10 ways your intranet can boost employee engagement

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Employee engagement is essential for any organization to thrive.

A recent article by Ivey Business Journal identified issues surrounding engagement levels in the workplace. We’ll condense those findings below and suggest how your intranet can foster and boost engagement.

The Gallup Management Journal’s Employee Engagement Index revealing the following:

  • Only 29 percent of employees are actively engaged in their jobs. These employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. People who are actively engaged help move the organization forward.
  • More than half (54 percent) of employees are not engaged. These employees have essentially “checked out,” sleepwalking through their workday and putting time—but not passion—into their work.
  • One-sixth (17 percent) of employees are actively disengaged. They act out their unhappiness, undermining what their engaged co-workers are trying to accomplish.

On the plus side, a Towers Perrin Employee Engagement Survey extracted these statistics:

  • Five out of six (84 percent) highly engaged employees believe they can enhance their organization’s products, compared with only 31 percent of the disengaged.
  • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of highly engaged employees feel they can improve customer service, versus 27 percent of the disengaged.
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) of highly engaged employees believe they can have a positive impact on costs in their job or unit, as opposed to 19 percent of the disengaged.

So, how can you reap the benefits of an engaged workforce? Make the most of your intranet by applying the 10 C’s of employee engagement. Employees are the heart of your company; ensure they have the right tools to be engaged with your organization and brand.

1. Connect

For employees to feel connected to an organization, leaders must show that they value those employees. Employee-focused initiatives such as work/life balance are important, but any fractured relationships with management can reduce engagement.

Consider this example: WestJet’s CEO, Clive Beddoe, arrived late to a speaking arrangement. He explained that a discussion with WestJet employees had taken longer than expected. He took the time to answer questions and explain the corporate strategy.

All in all, employees felt connected to the top boss and rewarded him with engagement. An internal blog on your intranet can help executives communicate the company vision and build company culture.

2. Career

A good leader can find the balance between challenging employees and instilling confidence that career challenges can be met. If a company doesn’t provide the knowledge or the right tools to reach (or exceed) their goals, employees can lose motivation, decreasing engagement.

By having an e-learning and onboarding site on your intranet, you can empower employees to gain the knowledge and confidence to do their jobs and overcome challenges.

3. Clarity

An organization must enunciate a clear vision so employees can understand how their personal goals can help achieve the company’s objectives. Why put players in the game if they don’t know what their playing for?

You invest heavily in your employees and provide the tools to succeed, such as your intranet, so make sure those tools include the proper instructions. Create a site on your intranet dedicated to communicating company values.

4. Convey

It’s important to convey expectations about employees and provide feedback along the way. A good leader will work with employees daily, analyze strengths and celebrate small advances that inspire ongoing improvement.

Download this free white paper, “Auditing your Internal Communications,” for a step-by-step guide to assess which communications channels work best for your organization.

As employees grow, they learn more and more. Online tests reinforce workers’ expanding knowledge; any unanswered questions or wrong answers become a learning opportunity.

5. Congratulate

Employees feel they receive poor feedback often and almost immediately, whereas praise or recognition for strong performances is less common. As the Ivey Business Journal article states: “Exceptional leaders give recognition, and they do so a lot; they coach and convey.”

A post in an employee recognition section can deliver immediate kudos. Within moments it can be created and promoted on the home page or team/department sites of your intranet.

6. Contribute

A study found the following:

  • When employees understand the connection between their work and the goals of the company, it improves job performance.
  • An employee’s attitude toward the organization affects customer service.
  • When employees have a positive attitude, they improve at doing their jobs.

Those factors result in better customer satisfaction and revenue growth. So, how can you use your intranet to help employees understand their impact on the company? Add a company news application on your intranet’s home page, and have top leaders manage it. There they can celebrate milestones and achievements.

For major company announcements, use the company news feature on your home page. For localized achievements use that feature on your team/department sites.

7. Control

Company decisions that affect the way people do their jobs can make them feel they are losing control over their work. Letting staffers participate in making decisions bolsters engagement, increases trust and results in employees’ taking ownership of problems and solutions.

Create an online survey about changes that may affect day-to-day work; for big-picture items, solicit staffers’ opinions with an idea share exchange.

8. Collaborate

Teamwork builds trust and cooperation and enables employees to outperform their disengaged counterparts. Team/department sites on your intranet foster a community, and employees gain access to information, team members and project updates, helping them achieve key goals.

9. Credibility

Employees want to work for an organization they are proud of—one that is credible, has a good reputation and maintains high ethical standards.

How can you convey your company’s credibility to those who helped build it? Use your intranet as a brand building tool. A company works hard to build a brand for its customers. A simple design builder makes it easy to incorporate brand-focused colors, logos, language and more.

10. Confidence

Confidence needn’t be applied; it’s more a result of implementing the points above. When you have engaged employees, clear company goals, a method to convey appreciation and the credibility of a brand, a sense of confidence will follow.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Intranet Connections website.
Ragan.com

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Final extension: 2015 Intranet Awards

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Be a part of Ragan’s first-ever Intranet Awards!

It’s been a category in other award programs.

Now, the intranet has its own program. We’ve got it right here: The 2015 Intranet Awards!

We want to find and name the very best in intranets. Show us your memorable, personal, essential and easy intranet. How does your intranet or piece of the intranet keep your employees on the same page?

This year’s categories will cover every corner of your intranet: articles, launch or re-launch, visuals, video, blogs, social networking, design, use for HR and more! Of course, don’t forget about the grand prize category for the best overall intranet.

Show off your best intranet-related projects. Even small changes that made for unique content count! We’re looking for innovations or projects where the benefits have been grand. Our judges want to know how your intranet helped your organization, gaining employee trust and producing real change.

See a full list of categories, eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

ENTER ONLINE

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as their entries are submitted in English.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between January 1, 2014, and June 22, 2015.

If you aren’t sure your project qualifies, call or email Danielle Schultz at 312-960-4304 or danielles@ragan.com.

Deadlines/Entry Fees

Final Deadline: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Extended Deadline: Friday, August 21, 2015

The entry fee for this program is $ 195 (the entry fee for the Grand Prize category is $ 295). A late fee of $ 100 per entry may be added to entries after August 12, 2015. Please note: Entry fees are non-refundable.

W-9 Form / Tax ID Number Request

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Prizes

Each category winner will receive:

A featured write-up in Ragan.com
An elegant trophy
One complimentary registration to any Ragan event or conference in 2015 or 2016
The winner of the Grand Prize will also receive a one-year membership to Ragan Training–a premium online training library featuring hundreds of hours of the very best content from Ragan events. Find out more about the site here: http://ragantraining.com/

Categories

Innovation

Best Article
We want to see it all. The headline, lead, body copy, links, photos, videos. Show us clean, concise writing that grabbed the attention of employees. Was it an employee profile? An article about a campaign? How did employees respond? Share with us the discussion, if applicable, that took place after the article was posted.

Best Launch or Re-launch
How did your intranet launch or re-launch spur your organization to ask for more? What were your goals? How did you achieve them? How did you train employees on the new intranet? What was the feedback? If this is a re-launch, please include documentation (numerous screen shots) of the previous site, and show us before-and-after. And—if you have figures—what effect your new intranet or re-launch had on employee engagement?

Best Viral Campaign
How did your inspired concept go viral internally and get noticed by the entire company on the intranet? Tell us how your campaign caught fire. If it went viral, we want to know every detail!

Best Use of Visuals
How did you take graphics from mere illustration of a text to powerful, self-contained storytelling? What important message did you communicate visually via the intranet? We want to see your best infographics, slide decks, photos and data visualization. What was your goal? What were the results?

Best Use of Video (over one minute, one minute or less)
How did you use video to enhance your communications with employees via the intranet? Was it an emotional ad, a 30-second clip, a media reel, or a video testimonial? Give us the story behind the video. Tell us about its conception, growth, message, and how it succeeded. Enter either the one-minute-or-less or over-one-minute category.

Use for HR
How does your intranet serve as the voice for your HR department? What ways do you easily and creatively share benefits enrollment, healthy lifestyle programs, policies, procedures, and employee celebrations (accolades, birthdays, job changes). Do you use gamification? How? What changes has the HR department seen as a result? What are the results?

Collaboration

Best Blog
Does your CEO, frontline employee, or communications team member write an excellent blog—original, insightful, inspiring? How do employees respond? Do you allow comments—anonymous or signed? Show us your results and the popularity of the blog on your intranet.

Best Internal Social Networking/Use of Social Media
Internal social networking and social media aren’t just for fun. You often harness these channels to communicate with your employees—both in-house and remote—to discuss internal projects and initiatives, connect workers, boost engagement, and much more. How have you used internal social networking or social media through your intranet? What was your goal? How did you achieve it? We welcome links, screen shots and feedback.

Best Online Discussion
How did you create a true discussion on your intranet? How did you open up that communication? What platforms did you use? A dedicated space for collaboration? A dedicated space for employee feedback? Do you host ongoing conversations about subjects that interest and influence your organization? We want to see an online discussion that caught fire with employees. We’re looking for the quality of the conversation, and any changes that came about as a result.

Design

Best Design
A beautifully designed, easy-to-navigate site makes searching for and getting information a pleasant adventure. How is your intranet design a hit with employees? What about your layout makes it so effective and popular? How does your design engage employees?

Best Mobile Design
We’re looking for the same things as in the “Best Design” category but for those employees who access the intranet from their phones. Tell us how you made your intranet mobile-responsive—optimized for search, versatile, powerful and employee-friendly!

Grand Prize
Best Overall Intranet
Innovation. Collaboration. Design. Writing. Visuals. What was your strategy when you pulled it all together? How does your intranet set the tone for your organization, empower and engage employees, reduce email, make it easy to navigate—and be everything an intranet should be? Tell us how and why it makes your staff more productive, collaborative, confident and cheerful. Share screenshots, conversations and results! Tell us how your intranet made your organization better.

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How To Enter

Log into the system with your email address and password OR start a new application to register as a new user.

ENTER ONLINE

Please see the online entry form for detailed information. Please note we ask for multiple screenshots to demonstrate the work and success of your project.

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FAQs

Are the awards open to organizations outside of the United States?
Yes. The only requirement is that all entries be submitted in English

May an organization or nominator enter more than one entry?
Yes.

Will you return my entry materials?
No.

Who judges the entries?
Our judges include the editorial staff of Ragan.com, PR Daily, HR Communicator and Health Care Communications News.

When and where will the winners be announced?
We try to announce a list of finalists about 8 to 10 weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners is usually about 3 or 4 weeks after this announcement.

Each of these announcements will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter, and on our social media platforms. Emails will be sent to all entrants to notify them of these announcements.

Will there be an award luncheon or live ceremony?
We are not planning on holding a live event for this contest.

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Additional Questions or Sponsorship Opportunities

If you have any questions about this program, issues submitting your entry or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the awards contact Mandy Zaransky mandyz@ragan.com.

Award Deadline
Final Deadline:
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Extended Deadline:
Friday, August 21, 2015
Enter Online

Ragan.com

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