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Understanding the Synergy of HR Systems and Intranets

Understanding the Synergy of HR Systems and Intranets

Cara Heimbaugh

5 mins read

Fri, Feb 9, '24  

Effective human resource management is crucial for modern businesses, and two key tools in this domain are HR systems (also known as HRIS) and intranets. While distinct in their purposes, these systems can be strategically integrated to optimize organizational processes. Both systems have areas in which they are strongest, areas in which they really can’t replace one another, and ways in which they are better together. 

Where HR Systems Shine

HR systems are aimed at streamlining diverse HR processes and serve as a centralized repository for employee-related information. These systems automate routine tasks such as payroll processing, benefits administration, performance management, and PTO tracking. 

HR systems contribute to increased data accuracy and accessibility, minimizing errors associated with manual record-keeping and empowering HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives.

The strength of the HR system lies in its ability to consolidate data, providing a comprehensive view of employee information. This centralized database facilitates data-driven decision-making, enabling HR teams to analyze trends and make informed choices regarding talent management.

From a user perspective, HR systems also play a distinct role in their employment. HR systems house payroll and tax documents, along with other HR-related information such as accrued time off, or performance review information. Users visit HR systems on an as-needed basis; they don’t act as a go-to source of business-related information. 

Where Intranets Shine

Intranets play a very unique role in organizations compared to HR systems. Where HR systems house individual personal data for each employee and work to keep HR departments running smoothly and accurately, intranets serve a broader purpose both for the business and the individual user. 

Intranets serve a few key functions. First, they are a central source of truth. Intranets house important organization, rescuing it from inboxes and chat and organizing it in a way that’s accessible to all employees through dynamic search and easier to keep up-to-date for reliability.

Second, intranets are the hub for internal communications, news, and updates. When you need to refresh your memory on the latest corporate strategy, check for important announcements, or check on company policies, the intranet is your go-to location.

Finally, an intranet is a place for teams and users to share knowledge, learning from one another and creating overall organizational synergy. It helps teams speak the same language,  align on values and branding, and elevate culture.

Over time, and with more adoption, your intranet can become a digital home for employees. From finding important business-related information, providing structure for internal communication, and bringing teams together as one organization, it becomes a go-to place for connection and shared knowledge across remote workers and dispersed locations. 

HR Systems and Intranets: Creating Synergy

While HR systems and intranets fulfill distinct roles, but together their integration can yield a synergistic effect that transforms human resource management and business operations at-large, along with the experience of each employee user. 

Let's delve into the ways these systems complement each other:

Full View of Employees

We can view HR systems as “back end” information about employees, housing information that is unique and sensitive to only them. An employee’s profile and activity on an intranet, though, is more of a “front end” look at the employee, including their role, their work, and their interactions across the organization. Together, having both these back and front end looks into an employee can provide leadership with a full view of their impact and both platforms can provide employees with access to both private and inter-team information.

In an HR system, an employee may just look like a name, salary, and performance scores. But an intranet helps to fill the gaps of an HR system and create a holistic view of each individual employee, and allows you to connect quickly to that employee when needed. 

Intranets Bring Greater Visibility for HR

Where HR systems sit as a standalone tool, bolted onto a tech stack, intranets can be integrated into the productivity tools of any organization in a way that benefits the day-to-day work of users. For example, Happeo deeply integrates with Google Workspace to collate all the business information your teams need to get work done together more easily and efficiently across geographies and time zones.

Another key benefit of a dynamic intranet is its ability to boost adoption of other tools across the organization, including HR platforms. While HR likely uses their own HR-specific platforms for employee information that is not shared across the business, intranets, functioning as communication hubs, can be utilized to automate the dissemination of HR-related information and can also refer users to a more specific HR tool, when needed. For example, if someone is searching their intranet for pay stubs, the intranet, acting as an organizational concierge, will point them to log into their HR portal for that information. 

The intranet can point to the HR system when needed, and HR employees can use an intranet to announce benefits, enrollment periods, training opportunities, and other important updates. This ensures consistent communication across the organization, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and enhancing overall clarity. Intranets are a more frequently visited channel to keep all employees up-to-date on HR happenings.

Employee Empowerment Through Self-Service

Both intranets and HR systems empower employees with self-service capabilities. HR systems enable them to update personal information, request time off, or access pay stubs. Intranets empower employees to share their work, connect with colleagues, and discover knowledge without needing to track down a co-worker or waste too much time searching. Indeed, HR systems and intranets mirror the same experience for differing needs, but both work to encourage self-service actions from employees. 

Facilitating Collaborative Work Environments

Intranets provide tools for collaboration and can streamline team formation and project assignments across any team. Bringing the two platforms together to create synergy, HR can leverage the intranet to announce new hires, recognize employee achievements, and create spaces for employees to connect and collaborate on projects, fostering a culture of teamwork and innovation.

Recognizing the unique capabilities of each tool and leveraging them together can create a robust internal tech infrastructure conducive to organizational success and user adoption for intranets.

If you are a Google-run organization looking for a modern intranet solution to complement a HR system, take a tour of Happeo, the #1-rated, AI-powered platform that is redefining the way we think about intranet experiences and creating dynamic digital homes for organizations and their people.