The real cost of recruitment is around half or more of an employee’s salary, so it’s easy to see the financial benefits of keeping the high performing employees you already have. While it’s impossible to bring your staff churn rate to zero, you can focus on the factors that will increase employee retention. In order to do this, we first need to understand employee engagement.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is not the same as employee happiness, and it’s not the same as employee satisfaction – although these two factors are also important. When an employee is engaged, it means they care about the organisation they work for as well as its objectives.
Why is employee engagement so important?
When organisations increase workforce engagement, they will experience a flow on effect for nearly every aspect of business. According to a Gallup report, disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability.
On the contrary, when employees are highly engaged they are more willing to spend extra effort to achieve common goals and perform their tasks to a high standard. They’re even more likely to be safer and less likely to steal from their employers!
A Global Workforce Study found that firms with highly engaged employees collectively improved their operating income by 19%. Employee engagement is great for business in almost every way, and it keeps employees around.
How does an intranet improve employee engagement and retention?
According to research by Towers Watson, the key drivers of employee engagement are:
One of the key drivers of employee engagement is strong leadership that is effective at growing the business and behaves consistently with the organisation's core values.
Effective intranet software can help to make it easy for C-suite deliver messages company-wide, while receiving direct feedback from employees and actively engaging with them via comments, forums and so on. Senior leaders from different divisions and departments can provide updates, recognising and highlighting the work from their team that otherwise wouldn't be known outside their area.
This doesn't need to take up valuable hours every week - a photo with the team and a short caption, a video taken when leadership is visiting staff and so on - is less time consuming - and can go a long way in demonstrating a strong leadership team that values their employees.
Goals & Objectives
For employees to be engaged, they require a clear understanding of the organisation's business goals and the steps required to reach these goals. This improves transparency between departments and levels of the organisation.
Intranet CMS software can be used to clearly set out shared objectives, communicate mid-project milestones and celebrate successes with the entire business. Bonus, some intranets also offer an online learning management component to make it easy for staff to understand their role within the organisation and the organisation itself through standardised training courses..
Workload & Work/Life Balance
Intranets are one of the key systems that enable employees to work remotely while still delivering a positive culture. According to Gallup’s report, “The optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend [around] three to four days working off-site.”
Maintaining a strong culture and morale in the workplace helps organisations boost employee productivity and engagement. Engaged employees will feel that there is enough support to get work done in the required time, and that the time set to carry out work is reasonable.
With the right intranet communication software, almost every regular process can be made more efficient: from filling in online forms and triggering automatic notifications for approval, to searching for information and contact details, to updating company policies and content.
Most importantly, this information can be accessed outside the office environment. Northcott, one of Australia's largest disability service provider, enables their Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) team to access resources they otherwise wouldn't be able to via their intranet, Nula. The ECEI team works in centres away from head office and workspaces gives them a dedicated area to collaborate. It features relevant policies and procedures, a calendar, key contacts, tools, related resources and a forum to share and request information from each other.
Organisation’s are being held accountable for their actions both by their customers and their staff. Part of energising employees is to highlight the honesty and integrity of the organisation they work for. This can be difficult when employees work across multiple locations.
With an intranet, company news, announcements, community programs and other positive communications can be aggregated and published within one location, with news personalised by the employee’s department, location and other key criteria.
Providing channels for employees to express their opinions and offer suggestions, as well as recognising their contributions, is an important step in making them feel valued. One of the ways to use technology to improve employee experience is the rewards and recognitions sections that are commonly found on intranets. This can take different forms:
- Northcott's ECEI workspace contains key metrics such as the number of children seen and plans completed, are also prominently displayed on the page to highlight the positive work the team have done.
- Vita Group, a publicly listed leading retailer, enables employees to nominate colleagues for the great work they have done in their roles under the Intranet's Vita Group Shining Stars program
- Cabrini, a private, not-for-profit, Catholic health service provider, features a custom built classified sections. It has been a positive way to engage people beyond the professional environment. Staff with varying levels of technical savvy can easily post items they have for sale and provide their contact details using the structured authoring element; it automatically displays their item on the classifieds page.
Intranets also offer several social tools such as social Q&A, wikis, blogs, microblogging, social updates and workspaces, that make it easy for organisation’s to encourage two way communication with their employees.
There are so many benefits to implementing an effective corporate intranet software platform in an organisation, but many would agree that one of the most appealing is the ability to improve the engagement and retainment of experienced and skilled employees.