Is the intranet part of the HR Tech stack?

The modern intranet is at the heart of the digital employee experience, but outdated perceptions are keeping HR teams from wielding its power to solve some of the most pervasive challenges faced. In a conversation with Unily's new Chief People Officer, Jenny Shiers, and Kaz Hassan, Unily's Employee Experience Industry Lead, we ask whether it's time to consider the intranet as part of the HR tech stack and what value HR stands to gain from this powerfully reimagined technology.

Is the intranet the most overlooked HR tool?

In the ever-evolving landscape of HR technology, the role of the intranet has undergone a significant transformation. Once viewed as a static repository for policies and information, today's intranets are emerging as dynamic hubs for employee engagement and communication. To delve deeper into this shift, we sat down with Jenny Shiers, Unily’s new Chief People Officer, to discuss her experiences with intranets and their evolving role within HR technology.

The TL;DR

  • The modern intranet has evolved from being a static repository to a dynamic hub for employee engagement and communication within the digital workplace.
  • Personalization and engagement are key features of modern intranets, offering tailored content to employees based on their interests and needs.
  • Outdated perceptions are keeping HR leaders from unlocking the potential of a modern intranet for scalable employee experience transformation.
  • Integration of the intranet into the HR tech stack can unlock opportunities for collaboration, communication, and engagement.
  • Untapped opportunities for intranets include supporting hybrid work environments and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives by ensuring consistent experiences across diverse employee needs and preferences.

Redefining the intranet: From portal to engagement platform

As owners of the employee experience, you’d expect HR to have a bigger hand in the technology at the heart of the digital workplace. Yet, for many, outdated perceptions persist, and the intranet isn’t seen as the powerful employee experience enabler it has evolved to become. What was once an internal communications platform, is now so much more. So, what do HR leaders need to know about the untapped potential of the reimagined intranet?

Jenny's perspective on intranets has evolved since joining Unily. She acknowledges that, in the past, she saw them primarily as repositories for static information. However, her experience at Unily has shifted her viewpoint, now recognizing the intranet as a central hub for employee interaction and company communication. This transformation reflects a broader trend in which intranets are becoming integral components of the HR technology landscape.

"It's fair to say that I used to think of the intranet as a place where policies lived and where information went to die because it was outdated and unengaging. Now I'm really starting to shift that viewpoint into seeing our product and the intranet that we have here as very much the hub of how our employees interact with one another and with us as a company."

Jenny Shiers - Chief People Officer at Unily

Personalization and engagement

One of the standout features of the modern intranet, according to Jenny, is its personalized and engaging interface. Employees encounter tailored content relevant to their interests and needs, fostering a sense of connection and relevance. This level of personalization represents a significant departure from traditional intranets and underscores their potential as tools for enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction.

"As an employee myself, the biggest thing I notice is it's just a really engaging platform and it's personalized to me. I can be connected with information at relevant times based on what I’ve interacted with previously and the information that I need as part of my role."

Jenny Shiers - Chief People Officer at Unily

The intersection of HR and technology

In our conversation, Jenny highlights the growing alignment between HR functions and technology, particularly within the realm of intranets. She notes that, while some HR professionals may initially view intranets with skepticism, they can play a crucial role in enhancing the employee lifecycle, delivering timely communications, and fostering a consistent employee experience. By integrating the intranet into the HR tech stack, organizations can unlock new opportunities for collaboration, communication, and engagement.

"When you think about it, HR is one of the teams in a company that most often has to engage with all of the employees in a company. So, thinking about that power that you're able to leverage and the speed with which you're able to do it, it's not a clunky email situation, you're just able to update information, push information out, whether it's to everyone or to targeted groups, it makes life a lot easier."

Jenny Shiers - Chief People Officer at Unily

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Untapped opportunities

Thinking about the challenges facing HR today, Jenny identifies hybrid work and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives as areas where intranets can make a significant impact. In a hybrid work environment, intranets can bridge gaps in communication and ensure consistency across remote and in-person teams. Similarly, intranets can support DE&I efforts by delivering personalized but consistent experiences to employees of with diverse needs and preferences.

"I think one of the great ways that we can use our product is to think about how you replace some of that face-to-face time in the office, build on collaboration, and make sure that employee experience is the same whether you're fully remote, you're in the office every day or you're hybrid. We can make sure that consistent employee experience is the same whoever you are, whichever generation you're part of, whether you've got children or not, if you've got a disability. I think there's a real leveling factor of figuring out these personalized but consistent experience comms and engagement methodologies."

Jenny Shiers - Chief People Officer at Unily

Looking ahead: Creating the connected future of work

As organizations continue to adapt to the changing landscape of work, intranets will play an increasingly vital role in facilitating communication, collaboration, and engagement. By embracing intranets as integral components of the HR tech stack, companies can empower HR professionals to deliver personalized, consistent experiences that drive employee satisfaction and organizational success.

Intranets have come a long way from their origins as static information repositories. Today, they represent dynamic platforms for employee engagement, communication, and collaboration. By recognizing the value of intranets within the HR tech landscape, organizations can harness their power to enhance the employee experience, foster a sense of connection and belonging, and drive organizational success in an increasingly digital world.

Discover the power of the modern intranet!

If you want to know more about how an HR intranet can elevate engagement at different stages of the employee lifecycle, join our upcoming webinar or register to catch up on-demand.

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