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A communicator’s guide to an HR portal. If you build it, will they come?


By Michael Tyukodi | November 30, 2016

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The answer is “No”. Even if you build the most state-of-the-art human resources website with videos, employee testimonials, gamification, Pokémon Go, and sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, employees still will not come.

Why should they? How would they even know how to get there? There's the rub.

Communicating the value of your human resources (HR) portal requires thoughtful planning well before your new HR site goes live. The software is only one piece of the puzzle. To ensure that your new HR portal is successful, think about how you will manage these key areas.

Content experience

The first step is to define the communication objectives and success measures.

  1. First, translate the vision into the content experience. Understand the content journey – from navigation structure, to the employer brand, and into single sign-on access to your cloud-based HRIS and vendor tools.
  2. Second, connect the experience with your success measures. Without measurement, you'll miss the ROI that you'll need to report back to the CFO.

Content planning and delivery

Eliminate duplicative content to maximize your advertising space for all of your total rewards and HR-related programs

Start by applying best practices on writing for the web, and optimize user engagement through the use of intuitive page layouts and functionality.

Spend the time eliminating duplicative content to maximize your advertising space for all of your total rewards and HR-related programs.

Change management

Develop a plan that is grounded in key change management considerations and gather initial input on change impacts, audiences and stakeholders.

Begin by preparing a change impact assessment, complete a key stakeholder assessment and audience analysis, and draft an initial engagement plan.


Understand the key governance areas needed for long-term success; then consider different models, roles and responsibilities, and ongoing content planning. Empower others and make it easy to maintain. Define your governance groups and their corresponding roles and responsibilities.

Ongoing promotion

Yes, the initial launch of your HR portal will be an event. However, to maximize the return on investment you need to use it as a tool in your ongoing communication arsenal. Remind employees about the HR portal and find ways to continue to drive traffic to the site.

Think about how you are going to manage these five areas before you implement your new HR portal. In the absence of including sharks with laser beams on your site, thoughtful and strategic planning of these keys areas is your only real chance for creating a truly engaging and impactful user experience.

Because sharks with lasers would be cool. Really cool. Maybe too cool for HR.


Director - New Business

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