Paula Darch 28 December 2023 14 min read

How intranets help create a positive employee experience

The employee experience is a crucial consideration for both business and HR leaders with positive day-to-day work experiences improving staff engagement, productivity and retention. According to employee experience author and futurist Jacob Morgan, the employee experience encompasses things that make employees want to show up for work rather than need to, with a focus on culture, technology, workspace and an intentionally designed experience. It’s about concentrating on your people and bringing humanity and memorable, shared moments into organisations, and as part of this, intranets have a vital role to play. Here are 12 key reasons why your intranet is important for fostering a positive employee experience.

Streamlines everyday working

If your employees are met with daily frustrations when trying to get their work done, such as not having the right information and documents to hand, their everyday experience will be poor. To do their jobs effectively, employees need information, resources and support at their fingertips and an intranet enables this. In fact, it streamlines the work experience and creates efficiencies - for instance, instead of HR teams spending time responding to basic HR and payroll queries over email, employees can find answers directly on the intranet.

Everyday tasks are also made easy, like finding and connecting with colleagues, getting help with a project, booking holidays and logging an IT issue. By centralising all communications and information, as well as linking to all business systems from the intranet, there’s one home for everything which greatly simplifies everyday working.

Supports information transparency and equity of knowledge

Employees need to feel informed and updated by their leaders if they’re to deliver their best work and feel part of an honest and open culture. When information isn’t forthcoming or is shrouded in secrecy, this can create anxiety and distrust among the workforce.

Therefore, organisational transparency is paramount to protecting culture, particularly when times are hard. In fact, organisations that increased how transparent they were with employees during the covid crisis saw an 85 per cent increase in employee engagement. Trust in leaders also increased by 174 per cent.

An intranet supports a culture of transparency by ensuring employees are simultaneously given the same news and updates. It also supports inclusivity and equity as everyone is ‘in the know’ at the same time rather than knowledge seeping across the organisation in an ad hoc fashion, potentially being controlled and manipulated for power and influence.

Provides the tech backbone for flexible working

The rise of flexible and hybrid working has seen the introduction of new remote working tools. After all, if employees are working away from the office and are, at times, operating outside of normal office hours, they need the ability to get their work done effectively from anywhere and at any time. Issues arise, however, when employees experience ‘tech overload’ due to having to use and manage too many different apps. This phenomenon known as ‘digital fatigue’ can be easily overcome by simplifying the employee’s digital experience, such as by using a single, central platform for all company information and resources. And by linking from the intranet to other business systems and apps the company uses, this ensures all key technologies can still be used but the employee experience is made simple – just one hub for everything which supports a consistent employee experience.

Builds an engaged and supportive workplace community

One in six U.K. employees (18 per cent) feel they don't belong at work most or all of the time (this rises to 33 per cent of under-24s). This backs-up research by McKinsey & Associates which found the top reasons people quit their jobs are, first, not feeling valued (54 per cent), and second, not feeling a sense of belonging at work (51 per cent). And when employees feel like outsiders they’ll have low levels of engagement and are more likely to suffer with burnout.

An intranet can effectively nurture that important sense of belonging and community by bringing people together wherever they are. By allowing employees to give their opinions, comment on posts, and share their personal news and achievements, they start to feel stronger connections to their colleagues, and the organisation as a whole.

Keeps deskless workers connected

An intranet is not just for desk-based workers. It also plays a vital role in keeping deskless workers connected to one another and to the company, regardless of whether they work in a shop, on a factory line or in a hospital. By using a mobile intranet app, deskless workers can access the intranet from mobile devices including company tablets and phones. They can also access it on computers/kiosks in shared spaces.

British furniture retailer - Furniture Village - has done just this, making its intranet accessible to all 1,200 employees on PCs, company tablets and via sales terminals in store. Regardless of whether they are sitting in the office, behind a sales terminal or in a delivery lorry, every employee can contribute and feel a part of the Furniture Village community.

Aligns everyone with the company’s purpose and values

The most successful organisations have a clear purpose and strong values which employees feel aligned to and inspired by.

However, a company’s purpose and its values can’t just be written on posters in the boardroom, but must be lived and breathed every day, and this means ensuring employees see, hear, and feel the influence of purpose in their employee experience.

Clearly, the intranet has an important role to play in echoing the company’s purpose and values, including highlighting how every employee contributes to the bigger picture.

Reinforces a culture of recognition

Appreciating staff on a regular basis makes them feel ‘seen’ and valued. And recognition giving through the intranet helps to support a culture of appreciation, making it quick and easy to ‘call out’ and celebrate the efforts and achievements of colleagues. From celebrating career anniversaries and enabling peer-to-peer recognition for a job well done through to spotlighting an employee’s achievements in an ‘employee of the month’ section, recognition functionality can be used to significantly elevate the employee experience.

Provides a holistic wellbeing platform

Employee wellbeing remains an important consideration that can be effectively supported with a intranet wellbeing hub that signposts people to advice, support services and resources. From employee assistance programmes through to mental health first aiders, the intranet can ensure help is just a click away.

One such company that’s made its intranet a key wellbeing support resource is VIVID, one of Hampshire’s largest providers of affordable homes. Its VIV intranet has become a safe space for employees to voice their opinion, connect with others and reach out for help. The intranet has even proved key to tackling stigma around mental health and other taboo subjects by initiating and encouraging difficult conversations.

Gives employees a voice

Employees need to feel that their opinions matter and are respected. Unfortunately, one in four employees don't think that they have a voice in their organisation.

Giving employees a voice means allowing them to share their opinions and feedback on ideas and suggestions, and the intranet can easily facilitate this. From inviting employees to write blogs and interact with posts, through to more formal feedback mechanisms, the intranet is an important tool that can support an active listening and feedback culture.

Nurtures growth and development

74 per cent of employees say that a lack of professional development is preventing them from reaching their full potential, clearly impacting engagement and staff turnover rates. Employees must therefore be given opportunities to grow and develop, and the intranet can support this by advertising and promoting internal vacancies, and enabling employees to book onto courses and request training.

Enhances the employee journey from onboarding through to exit

An intranet can support the employee journey, making it simple and stress-free. For instance, new starters can be directed to key company information, the staff directory, working policies, organisational charts, job descriptions and information about their new team. Tasks can also be assigned to support the onboarding experience.

The intranet can also support the offboarding process, helping to create a positive experience by supporting knowledge transfer and handover with step-by-step procedures.

Creates a supportive platform for leaders

Leaders are employees too, and require ongoing support from the organisation. As part of this, the intranet can direct leaders to important documents, updates and information stored in a secure, ring-fenced area. This leadership hub can also provide a range of supportive resources, perhaps including a discussion forum where leaders can seek advice and share best practice. Such a resource could prove crucial to leaders who are often battling a range of demands from above and below, and can often feel alone and isolated.  

An employee experience intranet – the heart of the company

There’s no doubt that an intranet needs to form part of every organisation’s employee experience toolkit. From nurturing a purposeful, transparent and appreciative culture through to supporting the employee voice, it’s the technological heart of a company that keeps people connected, engaged and loyal.




Paula Darch

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