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Does your HR portal spark joy?

Mar 28, 2019 4:56:08 PM / by Michelle Northey


Does your HR Portal spark joy? You might have read that title and then read it again to make sure you saw that correctly. And then you may have wondered what kind of crazy question is that? It’s not often that you see the words HR and spark joy in the same sentence.

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The concept of sparking joy is tied to the latest trend of tidying up. It was most popularly introduced in the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

Her method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, which consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” and choosing a place for everything moving forward.

When I read the book, I thought about how this could apply to other areas of my life outside of the house, including my work life, in which I’m focused on all things HR portal.

Most organizations have a business purpose when they first decide to implement an HR portal. For example, they’re trying to create a centralized communication strategy and access point for HR-related information for their employees. In the beginning, there’s usually a process for creating content for the portal and a group that’s responsible for ensuring content has been carefully curated, reviewed and published in the appropriate place.

And then time passes. Perhaps the original project team disbands and goes on to new initiatives. Or the portal owner or key stakeholders change over time. However, the portal lives on and can become messy, just like your closet or kitchen drawers. For the new person taking over, it may seem like an unsurmountable task. Where do you start tidying up?

Rather than deciding what content you want to get rid of, you should focus on what you want to keep. Marie Kondo provides some great advice, “There are only two choices: keep it or chuck it. And if you’re going to keep it, make sure to take care of it.”

As an HR or benefits manager, it’s up to you to check on whether you have a messy closet…I mean HR portal. Here are just a few of the many questions that can help you do just that:

Has your company recently changed paid time off policies? If so, have you created new content to communicate that change to your employees? Is it in a prominent place in your HR portal? And equally as important, have you removed the old content and references as well?

Is it getting close to benefits enrollment time and are you planning to introduce new benefit choices to your workforce? This is a great time to not only update your content, but also to rethink your approach. If your current content is text or document-heavy, consider using imagery or videos to bring new topics to your workforce in a creative, informative and fun way.

These examples are similar to reviewing what’s in your clothes closet. As seasons change, you may want to consider adding new styles to your closet to fit the times and to replace  worn or older items with newer, sleeker fashions that are on trend.

As with this closet comparison, your employees expect a modern experience with relevant and personalized information in your HR portal.

Which brings me back to the point taking care of it. Sounds so simple and yet it’s so very important. Has your portal become overloaded and unorganized over time? When your employees look for something on your HR portal, is it a frustrating experience because they find outdated, irrelevant content or content that’s not useful?

Or does your HR portal spark joy by providing an engaging employee experience that’s delivered in a personalized and meaningful way? If you take care of your HR portal, it will bring value to your employees and enhance the effectiveness of your HR team.

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This blog was originally published on the Willis Towers Watson Wire, September 7, 2017.


Topics: human resources, portal

Michelle Northey

Written by Michelle Northey

Michelle is the Global Product Leader for Willis Towers Watson's HR Portal Express software. With over 20 years of Human Capital Management (HCM) experience, Michelle has lead the creation of market-leading, award-winning software solutions spanning the wide domain of HCM including human resources, payroll, talent acquisition, talent management, health care reform and analytics.