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Employee Experience

Is An Employee Experience Platform The Same As An Intranet?

Written by
Charlotte McIntyre

Intranets have been around for a long time now. Since the nineties, they have been a popular method of bringing together the masses of information and content that orbits a business, presenting it in a way that is digestible and accessible to everyone.

In recent years, however, a new player has entered the game to shake up what has been the status quo: employee experience platforms.

Which begs the question: Is an employee experience platform the same as an intranet?

Does one replace the other? Or do they complement each other?

We will answer those questions and explain why employee experience platforms are too powerful to ignore.

Is An EXP The Same As An Intranet?

As practitioners become more mindful of the employee experience, they are scrambling to find solutions that satisfy the needs and wants of their people. For some, intranets have notably struggled to achieve this. Yet piling on more solutions seems to perpetuate the problem rather than solve it. As Sam Marshall writes in “Intranet Platforms 2022: The State of The Industry“:

“The whole ‘Employee Experience’ (EX) territory is a tug-of-love between vendors of HR Management Systems, Employee Services platforms, and Digital Workplace specialists. ‘Big intranets’ are caught right in the middle of this, and companies will need to work hard to build cross-functional visions that deliver the best for their employees.”

And therein lies the heart of this ‘tug of love’ – what is best for employees. While it is only natural to reach for a solution that does it all, that isn’t possible in the 21st century, where employee needs are so diverse.

The answer is: no. An EXP is not the same as an intranet.

Employee experience platforms deliver a similar solution differently. Not by forcing an organisation to collate everything in one place, but by acting as a consistent, unified experience layer that’s personalised to each user.

Employee Experience Platforms vs Intranets

Intranets are consistently offered up as ‘one-stop shops’ for news, content, and services. But can we say that is still true when employees use more software than ever in their working days?

While the notion of having a one-stop shop for everything ranging from internal communications to HR management is appealing, it is challenging to achieve and maintain. Inevitably, over time, content and systems get spread out. Vendors and providers change, and employees are once more led away from the intranet into a maze of information.

Instead of attempting to corral everything from transactions to content publishing in one place, employee experience platforms act as an additional layer that sits on top of all those disparate solutions and makes sense of them in a way that’s engaging and intuitive for users.

Employee experience platforms don’t require the heavy lifting involved in migrating to a new intranet platform. Instead, they make sense of the digital chaos in a simple, intuitive way. They take all of that content and information in orbit and organise it into recognisable building blocks, which can be personalised at both an individual and organisational level.

Settling The Differences

The term “employee experience platform” is relatively new – and it’s often used interchangeably with “intranet”. But as seen above, there are differences between the two.

At its core, an employee experience platform is a portal that connects employees to their ecosystem of enterprise tools, apps, and content. It doesn’t replace an intranet rather exists alongside it, providing users easy access to everything they need in a personalisable interface.

While an intranet is typically static, employee experience platforms are dynamic and flexible. They allow employees to focus on what is important at the right time in their working day. Because they are mobile-first and personalised by users, employees can tap into the information they need in real-time, anytime, and anywhere.

Creating A Digital Workplace That Works

The EXP is the next step on a journey to a future of work that is more communicative, collaborative, innovative, efficient, and productive. As many organisations rethink where, when, and how they work in a post-Covid era, HR practitioners and internal communications professionals must rise to the challenge of making sense of a new world, where employee experiences aren’t universal but rather entirely dependent on a new, unique set of circumstances.

Employee experience platforms, like HulerHub, are the constant thread that connects the dots across a distributed workforce.

Book a HulerHub demo today to discover how our employee experience platform can work with your existing intranet, as well as the rest of your digital workplace, to provide consistent, unified, engaging experiences for your people, wherever they work from.

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