With the emergence of hybrid work and employee turnover on the rise, organizations are increasingly looking at better communications and a simplified digital workplace as a critical way to engage and retain employees. As a result, employee communications and the intranet are taking on a bigger role in the enterprise as a way to unite employees, drive strategy, build culture and ultimately increase productivity.
The convergence of employee communications and the modern intranet
Forrester now combines employee communications and the intranet into a much larger category in their new report titled “Now Tech: Intranet and Employee Communications Platforms, Q4 2021” written by principal analyst Cheryl McKinnon.
Why did they do this?
A big reason this mashup is happening is that organizations recognize employees need an easy way to stay connected with the company, culture and each other. On top of that employees are more distributed than ever across offices, the field, frontline, geographies, languages and of course hybrid environments.
The traditional intranet was not built to drive employee engagement. It was built to store documents in a simple, nested architecture and link to other applications, resulting in a ton of stale content and messy link farms. On top of this are poor publishing tools for communicators, accessibility issues for frontline workers, an increased burden on IT to provision and govern sprawling pages, and a lack of insights to understand what’s working and what’s not. No wonder Forrester found that the intranet continues to be one of the least-loved employee productivity apps in the workplace.
On the other side, employee communication applications are built to deliver timely communications to every employee. Publishing, personalization, accessibility and an intuitive employee experience are core to these solutions. Further, employee communication solutions are adding more power and workflows to quickly access the most important systems and documents in the organization, personalized to the individual employee.
It’s with this backdrop that Forrester has combined employee communications and the intranet into a bigger category.
What to look for in a digital employee experience solution
Let’s take a look at how Forrester defines the new category:
Forrester defines an intranet and employee communications platform as, “a trusted digital source of corporate communication and content designed to educate and empower employees and improve their workplace experiences.”
From this definition, it’s clear that delivering trusted information to improve the employee experience for everyone is top of mind. That’s why at Firstup we call this a digital employee experience platform (DEX). It’s all about delivering the right information to the right person at the right time and enhancing the digital experience for every worker.
What happens when you get this right? Here are a few benefits and capabilities Forrester highlights:
- Organizational speed and alignment. With the ability to “provide targeted and timely communications to inform employees”, organizations can react quickly to business needs and get more specific to different teams and groups.
- Increased trust in the organization. Building “trust in content” increases trust in the overall business. DEX solutions make it easy to publish, manage and feature content that’s relevant and accurate.
- Enhanced culture and inclusivity. DEX solutions like Firstup provide omnichannel experiences for employees to “facilitate knowledge exchange and provide an inclusive digital workspace.” Desk workers can use their computers to access content, nurses can use a mobile app while manufacturing floor employees can see what’s happening on digital signage or kiosks.
When it comes to selecting a modern DEX platform for your business, Forrester recommends digging into a host of capabilities, such as:
- Employee communications
- Personalized delivery
- Content and collaboration
- Design and branding
- Application integration
- API access
- Cloud deployment
Firstup recognized as a large vendor in the Intranet and Employee Communications market
Forrester lists over 20 vendors in their new report with a small to large market presence and has identified Firstup as one of a handful of large vendors in the market. With over 500 enterprise customers and 15 million employees using the platform, Firstup is well-positioned to handle the needs of any organization looking to improve its digital employee experience.
Firstup is also identified as both a packaged application vendor and employee communications specialist. Of particular note for employee comms specialists is the importance of orchestrating all types of communications to all employees, wherever and however they work.
Looking to learn more about these market shifts? Get a complimentary copy of this new report today to understand the trends, benefits and key requirements in the intranet and employee communications market.