Unlocking the value of user profiles to connect employees in the hybrid age

In the hybrid age, user profiles are so much more than digitized phonebooks. They are a shared space for employees to express their identities, build genuine relationships with their colleagues, and initiate cross-functional collaboration. Discover how to get the best from your people directory with inspiration from enterprises around the world.

Employee communicating and collaborating with colleagues on intranet profile

Keeping connectivity alive in the digital age

Now that we’re more than one year into what has become the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, a few findings have emerged. While telecommuting is largely beneficial for productivity, it’s harder to feel close to colleagues when you only interact with them from behind your computer screen. In fact, more than 40% of employees struggle to feel connected to their peers while working remotely.

Since the number of telecommuters is forecasted to remain 300% above pre-pandemic levels, workplace isolation is a challenge that can’t be ignored. Many leaders are increasingly looking to digital technology to bridge communications gaps, with the market for social software and collaboration platforms predicted to grow by 17%.

Remote worker looking at their digital workplace with dog


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Turning to user profiles to build meaningful employee relationships

Rather than relying on one channel to keep your employees connected, relationship-building in the digital age requires an effort on multiple fronts. You can look to Microsoft Teams for small group collaboration and take advantage of your intranet’s social networking capabilities to recreate those office water cooler moments. But what about giving your people a platform to express who they are?

Back in the office, it was easy for everyone’s unique personality traits to shine through. From the pictures employees placed on their desks to their go-to lunch spots, small decisions and daily interactions helped colleagues develop a fuller picture of the people they were working with.

There’s no need to settle for two-dimensional employee relationships that will keep connectivity out of reach in the hybrid era. Instead, turn to user profiles on your intranet to give everyone a chance to fully represent themselves and build the foundation for better internal communications and collaboration.

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4 inventive user profile examples from our own community

Your employees are so much more than their name, title, and location and your user profiles should reflect that. To take workplace connectivity to the next level, your employees need an opportunity to authentically convey their personality to their peers. If you’re looking for inspiration to enhance your user profiles, check out some of the innovative examples from within our own community:

#1. Promote gender inclusivity

If you want your employees to feel seen, included, and empowered to be their most authentic selves, you can’t overlook the importance of user profiles. Giving your employees the opportunity to indicate their preferred gender pronouns is just one example of how user profiles can be leveraged to ensure everyone can convey their unique identity.

Leading public relations firm BCW introduced gender pronoun choices on their intranet as part of a larger campaign focused on deepening employee understanding of key issues and consideration around gender inclusivity.

Leading global communications agency BCW gave colleagues the option to include their preferred gender pronoun on their intranet profile pages as part of a larger campaign focused on deepening employee understanding of key issues and consideration around gender inclusivity. Non-profit running organization New York Road Runners added preferred gender pronouns to their user profiles, part of a holistic gender-inclusive and expansive plan for staff and the running community. 

NYRR intranet profile

#2. Take knowledge sharing to the next level

How do you put a stop to silos and pave the way for knowledge sharing? With hybrid work now the norm, it can be hard for employees to interact and fully understand what their colleagues' skillsets are. 

Let user profiles put your skillsets on full display, just like Dynacare does. The medical laboratory services enterprise showcases the specialist knowledge of its employees in a My Skills section. Employees can select from a list of different skills to add to their profile, giving their colleagues the chance to quickly see what their areas of expertise are. 

The skills can also be searched as a filter from the main people directory, giving employees the chance to find the relevant colleagues within the enterprise quickly, enabling a deeper level of knowledge sharing across the enterprise.

#3. Build the foundation for cross-functional collaboration

It can be easy to have your blinders on, especially while working remotely. When employees aren’t seeing their peers on a daily basis, they may be less aware of the projects they are working on.

This disconnect can become detrimental because team members might not know who to turn to for answers on a specific topic. Instead of sending out multiple emails to pinpoint the best contact, your user profiles can help employees identify relevant subject matter experts.
Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe's (AND-E) profiles include a section called Working On, so that users can update their peers on their current tasks. With this information readily available, colleagues can find the best contact for their questions and initiate cross-functional collaboration with confidence.

AND-E intranet profile ipad

#4. Get to know colleagues

Office life made it easy to get to know recent joiners. When new hires were greeted by their desk-mates, conversations about interests and backgrounds were commonplace. In contrast, remote onboarding doesn’t always leave room for the kind of informal chats that allow employees to learn more about their peers.

User profiles can bridge this gap by prompting employees to share a little more about their life outside of work. Here at Unily, we launched Get to Know a Rockstarr, a series of questions employees can fill out about themselves. Everyone can edit their own article directly from their user profile, making it easy for new joiners to introduce themselves right away.

We also introduced Badges to highlight various expertise or length of service. Seeing badges for certain skills and experience encourages collaboration between colleagues, allowing them to tap into valuable knowledge.

Unily intranet profile

Are you ready to enhance connectivity with a next-generation intranet?

By leveraging user profiles, employees can build authentic relationships with all their peers, whether they’re sitting next to them or connecting from across the globe. If you’re looking to launch a next-generation intranet to enhance connectivity, 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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