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5 Ways Microsoft Intranets Make HR & Communication Efforts Easier

February 18, 2022
5.5 min read
5 Ways Microsoft Intranets Make HR & Communication Efforts Easier
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Improving the employee experience is crucial for any organization. That is why the HR and Communication departments are always looking to develop their digital workplaces and intranets.

While pre-pandemic had many organizations only tapping into a fraction of the potential of their Intranet and digital workplaces, organizations were pushed to take the steps toward better collaboration(4 Microsoft Applications that Improve Business Collaboration) and communication with their office 365 intranet.

Many organizations were rushed or required to switch into their new, modern environments. Still, with all of the latest technology from Microsoft doubling down on innovation, the time to optimize and develop is now, for many organizations.

To reassure and inform you on your journey to HR and communication excellence, we hope this blog opens your eyes to some unique ways a Microsoft office intranet makes HR and Communication efforts easier.

The five ways we will showcase are:

  • Microsoft Viva Brings Your Intranet to Teams with Connections and Topics
  • Provide your users the ability and space to easily ask questions
  • Enable users to discover related questions where they work
  • Robust navigation to help guide even the newest of employees
  • Leveraging SharePoint site for big onboarding wins

However, if you are looking to go beyond and learn best practices for HR, communication, and leadership, watch our webinar with Omnia.

5 Reasons HR & Comms Love A Modern SharePoint Intranet

While there are more than just five reasons, we thought the blog would run too long. Instead, we focused on some we thought were more interesting and advantageous for organizations.

1 – Viva Connections and Topics helps bridge the knowledge gap by bringing your modern Intranet into Microsoft Teams

Think about how much time and money your organization has spent improving the intranet experience. Now, consider how much time your employees spend in Microsoft Teams.

While it’s important to start with bringing the Intranet experience into Teams with Viva Connections, you can also bring the Intranet into context where people work, whether that be in their inbox, IM messages, Yammer, or in the office applications like Word.​

Viva Connections brings the SharePoint intranet to you

2 – Integration with Topics as Related Questions & Answers

In Microsoft Viva Topics, each topic in the future can display related questions and answers from Yammer. Leveraging Viva Topics means curated questions in Yammer can light up as you reference topics throughout Microsoft 365.​ Not only can you surface questions and answers from Yammer, but it also brings reactions, the best answer, and quick access to the comments and community the comment originated.​

Q&A with Yammer

Topics appear everywhere, from Outlook to Teams messages to SharePoint pages. Since that is the case, when a topic is referenced, you will find an incredible amount of Yammer value in the form of questions and answers being only a few seamless clicks away.​

HR and Comms love this feature because it brings the power of the collective to the company intranet and digital workplace. This feature means you can decrease the number of repeat questions and work that goes along with them.

3 – Integrated with Topics via “Ask a Question”

Naturally, many users will also have a question related to the topic they are exploring. So, when they can’t find the answer in any related questions and answers(7 Ways Microsoft Viva Elevates & Integrates Yammer), they can ask their questions with one click. This helps with improved integration and ease of ‘asking out loud’, which will benefit future people who explore Yammer or the associated topics.​ Since the entire experience is available here, it is easy for a poster to share that question.​

Viva Topics Yammer Integration

Also, note the automation of Q&A shown here where Viva has suggested experts and aligns them with the ask. There are other potential ways you can further improve this experience. For example, you could suggest the answers to questions to the experts who commonly answer them using simple capabilities available today in Azure Q&A maker, Power Automate, and more (this can even be free depending on the question volume). ​

4 – Targeted navigation options help employees access the right HR docs without having to ask

Now that questions and answers are covered, how can you improve the chances of employees finding the correct answers and documents on their own? If your organization is rolling out a lot of news and updates or you have a knowledge hub(Why Intranet Navigation is so important for end users and IT), adding advanced targeting to facilitate the discovery process may help.

There are already several ways you can target your audience:

  • navigation links
  • news and events
  • quick links
  • dashboard controls
  • much more

Advanced audience targeting(Why Intranet Navigation is so important for end users and IT) goes beyond that. Advanced targeting happens behind the scenes and allows you to create custom experiences for a specific type of user.

advanced audience targeting in SharePoint Intranet

However, a downside to advanced targeting is that some users can potentially lose out on interesting links and content they might consider key because your filtering isn’t retrieving all of the content you intended.

Having the main page pull up everything can help determine where your filtering may have failed you. With targeting and the main page in place, your communication department is equipped to make informed decisions.

5. Leveraging SharePoint sites as your onboarding manager ensures a streamlined user experience for everyone

Leveraging SharePoint Intranet sites enables you to engage with employee experiences(7 Ways to Improve Microsoft SharePoint Navigation) that improve employee outcomes via Insights, Learning, Topics, Goals, and Connections. Establish and automate employee portals for preboarding, organizational onboarding, departmental onboarding, and more. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of the way and ensure your new and old employees have an excellent experience, whether they are joining or exiting.

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Viva employee experience have many capabilities (Insights, Learning, Topics, Connections & that can significantly impact onboarding, training, and supporting your growing staff.​

SharePoint sites as onboarding manager

If you’re wondering what some of those capabilities can facilitate, here are some examples:​

  • Target important audiences, like new hires, and personalize navigation, rollups, and more for them.​
  • Create a preboarding or pre-hire Extranet experience that helps your organization stand out in the time of the great resignation. Make sure new hires know they made the right decision
  • Easily build an organizational onboarding experience, site, or portal.
  • Create departmental onboarding experiences, sites, or portals
  • Level up your onboarding and offboarding experience with the help of applications like Microsoft Teams, Power Automate and/or Power App

​Maximize Microsoft 365 for HR and Communications today

Intranet solutions have flown passed basic document libraries and are an integral part of business communications today. Speaking of today, do you wonder how to best leverage SharePoint online and everything Microsoft 365 to solve your HR, Communication and Leadership challenges?

Watch our webinar with award winning intranet partner, Omnia.

Unlock the Potential of your Intranet
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