Digital workplace content types to engage employees

eXo Platform Blog

The interconnected nature of the world we live in today means that we are surrounded -or perhaps even overwhelmed- by all types of knowledge and content. Whether in our personal or working lives, we can access a variety of information from multiple sources with the click of a button (our laptops, mobile devices and of course our peers). This obviously makes it hard for content creators to grasp the attention of end-users meaning they have to find new and innovative content ideas. And the same applies for businesses.

Content is the essential ingredient of a typical intranet or digital workplace. Without it, businesses wouldn’t be able to convey information and engage their workforce both on the short and long terms. But not all content is created equal. Static internal websites built on simple HTML wouldn’t do the trick anymore (as if they ever did). Nowadays, employees have high expectations and new preferences when it comes to content consumption as a result of the growing popularity of new forms of social media platforms. This bears one important question: What are the types of content that can resonate well with employees and yield high engagement rates?

But before diving into the different types of content ideas, a common best practice for most digital workplace project teams is to determine the overall scope of their digital workplace and content strategy.

  1. The scope of digital workplace content

Similar to any other strategy, the first step often revolves around figuring out the what, how, and why. Answering these questions will provide the designated team with a more clear vision and in-depth look into employees’ preferences and which type of content works well.

  • What do we want to achieve with the digital workplace as a whole?

The goals and objectives of a digital workplace determine what type of content to create and share with employees. As a result, it is important to set your goals right from the start to guarantee high initial adoption rates. The objectives driving digital workplace projects greatly changed over time moving from enabling simple top-down communication to providing a holistic and integrated digital employee experience.

  • How are employees currently consuming content?

Before starting to build a content strategy, it is essential to understand the current state of things or how employees are interacting with content and through which devices . Think of it as a regular content audit. The main idea is to analyze the types of content already shared in the digital workplace, measure and compare engagement levels through multiple devices. You can go a step further by sharing qualitative surveys where employees are free to voice their opinions giving you a clear indication of their individual preferences.

  • Who would be responsible for creating content?

Usually the role of creating content and managing internal communications is the sole responsibility of HR and internal communications specialists. Their deep understanding of corporate storytelling and ability to build content plans and create various types of content help them engage employees and ensure that the digital workplace is more than just a static internal website. However, most businesses nowadays want to move away from a typical top-down communications setup by involving their employees into the content creation process. This way content would be eventually more relevant and especially conversational which can only be beneficial for long term engagement.

  • Who to target with digital workplace content?

Segmentation and targeting are both essential for an effective content strategy. Providing employees with the right type of content, through the right channels and at the right time can increase participation and engagement rates. Defining your audience can be done following a host of criteria either demographics, behavior, etc . For example, office and frontline employees would use different devices to access content. Frontline employees would mostly use their mobile phones whereas office based employees would use their desktops. To effectively reach each segment you would have to use solutions that are flexible, responsive by design and more importantly equipped with targeting capabilities to appeal to each segment.

 

  1. Digital workplace content ideas

Creating digital workplace content should be a goal driven process. Depending on what you want to achieve, there are a host of content types designed to help reach your goals. Generally, digital workplace content falls into three main categories: Informative, educational, engaging (or conversational). A good content strategy is one that combines all of these types to deliver a holistic experience where employees are both engaged and well informed.

Below is a diverse list of content ideas that you should consider for your digital workplace.

  • Company policies, guidelines and forms

Often perceived as boring content by many due its static format, corporate content such as policies, procedures and forms is quintessential for employees. Usually conveyed through dedicated wikis or regular documents (mainly Pdfs), company policies help employees, especially newcomers, grasp an overall idea about what the company stands for, the culture, the vision. Additionally, it is important to keep policies and procedures up to date and notify employees whenever there is a change to keep everyone on the same page.

  • News and internal blogs

Considered as a no brainer for many businesses, sharing the latest corporate news, activities and events is the oldest form of internal content there is. Although quite obvious and taken for granted, the importance of news in a corporate setting is only felt when they are not there anymore. Primarily responsible for keeping employees informed, conveying the corporate culture and making sure everyone is on the same page, news and internal blogs needed to evolve in recent years to effectively target not only office based employees but frontline and onsite workers as well. 

  • Tutorials and How to’s

Whether to perform a specific task or get going using their digital workplace, employees often need assistance to make their lives easier. Without the right content in place, team managers, Help desks and HR professionals might be overwhelmed by a variety of requests that can be otherwise easily organized within dedicated spaces. This is when educational content comes into play. Regardless of the format (be it wikis, documents, videos, etc), tutorials help employees find what they need in a quick and timely manner, learn at their own pace and relieve the pressure off their peers.

  • Onboarding support

Starting a new job is by no means an easy task. With a lot of things to explore and keep track of, newcomers might become easily overwhelmed which is not ideal for their integration, learning and engagement. For this, we have seen many businesses put in place a thorough onboarding plan to welcome new employees and assist them through the initial weeks in their new job. Content, of course, plays a big role in this.

Upon logging in to their new digital workplace, employees would follow a clear path to help them explore both the platform and the company as a whole. This usually starts with a content rich homepage which usually acts as a snapshot for the entire digital workplace. From there, new employees can visualize the latest news, have access to important corporate documentation, tutorials, frequently asked questions, among a host of other content types.

  • User/employee generated content

As mentioned earlier, businesses have become more inclusive when it comes to their content strategies in order to guarantee continuous engagement. User generated content is perhaps the most effective way to achieve this. By moving employees from being solely consumers to creators of content, they are more likely to be invested in the company and intrigued to share more. Additionally, many studies have found that UGC is more engaging and especially trusted by fellow employees. Examples of such content include personal blog posts, fun content, training material, live sessions, and the list goes on.

  • Social media threads

Scrolling down modern digital workplace solutions nowadays is a far cry from what they used to be back in the day. With a multitude of content blocks and the ability to integrate and embed social media threats from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, they have become a central communication hub to engage employees and build a strong employer brand. Having social media threads available to them at all times employees are well aware of what you are posting on social media so they can instantly react to, share and even respond to comments.

  • Public praise and recognition

It goes without saying that employee recognition has become an integral part of the modern workplace. Its importance in engaging and valuing employees cannot be diminished as more and more businesses have started to embrace its various forms (whether verbal or written). Within the digital workplace, recognition( be it from managers to employees or peer-to-peer) can come as a thank you message or kudos given as praise for employees’ contributions and work. Although not considered as proper content compared to the above examples, including recognition capabilities in the digital workplace has been proven to increase employee morale and their sense of belonging.

Let’s summarize

Content creation in a business context is a process that is constantly evolving as it is mainly influenced by end-users’ preferences, workplace dynamics, new technological innovations, among a host of other factors. The intranet initially and later the intranet 2.0 or commonly referred to as the digital workplace are the means through which businesses can create and convey informative as well as engaging content to keep engagement and retention levels high.

 

What is a digital workplace?

A digital workplace is a next generation of intranet solutions or intranet 2.0 that is based on three pillars: communication, collaboration and information. In a way this definition is true but it doesn’t cover the whole spectrum of the term.
Here are some definitions of digital workplace:

  • An evolution of the intranet
  • A user centric digital experience

See the full definition of digital workplace


What are Digital Workplace content ideas to engage employees?

A digital workplace is a next generation of intranet solutions or intranet 2.0 that is based on three pillars: communication, collaboration and information. In a way this definition is true but it doesn’t cover the whole spectrum of the term.
Below is a diverse list of content ideas that you should consider for your digital workplace:

  • Company policies, guidelines and forms
  • News and internal blogs
  • Tutorials and How to’s
  • Onboarding support
  • User/employee generated content
  • Social media threads
  • Public praise and recognition

Learn more about Digital workplace content ideas that engage employees


How to launch an effective Digital Workplace?
  1. Understand users’ needs
  2. Identify your digital workplace ambassadors
  3. Build the digital workplace brand
  4. Training and onboarding
  5. Plan the big day

Find out how to create a digital workplace


What does digital workplace really mean?

The digital workplace is the virtual, digital equivalent of the physical workplace. It is a holistic user-centered solution used to connect, engage, and empower employees. Through an employee-centered hub, it encompasses a set of tools, applications, and platforms for a complete work experience.

Find out some definitions of the digital workplace


How to be a good digital workplace manager?
  • Analytical skills and approach
  • Focus on employees
  • Communication and strategic vision

The success of a digital workplace project depends on a number of factors

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Product Marketing Specialist

I am a product marketing specialist at eXo. My role is to assist marketing and sales teams in their operations and present our digital workplace solution to the world. I mainly blog about the latest tech trends, digital transformation, internal communication and how to navigate through eXo Platform.

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