The Cure for the Common Employee Portal

September 6, 2013 Balakrishna Narasimhan

Most organizations have an employee or workforce portal. It’s likely fairly well-maintained and useful but rarely is it something that engages employees and makes them more productive. That’s the reality we’d experienced over and over as we worked with organizations on their talent management and data from an IHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management) and Appirio survey bears this out as well. The survey conducted by Appirio and IHRIM provides an HR practitioner’s view of employee portals based on responses representing over 130 companies across industries and geographies.

What we found

Most organizations have a portal and it’s somewhat valuable

  • 85 percent of companies have an intranet or employee portal of some kind
  • 75 percent say that their portal is important or mission-critical, when compared to other HR/IT priorities
  • While more than two thirds of respondents say their portal has reduced the administrative burden on HR, only 39 percent say it is driving employee engagement

Social or mobile features are true game-changers for HR

  • Less than 25 percent of responSocial intranet vs Regular Portalsdents’ portals are integrated with social platforms, and only 11 percent are optimized for mobile access
  • However, those who do offer mobile or social capabilities saw more than twice as much engagement (77 percent versus 33 percent) and were much more able to focus on strategic HR initiatives (49 percent vs 21 percent)


For more details, check out the survey results here

What this means for you

Your employee portal represents a huge untapped opportunity for HR and your company. Employee engagement is critical to success in today’s business environment and the portal can become a big driver of engagement. The good news is that cloud platforms and applications like Salesforce, Google, Workday and Cornerstone OnDemand make it easier than ever before to create an engaging social intranet. But, the key to creating an engaging intranet is not just providing the right features such as social or mobile but really putting the employee, rather than HR, at the center of the design process. Virgin America did this with their social intranet and has seen engagement go up by a factor of 6.

We’re excited about the potential of social intranets and want to make it easy for organizations to get started so we’re launching a new social intranet solution that can help organizations deploy a social and mobile intranet in as little as 4 weeks. The solution includes:

  • Strategy workshop to understand your talent strategy, priorities and define the future state workforce experience
  • Access to Appirio’s EdgeForce Social Intranet framework which packages up the typical components of a social and mobile intranet and is easily configurable
  • Social intranet deployment to customize, deploy and rollout the social intranet to some or all of your company

Employees today expect a consumer-grade experience at work, like they do in their personal lives, and they’ll gravitate toward and be more effective at companies that can provide them that type of experience. Companies that provide their employees with the tools to connect with each other, work better together and work from anywhere, on any device will be far more attractive to potential employees. The workforce of the future is going to be more mobile, more social and completely distributed. To engage this type of workforce, companies are going to need a new type of workplace. Is a social and mobile intranet the end all? Certainly not, but it’s the foundation of your future workplace and it’s a great place to get started quickly and create excitement among your employees!

Is your employee portal engaging employees? Do you have questions about creating a workplace that’s designed for a mobile, social and global workforce? Tweet us @appirio or leave us a comment!

Social Intranet

Previous Article
Workplace 2020: From Now to Next
Workplace 2020: From Now to Next

While attending Workday Rising this week in San Francisco, we are at a huge inflection point like none we h...

Next Article
Blogging for InformationWeek: Build Richer Customer Relationships with “Small Data”
Blogging for InformationWeek: Build Richer Customer Relationships with “Small Data”

We live in an age of data. Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civiliz...