Creating a world-class enterprise employee experience with Forrester: 5 key takeaways

While there might not be a formula for creating a compelling employee experience, there are certainly steps leaders can take to give their enterprise an edge. After teaming up with Forrester to produce a webinar that uncovers the secrets to cultivating an impactful engagement strategy, we’re sharing the key takeaways that will shape the future of employee experience.

Woman working on her laptop using an employee experience platform

Employee experience as the new differentiator

A superior employee experience is no longer just a competitive advantage; it’s a prerequisite for success in the new world of work. While many enterprises have been fine-tuning their engagement strategies for years, the pandemic has thrust employee experience into the spotlight. Nearly two-thirds of leaders agree that they are prioritizing employee experience more now than they did prior to COVID-19’s onset.

With the rise of the employee voice and the new hybrid work model, workplace technology has never been more important. Now that your employees rely on digital channels to communicate, collaborate, and complete daily tasks, the caliber of your technology can profoundly impact every element of your employee experience. So, what does it take to create a digital environment that will empower your teams and pave the way for an unparalleled employee experience?

Enhancing employee experience with an intranet

While legacy platforms may have served primarily as digitized bulletin boards, the modern intranet has emerged as an essential tool that leaders can leverage to enhance employee experience. During the height of the pandemic, enterprises relied more heavily on their intranets than ever before, as our own research indicates; during 2020, content consumption across our community rose to a total of 8.1m views, with 2m social reactions and more than 9m emails sent over the same time span.

Rather than fading into the background, the role of the intranet will only continue to become more crucial in the new world of work. 81% of business leaders now view the digital workplace as a priority. As the center of your digital workplace, your intranet is positioned to serve as the virtual home for your new employee experience vision.

Learn more about an employee experience intranet platform.

Employee working remotely on his company intranet software


Can your intranet be your digital HQ?

Instead of cafeterias and conference rooms, your headquarters is going digital. To thrive in the new world of work, every enterprise needs an agile, all-inclusive home for culture and knowledge sharing. But is your intranet ready to become your next HQ?

Learn more

5 key lessons for rethinking digital employee experience

Intranet software can only enhance employee experience when you have an engaging, accessible, and agile platform. Does yours meet the mark? In our most recent webinar, Unily’s Product Evangelist Matthew Boyd sat down with Cheryl McKinnon, a Principal Analyst at Forrester, to uncover what it takes to transform the employee experience. Their top takeaways include:

#1. Conquer the build versus buy debate

In years past, enterprises carefully considered whether an out-of-the-box solution could deliver against the unique needs of the company as well as a custom intranet could. The tables have now turned, as innovation in the OOTB space, combined with an understanding of the maintenance required to keep a custom solution ahead of the curve, have resulted in most enterprises moving towards turnkey solutions, as Cheryl explains:

"Increasingly, we are seeing customers much more interested in either building upon a framework that is designed specifically for the employee experience platform use case or using a packaged, software-as-a-service offering."

Cheryl McKinnon - Principal Analyst at Forrester

Matthew is quick to agree, noting:

"Build versus buy is a critical decision and I would encourage everyone to think about some of the things Cheryl talked about. More specifically, what does the future of the platform look like beyond when you first build it? You can’t buy or build a point-in-time solution, because as we know, the technology needs to be able to adapt to the world of tomorrow."

Matthew Boyd - Product Evangelist at Unily

Chess pieces facing off in preparation for debate


Build vs buy: has the war been won?

With the Nielsen Norman Group announcing that an unprecedented four Unily intranets feature in their 10 best intranets of 2021, episode 7 of the Unily podcast discusses all things design. Paul Seda is joined by Senior Consultant Alex Gabelli, Product Manager Katie Johnson, and Senior UI Developer Lewis Munt to share their thoughts about designing the best employee experience.

Learn more

#2. Employee communications are critical

While some enterprises may have once viewed employee messaging as an afterthought, internal communications is another rising priority in the hybrid era. Cheryl describes the change in thought, noting:

"Infrastructure modernization used to be at the top of many clients’ priority lists. Now, businesses are really putting employee communications and more personalized approaches to employee communications at the top of their requirements list."

Cheryl McKinnon - Principal Analyst at Forrester

As Matthew Boyd explains, there are 5 key ideas shaping internal comms, including:

  • Transparency: Building trust by communicating changes in a way that is honest and easy for employees to understand
  • Rich media: Adapting messaging strategies to include richer forms of communication, including audio podcasts, video content, and infographics
  • Visible leadership: There’s an opportunity to close the gap between leaders at the very top of organizations and employees on the frontlines, who often have insights on customer experience, by making executives more visible through townhalls, CEO blogs, and discussion forums
  • Employee voice: Comms don’t have to be one way, give everyone the opportunity to share their opinions
  • Multi-channel: Consider how your comms touch various points of the different platforms your employees use

#3. Upgrade analytics

Metrics are needed to evaluate the efficacy of your engagement strategy. Yet, all too often internal communicators find themselves with subpar analytics. As a result, more than half of industry professionals aren’t using data to lead their decisions.

Some intranets lack the analytics capabilities needed to give internal communicators the insights they are looking for.

"Internal communicators want to know if they are communicating effectively. Are there ways of improving who’s reading my news, who’s opening those emails? Content owners and creators really want to understand if they’re hitting the mark with their audience."

Cheryl McKinnon - Principal Analyst at Forrester

In addition to ensuring your analytics will support your current strategy, internal communicators need measurements that are fit to evolve, as Matthew explains:

"Your analytics shouldn’t be point-in-time either. The requirements for your analytics and the way you report on success will change over time and you want to be able to adapt that reporting in line with those requirements."

Matthew Boyd - Product Evangelist at Unily
Intranet social analytics

Designing employee experience

With the Nielsen Norman Group announcing that an unprecedented four Unily intranets feature in their 10 best intranets of 2021, episode 7 of the Unily podcast discusses all things design. Paul Seda is joined by returning star Senior Consultant Alex Gabelli, and two newcomers – Product Manager Katie Johnson and Senior UI Developer Lewis Munt – to share their thoughts about designing the best employee experience.

Watch now

#4. Develop a mobile-first strategy

Just because your employees are deskless or remote, doesn’t mean they don’t need the same high-quality digital experience as their in-office peers. To enhance engagement across your organization, provide every team member with updated information and communications channels that they can access anytime and anywhere.

"We all need to do a much better job of making sure we have the tools that serve all employees, not just headquarter employees or those in the office. Mobility is becoming more and more important."

Cheryl McKinnon - Principal Analyst at Forrester
Popular intranet content

'Discover the power of a mobile intranet' - Unily guide flat pages


Discover the power of a mobile intranet

2.7 billion people work away from a desk. That’s 80% of the global working population. These employees need more from their organizations, from their technology, and from the employee experience. This in-depth guide details everything your enterprise needs to deliver a consumer-grade mobile experience that connects and engages everyone from head office to frontline.

Get the guide

#5. Streamline your content delivery process

With the pace of change accelerating, your employees need updated information so they can adapt to whatever challenges come their way. If your content creators rely on technical support to publish internal updates, your enterprise will always be one step behind when it comes to internal communications.

"We need to move away from some of those old, on-premises ways of working. Those days are behind us because we can’t be adaptive with bottlenecks at play."

Cheryl McKinnon - Principal Analyst at Forrester

Instead, your intranet should make it easy for content creators to get news out fast, as Matthew explains:

"Content creation can be and should be highly distributed and you should have technology that supports that."

Matthew Boyd - Product Evangelist at Unily
Intranet front end content creation

Transform your enterprise’s employee experience with an intranet

As employee experience soars to the top of priority lists, every enterprise will be looking to create a superior strategy for their workforce. If you’re interested in enhancing engagement with a next-generation intranet, get in touch with our digital workplace experts.

Get started. Get your free demo.

Reinvent your intranet for the employee experience era.

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