How to Create a Sharepoint HR Portal For Employee Engagement

A well designed HR portal can improve employee productivity by up to 43%. On the other hand, a bad one can end up like something people laugh about at the water cooler.

In this article you’ll learn how human resource portals can increase employee engagement, what you should include in an effective HR portal, and how to use Sharepoint to create an amazing HR portal for your own organization.

What Is an Employee HR Portal?

An employee HR portal is an online platform primarily designed for use within a business or organization to provide employees with access to various human resources-related services.

It serves as a central hub for managing human resources activities and offers numerous features and benefits.

“These things used to be handled by people. Now, employees can handle them on their own,” says Kristie White-Evans, CEO of HRPMO Inc., when Smartsheet.com asked about the importance of HR portals.

Evans says her company measures success of an HR portal by the number of requests for information her HR staff receives. Fewer requests mean people are finding what they need on their own.

An HR portal has become one of the top tools for startups to use.

Key aspects of an employee HR portal include:

  1. Personal Information Management: Employees can view and update their personal information such as address, contact details, and emergency contacts.
  2. Access to HR Documents: Policies, procedures, benefits information, and other HR-related documents are accessible in one place.
  3. Benefits Management: Employees can enroll in or change their benefits selections, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other employee perks.
  4. Time and Attendance Tracking: The portal can be used to record work hours, request time off, or report sick leave.
  5. Performance Reviews: Employees and managers can track performance reviews and goals.
  6. Training and Development: Access to training resources, online courses, and professional development programs.
  7. Payroll and Compensation Information: Viewing pay stubs, tax documents, and salary details.
  8. Internal Job Postings: Information about internal job openings and the application process.
  9. Communication Tool: A platform for HR announcements, updates, and employee feedback.
  10. Integration with Other Systems: May integrate with other business systems for seamless operations.

This portal enhances efficiency by reducing the administrative burden on HR departments and empowering employees to manage many of their own HR-related tasks. It also ensures that employees have easy access to important information and resources, which can improve overall engagement and satisfaction.

How To Create an Employee HR Portal With SharePoint

Creating employee HR portals using SharePoint is advantageous due to SharePoint’s advanced customization capabilities, robust document management features, and seamless integration with other Microsoft Office tools.

It offers a comprehensive solution for creating a centralized, secure, and interactive platform for HR-related activities, enhancing efficiency and employee engagement within the organization.

Here’s a quick guide on how to create an HR portal powered with Sharepoint.

1. Create a Sharepoint Site

Let’s start by creating a Sharepoint site. This involves a series of steps that can vary slightly depending on your organization’s specific SharePoint configuration and the version you’re using (like SharePoint Online as part of Microsoft 365, or SharePoint Server).

  1. On the SharePoint homepage, click “Create site” and choose Team Site.
  2. Set title and site address.
  3. Set the site visibility to public so everyone in the organization can see it.
  4. Choose a site design template. You can also choose a template specifically designed for Sharepoint HR.
  5. Set up permissions and roles. You can add individuals, groups, or everyone in your organization. Assign roles (like owner, member, or visitor) based on the level of access you want to provide.

Here’s a thorough video guide from Kevin Stratvert on using Sharepoint if you’re more of a visual learner.

2. Add Relevant Content To Create HR Portal

Sharepoint sites by themselves work great as document and co-working platforms. To turn a Sharepoint site into an employee portal linked directly with the HR department requires additional features. Here are some things you should consider adding:

  • Employee Directory: Implement an easy-to-navigate employee database with search functionality. Include photos, contact information, departmental details and other useful employee data.
  • Document Library: Create a centralized repository for HR documents like policies, forms, handbooks, and training materials. Ensure these are categorized for easy access.
  • Announcements and News Section: A dedicated area for HR and company-wide announcements, updates, and news. This helps in keeping everyone informed about important events and changes.
  • Benefits Information Page: Include detailed information about employee benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and wellness programs, along with relevant contact information and enrollment procedures.
  • Time Off and Leave Management: Integrate a system for managing leave requests and approvals with a Sharepoint add-on. Display leave balances and allow employees to submit time-off requests directly through the portal. You can also use an HRMS like Lanteria for this purpose.
  • Training and Development Resources: Offer a section for professional development, including access to online courses, training schedules, webinars, and educational resources.
  • Performance Management System: Create a space where employees can view their performance reviews, track progress against objectives, and receive feedback.
  • Internal Job Postings: A section for posting and browsing internal job opportunities, enabling employees to apply for new roles within the organization. You can use POWR, a free job board app.
  • Feedback and Survey Forms: Implement tools to provide feedback, participate in surveys, leave employee requests, or aid HR in gathering insights on employee satisfaction and workplace culture.
  • HR Contact Information: Provide contact details of the HR team for various concerns, ensuring employees know who to reach out to for assistance.
  • FAQ Section: A comprehensive FAQ section addressing common HR-related queries, which can reduce the number of routine inquiries handled by HR.

Bonus Suggestions:

  • Implement features in stages. For example, first launch a site with only learning materials and see how it’s received. That way it’s easier to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Interview your HR department about the necessary features in your HR portal.

Now that you’ve populated your HR Sharepoint site with relevant features and content, it’s time to start testing.

3. Review, Test and Train With Your Organization

The key to a successful Sharepoint HR portal is user-friendliness and relevance. This step is about gathering feedback from employees to make improvements and ensure the portal remains a valuable resource.

Remember, the goal of the HR portal is to have employees help themselves to the answers they need when they need them. Only if your employees find the site to be useful, it’s successful.

Pilot Group Testing

Launch the portal to a small pilot group and gather feedback. This group should include HR team members and employees from all departments that will use the HR site. Remember to have use a diverse group of both senior employees and new hires to get good feedback.

Training Sessions

Organize training sessions for employees and HR staff. These sessions should educate them on how to use the portal effectively, highlighting key features and functionalities.

Incorporate Feedback

Make necessary adjustments based on the feedback received from the pilot group. This step is crucial to ensure the portal meets the needs of its users.

4. Launch Your Sharepoint HR Portal

Launching an Employee Sharepoint HR Portal on can be a significant undertaking, requiring careful planning and execution. Here’s a simplified three-step approach to effectively launch your HR Sharepoint site:

Announce the Launch:

Plan an official launch of the portal. This can be done through company-wide emails, newsletters, or meetings. Ensure that the announcement highlights the benefits and features of the portal.

Provide Support:

Set up a support system for employees who may have questions or need assistance with the portal. This could be in the form of a helpdesk, FAQs, or dedicated support staff.

Monitor and Update:

Continuously monitor the portal’s usage and gather user feedback regularly. Keep the portal updated with the latest information and make improvements as necessary.

Bonus Suggestions:

  • Market the Portal: Consider internal marketing strategies to promote the portal. This can include posters, email campaigns, or presentations during meetings.
  • Make It a Special Event: Make the launch a special event. This could involve a formal kick-off meeting, special announcements from leadership, or interactive sessions.
  • Ask For More Feedback: Include a way for employees to provide ongoing feedback about the portal directly on the site.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful launch of your Employee HR Portal, driving engagement and ensuring it becomes an integral part of your organizational culture.

Why Do We Need Employee HR Portals?

In today’s world of remote work, lightning fast communication and ever-changing circumstances, the need for an easily accessible employee HR portal is paramount. Especially as your company grows and changes, you have to keep everyone informed and on the same page.

Here are three main reasons why such a portal is essential:

  1. Increase Efficiency in HR Management: Automates and streamlines human resources processes, reducing the administrative burden.
  2. Increase Employee Engagement: Offers a centralized platform for employees to access human resources information and manage their HR-related tasks.
  3. Support Remote and Dispersed Workforces: Ensures consistent and accessible human resources information across various locations.

As companies expand, the challenge of managing employee information and HR processes also grows. Using an HR portal simplifies these tasks by automating processes that were traditionally done manually. This not only makes the HR team’s job easier but also reduces the chance of errors.

For employees, an HR portal is like a one-stop shop.

They can find company policies, manage their benefits, and even handle time-off requests without having to go through HR for every little thing. Not to mention the advantages of having an always accessible employee onboarding knowledgebase. This self-service aspect is a big plus, especially in today’s environment where people are used to managing things online.

These portals are great for companies that need to stay on top of compliance and record-keeping. They’re a boon for data-driven HR teams, offering insights and analytics that help in making informed decisions.

Improving Productivity With an HR Portal?

As someone neck deep in the startup world, I’ve seen firsthand how crucial employee engagement is to the success of any business.

Happy employees are not just more satisfied, they’re significantly more productive. As mentioned before, in this study by The Hay Group, engaged employees can be up to 43% more productive.

It’s a reflection of how much potential lies in nurturing a positive work environment.

A well designed HR portal may just be the key to this.

With more companies adopting remote work or having offices in multiple locations, keeping everyone on the same page becomes a challenge. An HR portal helps here by providing a single source of consistent information, accessible to all employees, regardless of where they are.

Should You Build a Sharepoint HR Site Or Just Use Google Drive?

Choosing SharePoint over Google Drive for an employee HR portal involves considering several factors that align with organizational needs and objectives.

While both platforms offer cloud storage and collaboration features, SharePoint provides a more comprehensive suite of tools specifically tailored for creating an interactive and feature-rich HR portal.

Here are some key reasons why SharePoint might be preferred:

Advanced Customization and Integration

SharePoint offers extensive customization options. You can tailor your HR portal to match your company’s branding, layout, and specific functional requirements.

SharePoint also seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office 365 applications and various business systems, which is crucial for organizations already using a suite of Microsoft products.

Enhanced Security and Compliance Features

SharePoint provides robust security features that are essential for handling sensitive HR and employee data. It offers more control over user access and permissions, which is crucial for confidential HR documents and information.

Additionally, SharePoint is known for its strong compliance standards, making it a suitable choice for organizations that prioritize data security and regulatory compliance.

Complex Document Management

Unlike Google Drive, which is primarily a file storage service, SharePoint is designed for more complex document management.

It allows version control, document check-in/check-out features, and more sophisticated file management capabilities, which are essential in an HR context for managing employee records, policies, and other critical documents.

Intranet Capabilities

SharePoint serves as a powerful intranet platform, allowing the creation of an internal website for employees with various interactive features such as newsfeeds, announcements, and discussion forums.

This enhances internal communication and employee engagement, which is a key aspect of HR functions.

Workflow Automation and Custom Apps

SharePoint allows the creation of custom workflows and apps. HR processes like onboarding, leave applications, and performance reviews can be automated, reducing manual work and streamlining processes.

Scalability and Flexibility

SharePoint is highly scalable, making it suitable for organizations of different sizes and with varying needs. It can handle a large amount of data and a high number of users, which is ideal for growing organizations.

Many Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) are also designed to directly integrate with the Sharepoint platform, making expanding HR capabilities easy.

Conclusion

Remember that an engaged employee is massively more productive. A functional HR management portal is a great way to increase engagement among other useful benefits.

In this article, you’ve learned how to create an HR Sharepoint site for your employees. If you need to expand your human resources team capabilities or connect your new HR portal with your HRMS, check out this article.

Good luck!