Employee engagement is the cornerstone of any successful business. Yet, 30% of internal comms, HR and senior leaders see it as a continuing challenge in 2023. In our guide to Improving Intranet Engagement and Adoption we touched on the ways your SharePoint intranet can support and drive your employee engagement.
In this blog, we dive into some practical intranet engagement ideas, outlining how you can use SharePoint to identify and meet employee’s engagement needs.
First, let’s remind ourselves why engagement is important.
There are many studies that show how high levels of sustained employee engagement across your organisation can positively influence your business, including:
- Boosted customer experience – companies that perform well on employee experience metrics also perform well on customer experience metrics, says Harvard Business Review
- Less absenteeism – Gallup reports 81% difference in rates of absenteeism between highest and lowest engaged workforces
- Better productivity – sales and outcomes measures are 18% higher from engaged employees, and
- Improved bottom line – where these high levels of customer experience, greater efficiencies, and a productive workforce result in higher revenues and greater profit margins.
Plus, without a good level of employee engagement, your workspace and organisational transformation initiatives are less likely to succeed or sustain. And your staff turnover – and costs – are likely to be higher.
In a previous blog (How to Engage Your Employees with Your Purpose, Strategy, and Vision) we discussed a useful hierarchy that can give you the structure to ensure that – at a fundamental level – employees’ needs are met. Your SharePoint intranet has a part to play in contributing to each of these needs:
- Physiological: I have the tools, I feel safe
- Security: I am supported and my employer cares about me
- Belonging: I feel connected to my team
- Esteem: I am confident in my ability, and I am contributing to the company
- Self-actualisation: I feel inspired to do my best
Let’s break it down.
I have the tools to do my job, I feel safe
Designed correctly – with your employees needs at its core – your SharePoint intranet should be a first port of call when logging on at the start of the working day.
A personalised home screen with portals, resources, news, events, feeds from Viva Connections – and so much more – will give your people the confidence that they are ‘plugged in’ to what’s going on, regardless of where and when they’re working. When building your SharePoint intranet you can add lists, libraries, and hundreds of other apps to give your employees instant access to all the tools and information they need to stay connected and productive wherever they are working.
I am supported and my employer cares about me
Listening to employees, letting them know that their views are important and are being taken seriously, is a vital part of engaging them and letting them know they are valued. There are many ways you can use your SharePoint intranet to create meaningful conversations with your people and bring their opinions into the company’s strategic thinking.
Microsoft Forms in Teams or Outlook make it easy to run simple polls, or you might choose to run surveys, ask questions or simply direct praise right in the heart of the conversation in Viva Engage.
By using Viva Insights – and looking at the data available to you about how your employees work and interact with your SharePoint communications and content – you will be able to respond to their needs even without them knowing.
Viva Pulse too will allow leaders to gather confidential feedback about the employee experience in the flow of Teams. Pulse will offer smart templates, research-backed questions, and analytics on the gathered data to help managers to identify what’s working well, and what areas of the team’s experience needs more focussed attention.
Your intranet is the ideal space to give your people access to training and development opportunities. Viva Learning enables all your employees to find, access and track learning content from right within Teams. Particularly useful for groups who may have a higher level of need – such as new employees, those returning to work after absence, and frontline workers – offering a learning management system (LMS) can enable you to assign targeted training from partner solutions.
I feel connected to my team
The Silicon Reef 2022 survey on combatting the hidden impacts of hybrid working found that nearly half of all hybrid workers (48%) felt disconnected from colleagues when working remotely, making this one of the most important factors to overcome in employee engagement.
Your intranet should work its hardest here, making employees feel connected wherever and whenever they are working.
Content governance is vital to make sure that the intranet remains a consistent, up-to-date platform for company-wide employee communication, learning, and celebration.
Teams allows focus on instant, one-to-one communication, and file sharing, Viva Engage provides a lively, interactive network for the exchange of ideas, status updates, and personality rich content, but it is your intranet that needs to bring this all together.
Viva Connections helps to make employee experiences even more targeted allowing you to create unique experiences for different audiences – such as frontline workers, new employees, or technical staff for example. Although it doesn’t need an intranet homepage, Viva Connections works well through your intranet and makes movement between Teams and your intranet content smooth, by pulling in content such as company news, announcements, policies, and resources and displaying it in a branded, personalised dashboard within Teams.
I am confident in my ability, and I am contributing to the company
Feedback is an essential part of employee engagement.
It lets employees know that their efforts have been recognised. It can help them identify areas that they need to work on and can build up their confidence in their abilities. Although direct feedback – if it is relevant, specific, and timely – is always highly valuable, remote feedback can also play an important part in boosting employee engagement.
Viva Goals is an objective and key results (OKR) management solution. It helps you to connect teams to your company’s strategic priorities and can give individuals a direct link from their own work priorities to the impact they will have on the business.
This powerful tool is designed to empower employees by establishing a clear understanding of what the individual needs to accomplish and what their managers expect them to do, as well as the overall part those accomplishments will play in the success of the whole organisation.
I feel inspired to do my best
Using your intranet to bring your people and their accomplishments together can be your most powerful, effective route to inspiring your teams. The achievements of others can be one of the most motivating, invigorating factors, as well as stimulating the individual’s desire to contribute to the team’s successes.
By weaving the features of Viva Engage into your SharePoint intranet you will enable communities within your business to thrive. You’ll also give your IC teams the opportunity to bring together the very best of your business content with the thoughts, ideas, and inspiration of your people.
Through Engage your leaders can plant the seeds of ideas for the future and sit back as your workforce develop these through communities, bringing your company culture to the fore, strengthening relationships, and allowing employees to guide and support each other.
Ready to start improving engagement with your SharePoint intranet?