female hands touching display of digital tabletIt’s time to spread the focus of your HR technology, from the HR department to the entire company. Let employees know about the tools that are there specifically for them, and ensure that they know how to use them. Not everyone knows how to access the employee handbook via a self-service portal to learn how to access the employee handbook. See where I’m going with this?

Self-service portals and other HR technologies are there for everyone’s convenience, but they might as well be virtual paperweights if workers don’t know how to use them. You might feel like they are self-explanatory, but to many, they aren’t. Offer your expertise and time, and let them know why these tools are important.

Self –Service Portals

Tax Season

As the end of the year rolls around, your HR department is probably flooding with tax questions. It’s not enough to simply let them know that they can access the needed information via a self-service payroll and accounting portal. It’s pretty obvious that they are standing in your office because they do not know how to use these tools, or perhaps that they aren’t even available to them.

Performance Reviews

With the New Year coming up, we have a great opportunity to reflect on this one, and set goals for the coming year. Encourage workers to make New Year’s resolutions for their own career path by giving them clear instructions on how to access performance reviews. Revisiting reviews is a whole lot easier when you know how. Workers can assess their reviews in private, at their own leisure.

Time Off Requests

There are going to be a whole lot of these in the next month or so. When everyone knows the proper procedure to request time off, the season can go smoothly. Encourage workers to get their requests in early and work together to ensure that everyone gets what they want. A sticky note with request off dates simply won’t cut it. It should be known that these requests will not be processed.

Side Note: When there are multiple tools for communicating multiple things, it should be clear to everyone, which tools are to be used for which purpose. Many employees are left wondering, “Should I email HR; is there an option to contact them through the self-service portal; or do I communicate with them through the company intranet?” Clear instructions on communication mediums should be adhered to.


Encourage Social

An intranet with a strong social element is a great tool to have. Humanizing interaction with technology sounds like an oxymoron, but I swear it’s the real deal. Encourage the use of some sort of social intranet and watch the culture gain steam. Blogs, wikis and activity streams give each employee the benefit of authorship while creating connections.

Facilitating Informal Learning

Encouraging employees to engage on the company intranet is a great way to facilitate informal learning. An intranet is the best way to keep your talent pool from going stagnant; you want that pool to be making waves. Sharing projects, expertise and everyday interactions via the company intranet really facilitates informal learning on a whole new level.

Across Department Lines

The illusive “Bob in accounting” now has a face and voice. Social intranets introduce people within an organization that would have never met otherwise. Who needs name tags; you’ll know every face at the holiday party.

Work Flex Tools

Getting Out of the Office

The business doesn’t shut down over the holidays. Work still needs to get done, and a lot of it will probably be from living room couches or car trips, this time of year. Set your teams up for success by ensuring that they know what telecommuting entails. Many companies will pull together a checklist of the tools and systems that employees will need to have access to in order to make flex work possible.

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