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The top modern intranet features for better employee experiences

Forbes contributor Denise Lee Yohn has declared 2018 the Year of Employee Experience, and for good reason.

Now that nine in 10 businesses have nailed down customer experience (or are trying to), employee experience has become the next big competitive frontier. So far, investing in EX seems to be paying off, resulting in higher job satisfaction levels that can ultimately trickle down the line into more rewarding customer experiences.

Savvy business leaders have pinpointed the company intranet as a key tool for driving employee experience. According to a joint study between Sapho and IDG Research, nearly nine in 10 business leaders are taking a hard look at how to re-engineer their intranets to provide the types of modern digital workplace experiences employees crave. Here’s a look at some of the top trends that will define this new generation of intranet portals.

Simplified design

Employees visit the company intranet for three simple reasons: to complete tasks, find information, and seek help from colleagues. An effective intranet helps employees fulfill these objectives as painlessly as possible, without a lot of unnecessary features getting in the way. While intranets of the past commonly succumbed to bloat, today’s employees want a simpler and more streamlined portal that helps them quickly solve problems and get on with their day.

“The greatest feature-influencing trend this year is the overarching goal to streamline the intranet,” says Kara Pernice, senior vice president at Nielsen Norman Group, which conducts an annual intranet design contest. “The best intranet teams today have less to prove and more to gain by focusing on foundational design elements—like information architecture, engaging content, and orderly page structure—rather than exhausting efforts on the latest interaction design fads.”

At Sapho, we’ve taken this trend one step farther by enabling organizations to not only modernize their intranet, but also streamline an organization’s entire technological landscape. Sapho Employee Experience Portal aggregates tasks and information from all your legacy, on-premises, and SaaS applications  into a personalized workfeed and single-purpose micro apps to deliver a more consistent experience. .

Personalized content

As consumer apps become more personalized, employees have come to expect the same level of personalization at work. Three in four employees would prefer to access a personalized data subset rather than a comprehensive data set, and 30 percent want personalized notifications that alert them when tasks need completing. Another 28 percent believe a personalized feed of individual actions and updates would help them leverage, access, and take action on information.

“Employees visiting their intranet have a specific need to address or a particular question to answer,” says Dennis Shiao, director of content marketing for DNN Corp. “An experience personalized to visitors creates a higher likelihood that they’ll have that need addressed.”

Every employee has different priorities, and personalized content helps them drill down to the information and resources they need without wasting time sifting through irrelevant “noise”. An intranet should give each employee an individual experience tailored to their needs, interests, and role within the organization. Sapho, for example, uses a personalized workfeed to deliver the right information and tasks, to the right people, at the right time. This helps employees eliminate distractions and work more productively.

Simplified work experiences

Business processes have gotten clunkier over the past 15 years, growing in complexity by as much as 350 percent. As a result, more than 40 percent of employees end up having to switch between multiple systems just to finish what should be a simple task. All those extra steps can add up to a massive productivity drain—and added frustration for employees, who would rather spend their time on more meaningful work.

“If your team spends its days asking for permission before executing, taking an hour to complete expense reports or time sheets, attending redundant meetings, or answering irrelevant emails, you’ve got a problem,” says author and futurethink CEO Lisa Bodell.

An effective intranet should be able to integrate tools that help to remove these types of productivity obstacles by breaking down burdensome processes into simple steps, automating as much as possible, and eliminating unnecessary steps. By leveraging machine learning and automation, Sapho Employee Experience Portal helps surface actionable insights and  complex tasks into single-task workflows employees can complete from a workfeed in the intranet —without having to launch additional systems.

When designed with employee engagement in mind, the modern intranet can serve as a one-stop shop for information and tasks, empowering employees to more efficiently collaborate more effectively while more streamlined workflows that deliver a better employee experience.

Topic: Digital workplace

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