How HR can leverage the intranet
Because it is a department connected to every part of an organisation, Human Resources (HR) has a unique position that can be leveraged to help underpin the intranet’s value to staff.
HR remains a key stakeholder of, and publisher to, the corporate intranet. Reviewing the various content and tasks available can help HR and intranet teams evaluate their current site and stimulate ideas for more compelling offerings.
Informing and supporting staff
For HR, the intranet often begins as an information repository or support centre facilitating access to current employment-related documents such as:
- policies and codes of conduct
- procedures and employee manuals
- employment agreements and conditions
- health and safety documentation
- events and training calendars
- internal position vacancies
- HR frequently asked questions
Also popular are facilities to support common transactional activities including:
- applying for leave
- completing time-sheets
- applying for training
- accessing pay slips
Rather than simply making a print version downloadable, these can be most effective if written and structured for an online audience. It is even better to allow staff to complete and submit forms and applications online, minimising processing steps. The previous article More than just policy documents has more detail on this.
As the keeper of employee records, HR can champion one of the most useful intranet tools — the people finder. Beyond a static telephone list, when linked directly to the HR management system (HRMS), current contact and organisational relationships can be made available automatically in a rich and effective manner.
Employees can then supplement the core information with more detailed role activities, recently completed work and available skill sets which allows staff to connect in a richer and more productive way. More sophisticated implementations might support skills matrices where the people finder can then facilitate personal development activities by:
- connecting people with complementary needs
- highlighting teaching and research interests
- locating mentors and coaches
- promoting knowledge-sharing spaces
- supporting instant messaging conversations with identified information sources
The Staff directories report provides comprehensive coverage of the why, what and how-to of people finders.
Content and tools that directly support employee development and learning, both for new-starters and established employees, can be made available on a self-service basis. These might include:
- induction activity lists
- orientation information
- education document libraries
- training videos and webcasts
- e-learning programs
- booking facilities for training
- recording of professional development activities
A self-service model that empowers employees tends to have a rapid uptake and is increasingly being expected in progressive organisations.
As social networking and collaboration tools become increasingly common in the workplace, they need to be supported by solid people-related information – a win-win for staff and the organisation as well as helping cement HR’s place as a strategic business partner.