By: Kohi Easwarachandran
In the age of the digital workplace, most organizations rely on an HR portal to house information around benefits or other HR resources, or even act as a platform for employee content. While portals work well as a central information hub, organizations who lean on this type of technology as both information centers and content libraries will quickly encounter challenges with employee engagement.
The biggest problem with this approach is bridging the gap between your content and the employee who needs it most; with an HR portal, employees would first need to know what information they want, then take steps to search through the intranet to find it. In other words, a portal only works when actions are initiated by the employee. This can quickly become overwhelming and stalled – especially if the portal is difficult to navigate, or if some employees don’t have frequent access to digital devices.
Right now, at a moment when information overload and communication fatigue are more extreme than ever, this passive mode of information seeking may not be the best way to deliver timely, actionable information. Instead, with a topic-driven content experience – for programs like onboarding, benefits, or performance – employees are better able to engage with the information and content they need, exactly when they need it. This enables your content and communications to take a proactive approach, rather than reactive – ultimately better serving your employees and driving program goals. Using a communications platform, rather than relying only on an HR portal, organizations can better connect information with employees in a much more active way; delivering the right information to the right people at the right time.
Here are 3 key ways a communications platform boosts the success of your HR programs:
1. Deliver content anywhere, anytime – through a centralized platform
Employees get workplace information in a variety of locations and platforms. Every day, they’re accessing messaging apps, email inboxes, intranets, and other tools. By putting your program content where employees already are, you’ll be able to reach them even more effectively and seamlessly. With a communications platform supporting your outreach, you can both integrate with your company’s particular tech stack, as well as manage your topic-based content campaigns centrally.
Strategic communications platforms can also help organizations reach out to employees based on moment-based needs. For example, event-based triggers can launch new communications campaigns when an employee’s benefits status changes, when they’re promoted to a new role, or when they first join the company. This automation means your content can reach employees exactly when they need it most, so they’re even more likely to engage.
Other tools, like GuideSpark’s Communicate Planner, provide a central communications calendar with visibility into every team’s communication plans per day, week, or month – which means you always have visibility into what’s being delivered, to whom, and when. With this functionality, you can strategically plan your communications to launch exactly when they have the time and space to get the most engagement from your audience. Though your content may be delivered through different channels depending on the program or audience, you can manage the entire process in one central location.
2. Create a targeted, relevant, personalized employee experience
Employees all have unique needs based on role, department, job level, location, and more. A communications platform can leverage marketing strategies to segment your employee population to target specific groups with the information they need most. Rather than building one library for everyone, you’ll be able to make changes to content and messaging based on what fits each employee scenario. If you’re delivering benefits content, for example, you can manage and deliver resources that are specific to which benefits each employee group is eligible for, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach.
The right platform can take this a step further, and deliver content based on key employee event “triggers” – whether they’re joining the company, have a change in benefits eligibility, or get promoted. Triggers make it simpler than ever to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time (without overloading any individual person), and ensure a highly relevant content experience that your employees will find value in.
Other personalization features, like including the employee’s name in email greetings, or recommending additional content based on what’s already been viewed, can also help contribute to an exciting and engaging employee experience – one that’s delivered to them, rather than one that requires employees to initiate.
3. Combine communication strategy with content for more action & engagement
Merging messages and topic-centered content experiences as a cohesive campaign can complement portals and other systems by driving action. With so much digital overload, it’s easy for employees to overlook or miss action steps when they aren’t clear. Connecting the information you’re presenting with the actual steps to carry out the action you need makes it much easier on your employees to understand what to do next.
A portal alone is a great source of reference materials and resources, but if action, enrollment, or program adoption is your ultimate goal, you need an experience that has every element – educational content, relevant messaging, and calls-to-action – all in one place.
Driving program alignment or behavior change requires a strategic communication approach. Rather than waiting for your audience to come through the door and browse a resource library on your portal, push messaging and content outward to create an engaging, relevant employee experience. Aligning your workforce to a shared goal goes beyond making information available – you need a communications platform to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time.