Paula Darch 16 March 2022 14 min read

How your intranet can boost the employee experience

Organisations are prioritising the employee experience so that each employee feels a strong sense of belonging, a part of the company’s success and a valued team member. HR leaders must looks at all ways to enhance the employee experience, and this needs to include working with IT and communications leaders to ensure the intranet enriches people’s everyday working lives. So let’s find out more about the employee experience and how the intranet can be used to boost it!

Defining the employee experience

Author and futurist Jacob Morgan identifies that the employee experience has evolved over years to become what it is today. He asserts that organisations used to focus on utility – essentially providing employees with the bare minimum needed for them to work (desk, chair, phone and computer).

This then shifted to productivity – what improvements can be made to get people to work harder, faster, and be more productive? (refining processes and employee optimisation were key).

The next phase was employee engagement – how can employees be made happier so they work harder? Annual engagement surveys, mission statements and employee perks become increasingly important at this stage.

We’re now into a whole new phase – that of employee experience. This is all about creating a company which people enjoy being a part of. The emphasis is now on organisational culture, supportive technology, a pleasant workspace, and ultimately a thoughtfully designed experience that creates a thriving place to work.

The employee experience is everything that impacts how an employee feels about their work and employer, from daily interactions with colleagues and how supportive their leader is, through to how easy it is to find and share documents. In fact, 92 per cent of employees describe their employee experience as their “everyday” experience, and it is this that leaders must improve and enhance.

Why the intranet is vital to a great experience

Having a robust IT infrastructure is a pre-requisite of a great employee experience. Employees must be able to be get their work done without daily frustrations – they can’t be hampered by paperwork and time-consuming administration, complex systems and processes, and failing technology. And getting the basics right must include investing in a functionality-rich intranet that’s easy to tailor, manage and use.

Once viewed as a ‘nice to have’, a company intranet is now crucial for supporting a positive everyday employee experience. COVID highlighted the power of the intranet for keeping people working effectively at a distance, providing a central repository and ‘go to’ for all documents and information regardless of whether employees were working in the office or remotely. However, the intranet is so much more than a virtual filing cabinet, it’s the super glue holding together organisational culture, delivering a multitude of benefits that lift the entire employee experience.

How your intranet can boost the employee experience

By focusing on bringing your intranet to life and making it the central hub for information, advice, collaboration and discussion, it becomes integral to peoples’ everyday working lives. Here are just some ways it can support the HR function in delivering a positive employee experience.

Removes administrative frustrations

Time-consuming processes involving paper pushing, layers of bureaucracy and lost documents are hugely frustrating for employees, and if they feel they’re spending too much time on administrative tasks, it will directly detriment their everyday experience. The intranet can automate repetitive and manual business processes, workflows, and tasks to increase employee productivity and remove daily administrative frustrations.

Keeps people connected to their colleagues, leaders and the company

A positive organisational culture requires employees to feel emotionally as well as technologically connected to their colleagues, leaders and the organisation itself. With people working at a distance more than ever before, keeping people connected is crucial, and the intranet enables this. It brings multi-located teams and leaders together, allowing every employee to be part of every discussion, no matter what time zone they’re in. And by connecting employees to the organisation, the intranet can help foster a sense of belonging.

Enables a culture of transparency

Honesty and openness breed trust and so organisations that are transparent in the bad times as well as the good, will nurture a more loyal and understanding workforce. On the flip side, companies that are slow to communicate with their people and are defensive and vague with what they share, will engender a culture of mistrust. The intranet is the ideal platform for communicating with everyone, sharing real-time insights, and encouraging direct interaction, thereby eliminating doubt and uncertainty.

Gives employees a voice

Giving employees a voice is a fundamental aspect of a positive employee experience. After all, when employees feel they can safely put forward their viewpoints, they feel more valued, trusted and influential. In fact, CIPD research shows that participating in decisions is important for people's wellbeing and motivation. The intranet is important here - playing a vital role in giving employees the chance to air their thoughts, interact with others and provide feedback through blogs, social posts and other forums.

Supports wellbeing

In addition to the wellbeing benefits of keeping people connected and giving them a voice, the intranet can signpost employees to wellbeing support, such as mental health first aiders, financial advice and other support networks. There’s also functionality that can gauge ‘happiness’ and provide employees with a simple way of letting line managers know if they need additional support or one-to-one time.

Underpins diversity, equality and inclusion

The intranet can be used to encourage discussions around difficult and ‘taboo’ topics, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, mental health and the menopause. By encouraging employees to blog about topics they are passionate about and encouraging discussions around these topics, this creates a more accepting and inclusive culture and helps to reduce stigma. Some organisations may even choose to have a dedicated space on the intranet for DE&I discussions. Plus, home pages can be tailored to raise awareness of certain events and occasions, such as International Women’s Day, Pride and Black History Month.

Supports appreciation and recognition

Research tells us that appreciation and recognition improve employee engagement, increase the odds of employees staying longer at an organisation and enhance their employee experience. When employees believe they will be recognised, they are 2.7 times’ more likely to be highly engaged. The intranet can be used to support recognition moments, showcasing employee achievements while allowing colleagues and leaders to call out employees’ efforts and accomplishments, or just say a simple “thank you”.

Strengthens company culture

The intranet provides a vital means to reinforce the company’s purpose, values and successes, helping to strength company culture, especially now that the office isn’t the cultural incubator it used to be. By using the intranet to reflect and underpin what the company stands for, and helping employees to be inspired by its purpose, this will nurture a stronger company culture.

Organisations must set themselves apart

The intranet is no longer simply about streamlining processes and keeping employees informed, it’s a crucial means to support a thriving employee experience. As Mckinsey states, “Organisations that design an employee experience model that is both personalised and supported by digital experiences that augment flexibility, create an enduring opportunity to attract, inspire, and keep the best talent.” The employee experience is how organisations truly set themselves apart and it’s up to leaders to design a compelling experience that’s underpinned by the very best intranet technology.


Paula Darch

Paula is our marketing whizz and is passionate about intranet engagement and getting the most out of your intranet software.