Shift your intranet from information to action: A makeover case study from Microsoft HR

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What You’ll Learn:: 

It used to be that people had to call travel agents to book a plane ticket, or had few outside options for preparing taxes other than places like H&R Block.

Nowadays, you can book a flight on Expedia or use TurboTax to prepare your papers for the IRS beast to sniff over.

So why does human resources lag at most organizations? Why do staffers at most organizations spend so much time answering minor questions about stuff that’s right there on the intranet? Maybe it’s because the websites aren’t organized with the employee in mind.

In this session you'll learn:

  • How Microsoft converted a static HR intranet "encyclopedia" into an action-oriented tool for employees
  • How the company adopted a customer-centric intranet information architecture
  • How this shift enables increased self-service HR support
  • How intelligent search provides a path to self-help and reduces support costs, while delighting the customer
  • The ways your organization will have to change its behavior to shift your customer engagement

Walking employees through minor tasks amounts to poorly allocated resources. Realizing this, Microsoft decided to make its intranet a tool, not a repository of knowledge.

The old site was filled employee-unfriendly links focused around the structure of HR itself, rather than what employees wanted to get done. And it was illustrated by what people jokingly called Our Lady of HR Web, along with a picture of a guy holding up an engineering triangle that no software designer uses.

Microsoft’s HR staff was stretched thin. In its China and India offices, HR employees were spending half their time producing verification of employment forms, Medd says. They needed these forms not only to buy a house but to buy a cellphone. The forms had to be printed on a certain kind of paper and authorized in blue ink.

“These [HR] folks were just churning these out,” Medd says. “It was incredibly burdensome.”

The new site made it easier for employees to do get the documents.

Hear how to transition your intranet from telling to doing. Grab tips on how to partner between HR and corporate comms. Will employees resist the change? No chance. Not only do they want the power to handle their own HR business, but you can give them more autonomy in their own work life.

“We want them to take action, not read about how they can take action,” Medd says.

The new HR intranet is a modern, vibrant inter “me-centric” information architecture. It’s topped by links that read, “My information. My benefits. My career.” This makes it a tool with customer-centric content, Medd says.

The software giant offers timely information, with important announcements front and center at a prominent position that spur awareness and action. Learn how to use rotating promotions, or internal “ads” that boost awareness and add visual vibrancy. These are personalized according to the employee’s role and geography.

Find out how Microsoft uses off-site information, and why HR didn’t care if the info they were seeking resided on its intranet or not. Get rid of your Rube Goldberg intranet and make everything simple and easy.

Simplicity reduces barriers to self-service and provides easy ways for employees to answer common questions.

How much needless work do you want to move off of HR’s plate? Let your intranet help you do that.

Start here.

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June 2013
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Presenter bio: 

Margie Medd leads Microsoft’s global HR marketing and communications. Medd and her team are charting a new course by infusing successful marketing strategies and techniques into the way Microsoft attracts top talent and retains its 90,000 employees in over 100 countries. Medd joined Microsoft after graduating with her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She began her career in entertainment marketing, serving as the vice president of a Chicago-based agency that created marketing programs for the entertainment industry. She resides in the Seattle area with her husband and three children.