An employee portal can be a very powerful tool. It can save company resources, increase employee engagement and expedite processes, but it must be created thoughtfully and with the end user in mind. Employee portals have become (watch out, here comes a software buzzword) robust! Truly though, employee portals are now far more than an access point to the employee handbook. Be sure to consider the following when designing your employee portal.
Offer Self Service
Although employee portals are expanding, their traditional core functions should remain IT and HR functions. When employees need to make a request or access information, they should be able to rely on the employee portal as the centralized hub. Now, the employee doesn’t have to track down emails, information, forms, etc. to accomplish a simple task. Furthermore, instead of reaching out to IT or HR, waiting a few business days for a reply and wondering what stage the inquiry is in, your employees can get things accomplished quicker and with fewer company resources.
Make It Mandatory
If you’re a business owner or leader, that part about using “fewer company resources” probably caught your eye. While custom software isn’t one of the cheaper things on the budget, the ROI can be pretty fantastic if created and deployed correctly.
At Volano, we create custom software that works for you. Your employee portal should be streamlining processes and saving company resources. There’s just one catch; your employees have to actually use it. To put this into perspective, a recent study reported that two thirds of the respondents say their employee portal has reduced the administrative burden on HR.
Don’t maintain antiquated systems for the folks who simply don’t want to create a log in or “figure it out.” Optimize your ROI by making certain functions of the employee portal mandatory. With a little training and patience, you can get more out of your software investment.
Populate It With Information Your Employees Care About
While the core functions of HR and IT should be a big part of your employee portal, it doesn’t have to be just the stuffy, corporate stuff. You can house information about company events, the calendar for the softball team, or employee recognition and rewards. Make it a fun, social place for employees to connect.
Make It Mobile
Did you know that here in the US we spend an astounding 4.5 hours each day on our phones? It doesn’t even sound possible, right? Well, it is. They’ve become an extension of our bodies. Currently, only 11% of employee portals offer mobile access despite the fact that those portals which do offer mobile access gain more than 2 times as much engagement. Your employees want barrier free access to information, they want mobile access. Ensure that your dollars are well spent by making mobile access a must for your employee portal.
Some of us are transplants and some of us are lifers. Some of us have strong roots here, and some of us admittedly long for the coast or a mountain range, but we can all agree that Omaha is a great place for the Volano Team for several reasons…
The Tech Community
We’re in what’s known as the Silicon Prairie; an emerging tech hub right smack dab in the middle of the US. Tech talent has recently been drawn to cities like Omaha for the abundance of job opportunities and our strong economy. There are even great resources like code schools and internships all over the city to get the next generation involved in tech and keeping the tech community growing strong.
The Entrepreneurial Support
Not only can Omaha area entrepreneurs lean on our great economy and strong pipeline of tech talent, the community support of our entrepreneurs is pretty insane here. Investors and connections don’t just fall in your lap, but they certainly aren’t impossible to find. Coworking spaces and incubators are popping up all over the city to foster the growth of startups and entrepreneurs.
Omaha is Becoming More Walkable and Bike-Friendly
We’re seeing more bike lanes and more people using them. The city has also made plans to bring in an expert on making cities more walkable. We’re about a 7 minute bike ride from the heart of downtown, in NoDo (or North Downtown), so safe walking and biking is a huge plus for us.
The Music Scene
With several awesome, funky, divey venues around town, you can have your pick of genres in the underground music scene here in Omaha. You can catch a show somewhere around town just about any night of the week. We’ve even had a few successful recording studios pop up with great promise.
We Have an Abundance of Great Food Trucks
The food truck scene exploded in Omaha in the last few years and we couldn’t be happier about it. Every Friday a different food truck comes to our building and we have yet to be disappointed. That might just be the best part. You can find food trucks in any other city just as easily…but are they anywhere as good? We think not.
The Art and Craftsmanship Community
We’re builders, it’s what we do! Some of us are even part of the Omaha Makers Group. There are a lot of events and organizations that support the arts and craftsmanship in and around Omaha. You can see a strong embrace of the repurposing movement here in Omaha, with a unique blend of old and new; you can see it everywhere from our art to our architecture.
The strong economy here makes it a little easier to compete for and attract great software development talent. It also makes it easier for us to offer a healthy work/life balance. The folks in Omaha don’t live to work, they work to live and fortunately, that’s a currency we can get behind.
The Folks are Friendly
It’s kind of like an airplane around here, if you don’t want to chat with someone, you should keep your earbuds in…and even that doesn’t always work. People are just plain friendly in Omaha. There are always outliers, but you’ll just about always catch a smile and a wave on your walk, whether you know a soul or not.
Craft Brewing is Huge
Not gonna lie, if this list had an order, this might be #1. The craft brewing scene has blown up. We now have several really top notch breweries around town. There probably isn’t a day you can walk into the Volano office and not see a growler sitting around waiting for the next fill up.
The CWS is in Our Backyard
Not literally, but if we had a backyard at the office and it was one block away, the CWS would be in our backyard. It’s a really fun time in Omaha and a really fun time at the Volano office. We can walk to the stadium, hang out around the tailgates, or make that short bike ride to the heart of downtown.