How to Create Value for Your Employees

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It takes more than just paying competitive wages or bean bag chairs for employees to feel valued. Companies that can create value for their employees will see a more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled workforce. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability. It is important to understand where value can be created. To provide a better frame of where to look, there are two areas of focus: Everything that concerns the employment, and everything that relates to the employment. When understanding everything that concerns employment research what tools employees are using and how can you improve productivity. Examine how employees get information, forms, vacations time, pay stubs, and other HR functions. With this framework in mind, what are some things an organization can do to provide value and increase engagement?

Reduce Friction

At the core of employee productivity is information. It is important that employees have access to the information they need to complete a task. Reducing friction in how the employees access the information will create value. However, most organizations take the approach of providing total access to complex systems and believe this reduces friction because employees have access to everything. This assumption is incorrect since not all information needs across an organization are the same. Now will require digging through all the information to find what is needed. A more effective way to reduce friction in information access is to take an “insight without access” approach to fill an information request.  Alternatively, a robust search function will also allow users to find the information they need faster with much less friction.

Communication

The way employees communicate with each other and with the company can be improved and will result in value added. Begin by providing employees with a voice. As much value, an organization may try to provide if they are not listening to their employees or their employees do not feel heard, no value will be added. Whether it be a forum, survey, anonymous submission, or other means; providing a means of 2-way communication between the employee and the company is important.

Another way to add value through communication is to look at how employees communicate with each other. Email is likely to be the most used platform for communication. This can create friction because the valuable information may get lost and not easily found. Furthermore, it lacks the sophistication for the company to measure and understand how email is being used and how they can add value. If a portal with a communication feature were to be implemented, it could amplify how employees communicate and turn the email inbox into a space for notifications not discussions.

Creating Organic Adoption

After implementing a new portal, some may be tempted to incentivize the employees to use the system. This is not wise. Not only does it not provide true value, it skews measurement of engagement and turns the portal into the equivalent of a “fast food” meal, satisfying in the short term without long-term benefits. A portal is best viewed as a perpetual investment and to get true adoption it must provide true value. There are multiple ways ensure adoption. For example, find out what is the #1 request/problem faced by the employees in each department. Funneling information access through the portal simplifies access adoption. Of course, changing the way employees operate may cause short-term disruption, but if the solution provides more value than the previous method, that disruption will be short.

Measuring Engagement

Finally, when looking to create value for employees through the implementation of an employee portal, it is important that its usage is measured. Most companies build a portal and leave it alone. This platform is a vibrant ecosystem and should be tracked and changed to ensure it’s delivering the best value possible. Metrics that stakeholders may want to consider are the percentage of employee activity daily, weekly, and monthly; time on page – finding out which pages are most used and may need to be more accessible, and which pages are less used either because they are organized in the wrong place or should be removed. A platform requires regular maintenance and should be kept fresh. This will ensure it provides value to the employees and is used for the long term.

 

Employee portals are a great tool for companies to provide value to their employees. Simply implementing a portal will not always provide value. It is important that companies understand how its employees operate and communicate. With this understanding, organizations must reduce friction, improve communication, promote platform adopt, and measure the usage. These portals cannot remain static and must continue to evolve with the organization to ensure it is always benefiting the employee.