What is an HR portal?
An HR portal, sometimes known as an employee portal, is as an online central hub where employees can access information about their workplace quickly and easily. A growing number of companies are turning to internal social platforms to help employees stay up-to-date, connect with colleagues and work together seamlessly on projects. It’s a great way of improving employee ‘connectedness’, driving innovation and helping staff feel more involved and engaged with what’s going on in an organisation. After all, the more a company positively engages with their employees, the better the output, as research has shown.
Some HR software, like Cezanne HR, offer integrated portals which provide companies with a ‘one stop shop’ where they can give staff access to the vital information they need, and a platform where staff can have an organisational voice.
So what are the top things you should consider including on your HR portal?
HR portal check list
- Who’s who
- Corporate Values
- Latest News
- Internal Vacancies
- Fun and Social
- Useful links
- Policies and procedures
- Company handbook
1. Who’s who?
If your HR software system doesn’t automatically generate up-to-date organisational charts or a company directory, you might want to consider creating one for your HR portal. The best directories contain photographs and bios as well as the usual job title and contact details. New starters can use it to help identify people they need to meet (or who they regularly pass in the corridor) – and it’s also an easy way to facilitate networking across the business and help people find colleagues who can help them with queries or collaborate with them on projects.
2. Corporate Values
The HR portal is a great place to prominently display your company values so that all employees are regularly reminded of ‘the way we do things around here’. You don’t have to limit it to a boring list either. Why not make it an interactive feature and encourage employees to post examples of how they see their colleagues ‘living’ the values in the course of their day-to-day work? It’s an effective way to share stories of all the excellent work that’s going on and to create a real feel-good factor among employees.
3. Latest news
Keep everyone up-to-date by having a ‘news’ section on your social portal. You can share HR-related news such as new appointments, staff awards or changes to benefits provision – but don’t restrict yourself solely to HR. It’s also a great place to post general company news such as new client wins, progress against growth targets or plans to diversify into new markets. People will be encouraged to use the portal regularly if they know it’s the ‘go-to’ place for keeping on top of what’s happening in the business.
With Cezanne HR, a newsfeed widget can be included to the homepage, so that employees get the latest news as soon as they log into the system, without having to go onto the portal itself. There’s also the option to receive daily updates by email too, ensuring that absolutely everybody is in the know!
4. Internal vacancies
Before you spend a fortune on recruitment advertising, make sure you haven’t got the skills you need right under your nose. Post all your vacancies on the portal and you may find there are existing members of staff who are looking for a change of direction or have skills you didn’t previously know about. You can also encourage employees to share information about vacancies within their own personal networks. Some companies even operate a ‘recommend a friend’ scheme where staff receive a small financial or other reward if they refer an applicant who is subsequently recruited.
The HR portal is also a vehicle you can use to promote your stance on corporate social responsibility (CSR). You may want to share your policy on recycling, for example, or encourage employees to set up a group to explore how the business can operate in a more environmentally friendly way. It’s also a good place to publicise any community projects you may be involved in and to invite staff to participate. Spreading the word about the value you place on taking a sustainable approach to business is particularly important if the company employers a large proportion of Gen Y staff. Research has shown that the ability to ‘give back’ to society is a key motivational factor among this group.
6. Fun and social
Work shouldn’t just be a hard grind. If you are to keep people motivated and engaged you need to have some fun as well. Use your HR portal to post news about celebrations, company outings and local events you may be supporting. Make it an interactive feature by encouraging staff to come forward if they are interested in running groups or classes. Someone may want to set up an after-work reading or music group, for example, or you may find there’s interest in a lunch-time yoga session or running group. Losing the ‘family feel’ of the early days is an issue often faced by growing SMEs – making space for the social side of work can help to maintain the community spirit the business started with.
7. Useful Links
Most companies use third party suppliers to deliver some employment-related services. You may have an occupational health service or employee assistance programme, for example, or maybe you have an arrangement with a local gym or offer discount vouchers as incentives. Posting links to those services on your HR portal can be useful. Employees often forget what they are entitled to – or can’t remember what they need to do to access a particular service. It’s a great way of reminding people what benefits you offer and encouraging them to use what’s available.
8. Policies and procedures
Your HR portal can act as a central hub for all the important company documents that are in the public domain. It means people will be able to access all employment-related information easily – and will also cut down the amount of questions you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. You might want to post your policy on absence for example (including the procedure people need to follow when they have to report in sick), as well as your disciplinary procedure and the steps employees need to follow if they want to raise a grievance, or make a subject access request. Other policies you might think about hosting on the portal include your policies on equality and diversity, data security (GDPR) and the use of social media and drugs and alcohol at work. If there are some documents you only want certain people, such as line managers to see, check if your system has the security settings that will allow you to control access.
9. Company handbook
The company handbook is often the first thing that is thrust into an enthusiastic new recruit’s hands. But in all the confusion of the early days in a new job, it can be hard for people to absorb all the information they are being given. Putting your handbook on your HR portal means new employees can easily check back on details they may not have fully taken in – and of course it will also serve as a handy reminder for existing staff who may have forgotten some of the basics about everything from where to find the accident book to which employee benefits they are entitled to.
There are bound to be general HR-related questions that come up again and again – and your HR portal is a great place to answer them. You can either compile a list of FAQs which sits on the site and gets updated as needed, or you can develop a more interactive feature where you encourage employees to post questions ‘live’ so that they can enter into a dialogue with you. Make sure, however, that if you choose the latter option, you are geared up to reply quickly or you will lose credibility.
These are just a few suggestions for information and features you could put on your HR portal. Each business will have different requirements and the beauty of internal social media is that you can tailor how you use it to meet your needs. The key to getting the best out of the technology is to think outside the box and find creative ways to engage with your people so that they will be loyal to the business and willing to go the extra mile when needed.
How is an HR portal different from an onboarding portal?
Onboarding portals, like HR portals, provide a useful information source to facilitate communication between company and personnel. Whereas HR portals cover the entire employee lifecycle however, onboarding portals are designed to support you in delivering an engaging experience for new hires, so they can connect with their new organisation from the off. Clarity over start date, office location, parking information or key contact details would all fit in an onboarding portal, as would a company handbook (which can also be held in an HR portal), or information on what to expect in their first week.
Check out our survey to see why providing an engaging onboarding experience is so important.
What information do you post on your HR portal? Is there anything you think we’ve missed out?
If you’re a customer already, you may find this article on getting the most from Cezanne HR useful.