.

A Confluence-based intranet built with Refined Sites for Confluence and Refined Sites for JSM, like the one shown above, can be configured to include Personalized Service Points.

Knowledge is managed, shared and accessed in one tool

At its heart, Confluence shines by bringing documentation and day-to-day collaboration together in one easy-to-access place. HR teams can now set up a hub filled with everything employees might need—from policies and benefits to onboarding and training guides—in the same place HR managers make and manage all these documents. Which is also where employees spend much of their time for work and collaboration. 

Confluence boosts collaboration and communication

What really sets Confluence apart is how it brings people together. It's not just about keeping HR info up-to-date; it's about making sure everyone can chip in, share updates, and stay connected in real-time. This open line of communication is priceless, especially when teams are spread out or working in a mix of in-office and remote setups.

But there’s room for improvement

However, there are two areas where Confluence intranets could do better. 

The first is personalization. Without it, the user experience degrades in larger Confluence instances as pages and spaces pile up, overwhelming users with a sea of options. It’s difficult to know what’s important, relevant, and updated. Personalization — serving up relevant content and “shrinking” the intranet around the user, so to speak — can add structure and improve navigation so users can find what they’re looking for faster and easier.

The second is the lack of a seamless integration with Jira Service Management, which many HR teams use to provide day-to-day service for employee requests related to vacation, benefits, onboarding/offboarding, and the like. 

Combining the best of Confluence and JSM: Embedded Personalized Service Points

According to Gallup, meeting employees’ basic needs is a foundational driver of employee engagement, which is a key HR metric. 

Unfortunately, your Confluence-powered HR intranet is probably falling short, given the lack of Personalized Service Points mentioned above.

Given that high employee engagement can reduce turnover in critical roles by up to 36%, it’s well worth your while to give your intranet a makeover.

Enter the scene: Personalized Service Points (PSPs). These aren't your everyday information dumps. PSPs are transforming Confluence HR intranets into lively, interactive platforms tailored to fit the unique needs of each team member. While the variety of PSPs are limited only by your imagination, here are two of the most common we have observed. 

High employee engagement can reduce turnover in critical roles by up to 36%

Personalized Service Point (PSP) #1: Benefits Administration 

Ever tried navigating a one-size-fits-all Confluence intranet for benefits info? It's like being in a maze, but less fun. And with employee satisfaction with benefits hitting a new low of 61% in 2023, companies that actually offer great perks can't afford to drop the ball here.

Consider this: Your company has both contract and permanent staff. Contract folks might be looking to understand short-term benefits and how to access the tools they need to embed into workflows, while permanent employees might be more interested in long-term concerns, like pension contributions or wellness programs.

Alternately, you’re operating in different countries with different retirement saving plans, so your American employees might want to know more about your 401(k) match while your Australian employees might want more information about which fund to invest their super in. It’s a mixed bag of needs and questions.

That's why smart companies are getting personal with benefits administration — starting with a dynamic benefits landing page that provides exactly what employees need according to their user group or permissions in Confluence.

Employees with a certain benefits package might see a curated selection of documentation on relevant topics like 401(k) plan management, tax implications of benefits, or the use of flexible spending accounts. 

Other employees might see links providing access to external benefits providers or online benefits-management portals, which saves them the trouble of searching for those links.

The upshot: Employees get easy access to the info that matters to them without wading through seas of irrelevant documentation, lengthy page trees, and confusing search results. HR managers get fewer "Hey, I'm lost" messages and can spend time on the bigger picture stuff. It’s a win-win. 

JSM integration for better benefits administration

Consider a scenario where an employee, newly eligible for health benefits, is still confused about choosing between health insurance plans, even after reading the relevant FAQs. 

What if HR managers could embed a JSM request with Refined Sites for JSM in the FAQ section? Imagine the ease of dropping a question right through the intranet without switching contexts to a separate HR JSM service portal. No endless email threads—just straight-up answers.

Forms can be used inside JSM requests to provide HR with the context they need to give the right answers the first time round, cutting down unnecessary back-and-forth and boosting efficiency for HR and employees alike.

Personalized Service Point (PSP) #2: Onboarding 

In conventional Confluence intranet setups, navigating the onboarding process can be overwhelming. Newbies are often confronted with the whole of an organization’s knowledge, making it difficult to figure out where to start, or what’s relevant to their role.

What if each employee had access to a personalized onboarding page that gives them exactly what they need without overwhelming them?

By customizing view permissions with Refined Sites, HR managers can ensure that onboarding checklists are tailored to different roles or departments. For example, new employees in the engineering department might see specific technical onboarding materials and coding standards, while their colleagues in marketing might instead be presented with information on brand guidelines and content creation tools.

This isn't just about giving new hires a warm welcome. It's about making HR's life easier too. Tailoring these experiences means HR can compile and share out exactly what's needed, and employees can hit the ground running.

Personalized onboarding pages on a Confluence-based Refined intranet can be configured according to a new hire's department or role.

Embed JSM service points for smoother onboarding

Embedded JSM requests let newcomers raise questions or share feedback straight from their onboarding portal. It's like having a hotline to HR.

For HR, this means a goldmine of insights straight from the front lines. Every question is a clue as to how to improve onboarding, which can help close gaps, clear up confusion, and validate that onboarding is a path toward clarity and engagement.

Final thoughts

Personalized Service Points (PSPs) with Jira Service Management and Confluence embody the future of HR intranets — vibrant, interactive environments tailored to meet the varied requirements of employees across roles, geography, tenure, and more. 

From simplifying benefits administration to customizing the onboarding journey, PSPs can create a more dynamic, efficient, and rewarding workplace for employees and HR professionals. 

Confluence apps from the Atlassian Marketplace like Refined Sites for Confluence and Refined Sites for Jira Service Management can be used to bring PSPs to life.

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