7 April 2016

How to Launch a Successful Employee Self-Service Hub


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


HR transformation Technology


Engagement and collaboration are the life blood of any successful business, and an employee self-service hub is a crucial tool to encourage both. Cloud Solutions such as Ciphr Net enable your brand to promote and nurture a greater sense of unity, improving the company culture, brand cohesion and employee productivity.

When designing or choosing and implementing a new employee self-service hub, you need to consider a number of critical elements, including:

1. Share interesting content to attract users

Relevant brand and industry content should be readily available through the employee self-service hub to attract users to log in. Fluid, up to date, content will provide a source of news that employees will naturally come to use over time, improving brand messaging, employee engagement and cohesion within the business.
collaborationIt’s important to share good news stories and praise employees for their hard work, as this type of positive content will increase morale and motivate all members of staff. Employees should also be encouraged to share their positive news with the business.

The vast majority of business tools that are designed to engage employees and encourage collaboration will have an area for social activity. Social interactivity should be proactively encouraged, as it leads to interdepartmental communication and collaboration.

2. Create and encourage advocates

Advocates of the system will provide additional channels for positive messaging regarding the employee self-service hub. It’s important that there are individuals throughout the business who can encourage others and help to introduce and embed the system.

Competitions are an effective strategy when launching any new initiative. Announcing contest results online will help to attract employees to log in to discover the results as well as ‘gamify’ its use. If the competition is work-related then it’ll also help to improve productivity and motivation.

Employees who regularly contribute news and updates should be rewarded or praised, as a way to encourage them to continue to contribute. Other employees will be more likely to follow suit if they can see tangible benefits of contributing themselves.

3. Is the system easy to use and intuitive?

In a world full of apps and online tools that are easy to use and intuitive, some not even requiring instructions, any system that’s overly complicated and difficult to pick up from day one will meet resistance.
Employees are used to solutions (at least in the personal lives) that are quick and easy to understand. If simple processes are cumbersome and take too long to complete, then users simply won’t use them. Make sure your employee self-service hub is easy to use and that the common actions are simple, quick and obvious to employees.

The employee self-service hub should be clearly structured and simple to navigate. All employees should be confident and happy with how to use it right from the start.

The more convenient the system, the more likely employees will use it frequently, both in and out of the office.

4. 360° advocacy

Employee self-promotion is a great way to encourage the use of any social tool. Allowing employees to publicise their personal news, such as charity events they’re involved with, will also help to embed the employee self-service hub within the business.

5. Get the aesthetics right

system aestheticsImagery and videos are vital for the aesthetics of any online system; media content is known to attract higher engagement rates and will also allow those employees who are sharing content to illustrate their messaging and express their views more creatively.
As long as the content is appropriate for an office environment, it should be encouraged.

The use of imagery in business dashboards will allow the business to share information and statistics in a more digestible format, originating from one central hub.
As well as business statistics, information, such as the employees who contribute the most, have answered the most questions in company forums, or provided the most popular update, can be displayed.

6. All questions should be addressed

Online collaboration requires discussion forums; for these to work, questions cannot go unanswered. This doesn’t mean that every single query needs to be responded to immediately, but the employee asking the question shouldn’t feel that they are doing so in vein.
If a question can’t be answered then it can be taken offline, but this must be communicated within the forum to inform others that this is the case.
Once a solution is found, the forum should be updated to inform others who may have the same question in the future.

Discussions can also be centred around the system itself. Future improvement suggestions, usability questions and tips on best practice, are all topics that will attract users to return for updates.

7. Gamify

Gamifying an intranet is a very useful way to encourage activity and acceptance among users. Points can be awarded for certain achievements, such as a completing a profile, answering questions, or submitting popular updates. A league of the top users can also be used as a visual way to reward those for being a collaborative and engaged member of staff. Most people have a competitive streak, however strong, and this can be capitalised upon to increase usage of the intranet through the use of gamification.

Gamification is known to be an effective method to encourage interaction and quicken the completion of certain set tasks. Some interesting and compelling gamification stats include:

  • Deloitte: training programs that are gamified took 50% less time to complete and significantly improved long-term engagement
  • Spotify and Living Social: replaced annual reviews with a mobile gamified solution, with over 90% of employees participating voluntarily
  • Vendors claim that gamification can lead to between a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics, including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site
  • 51% of adults agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they’d be more likely to keep closer watch of their behavior in those areas
  • 63% of adults agree that making everyday activities more like a game would make them more fun and rewarding

Sources: yukaichou.com>