Employee engagement is a top priority for businesses looking to get the most from their people – Gallup research shows that highly engaged units see a 41% reduction in absences and a 17% rise in productivity.

During our recent webinar Microsoft MVP and AddIn365 CEO, Suzy Dean shared 4 key ways you can use your digital workplace to create an emotional connection with employees. In this article we look at what these are, and why they’re so important to implement.

1. Brand Alignment

Did you know that employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer brand (Office Vibe)? Your company’s brand and reputation are important for connecting with people – not only potential and existing customers, but also those who work for your business.

With the advent of remote and hybrid working, there are fewer opportunities for cultural dissemination, as employees no longer connect with the brand by being in an office. So, people nowadays will experience your culture through digital media, such as your employee experience platform.

Out of the box, you can create a good intranet site using SharePoint. The platform allows you to add search functions, news stories and basic events – great for getting started. However, it doesn’t provide much opportunity to bring in your brand, which is where we come in.

AddIn365’s Creative and Page Kit enables you to showcase your brand identity through your employee experience platform – you can see some great examples of this in our brochure.

2. Personalisation

According to the Digital Workplace Group, 41% of all information provided to employees is irrelevant to their specific job role.

So, delivering personalisation gives people the sense that their organisation understands them and is thinking of them.  

For example, Viva Connections has several personalisation features, including:

  • Navigation containing frequently visited and followed sites
  • A feed of posts from Viva Engage communities you are a member of
  • A “boost” feature that enables senior managers to highlight high-priority SharePoint content
  • The Viva Connections Dashboard can display dynamic content that is personal to you, such as an event agenda or task list, that refreshes based on a user event or other action (e.g. task reminders that disappear when completed)

3. Employee-First Architecture

You can also build a sense of connectedness by having an information architecture that’s designed for your employees, rather than reflecting the organisation chart. This is especially important for onboarding new starters and ensuring they get the best possible experience.

For example, when a business arranges information by department then details on annual leave may sit with HR, whilst payday information could be in finance. To locate the information they need, a new starter would need to know exactly which department each function sits under.

Instead, grouping the information a new starter will need in a new employee onboarding sites experience enables them to find valuable details quickly and easily, saving on time and stress.

4. Building Active Communities

Finally, emotional connection isn’t just about the organisation. It’s also about building links between colleagues and peers.

There are ten core ingredients to a building a successful community:

  1. There must be a genuine desire for people to come together. For example, because they’re in similar roles or want to create a community in response to an event.
  2. There should be a sponsor to make it clear the community is official
  3. Your community needs to include experts, who understand the subject matter and can add value to conversations and build trust
  4.  Champions stimulate conversation and ensure the group remains active
  5. The community should have clear goals, such as optimising existing processes or raising funds for charity. This keeps the community focused on positive outcomes
  6. People need to see their inputs affecting change, so providing goals and an update on these is important
  7. Etiquette guides give people confidence about how to participate
  8. Choose which style of membership you’re going to use:
    • Public – self-nominating, people join when they want
    • Gated community – need to be approved to join ​
    • Private/invite only – hidden until they become a member e.g. mental health first aiders
  9. Think about activities such as events to keep momentum going.
  10. Include publications – external content that offers another dimension to your community

Enhance Your Employee Experience with AddIn365

AddIn365 works with your team to create personalised digital employee experiences that make the most of your existing investments in Microsoft 365.

Our Creative and Page Kit adds extra capabilities to your SharePoint, allowing you to showcase your brand and include personalisation to your pages.

We also offer a series of templates, created using the latest best-practices, which we can adapt to your branding and drop into your SharePoint site. These include areas such as communities, department areas and content hubs.

To find out more, book a 30-minute introduction call here.