Employees need an online space to find everything they need to know about their benefits. While we always encourage employers to build a benefits website (especially one outside of the firewall so spouses can access it!), an HR portal or benefits section on your company intranet is another great option to house benefits information for employees.

A well-designed HR portal can be the cornerstone of all of your benefits communication. It can serve as both the hub and the launching pad—it’s a repository for all benefits information (documents, resources, contact info, etc.) as well as the conduit to other benefits tools like online calculators or benefit vendor websites. To make your HR portal the go-to place for everything benefits—and a space that employees regularly access—it should be:

Well organized: Your portal should be simple to navigate and use. Good organization helps employees easily find what they need.

Searchable: Be sure to include a search bar that allows users to find content quickly

Employee-centric: Use language employees can relate to—which means avoiding HR jargon. Also consider creating a “quick links” area where the information employees are most interested in is accessible with just one click. Hint: Check to see if you can access website analytics for individual page views. What your employees are searching for and viewing may surprise you! It may also help you refine existing sections and develop new content.

Two-way: Add a chat functionality so employees can ask questions and get responses in real-time. Another creative way to converse with employees is through quick one-question surveys that help you keep a pulse on what’s important to them.

Interactive: In addition to pulse surveys, we recommend using videos, online medical plan calculators and other digital tools to get employees engaged in benefits information in a variety of ways.

Functional: Employees want to do things online, right in the moment, so move your HR forms and other processes online to make it easy for today’s digital employees. Other ideas for added online functionality include registering for internal events like open enrollment webinars or tracking participation in wellness programs.

Keep It Fresh

An HR portal helps shape the employee experience and culture—for better or worse. It either allows employees to get informed and feel equipped to maximize their benefits or it leaves them feeling frustrated and unsure how to get questions answered.

One last point—it’s important that you don’t create or update your HR portal and then just forget about it. It quickly becomes stale. Because benefits are something employees need to be engaged with all year long, it’s critical to keep content and visuals on the portal fresh and relevant. Regularly review website analytics to better understand your workforce and their benefits communication needs throughout the year. Use these findings to inform your design and content decisions so employees view the HR portal as a space to get informed and stay connected.

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