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Employee Retention: Why Your Website Matters

Employee retention
January 20, 2021

Fifty years ago, an organization’s brick and mortar façade conveyed at a glance not only the credibility and stature of the business but also the caliber of employees working there. Today, the same holds true for your organization’s digital presence—particularly your website.

In the current era, your website represents the physical space and real estate of yesteryears, revealing in a few clicks whether you’re on top of your game. And just as no employee wants to walk into a shoddy office building, no one wants to work for an organization with a substandard or outdated website. “I’m embarrassed to give people our web address,” we’ve heard people say. “Our site just doesn’t reflect the quality work we do,” others vent.

Although you may not realize it, your website matters not only to your external-facing customers and clients but also to those internal people who matter a tremendous amount: your employees.

Last week, we discussed how to optimize your website to attract and recruit top talent. This week, we share the secrets of how your website can help you retain the talented individuals already on your team, as millions of individuals in the United States continue to leave their jobs. Dubbed “the Great Resignation,” the phenomenon involved as many as 4.5 million employees voluntarily quitting their jobs this past November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts attribute the mass exodus to the pandemic, and while surges in COVID-19 cases carry part of the blame, data from a recent Gallup poll points to something else: a lack of engagement at work.

“People are calling it ‘the Great Resignation,’ [but] … it’s not an industry, role, or pay issue,” writes Vipula Gandhi, a managing partner at Gallup. “It’s a workplace issue—because the highest quit rate is among not engaged and actively disengaged workers.”

How can your website help with employee engagement, and what steps can you take to get started?

1. Use your website to improve how your team works.

Chances are, your employees use your website far more than you realize, turning to it for information and resources—and referring partners and customers to it for the same. Of course, they can’t do these things if your website is outdated or sparse, leaving your team with no choice but to use inefficient systems and processes. Ask employees how they use (or would like to use) your website in their day-to-day jobs. What additions could make their lives easier? What do their customers or clients need to know? How well is your site integrated into your customer relationship management (CRM) system? Would they benefit from additional marketing automation tools?

As you gather insight from employees, don’t overlook them in usability testing just because of their insider status. Instead, assess and strive to understand their unique user experience.

Consider, for example, this scenario:

A client in the behavior health space needed to refer new patients to their website for information about the intake and health insurance process. Unfortunately, this client relied on a vendor to make even small updates to their websites, and the time-consuming, convoluted process prevented them from adding necessary content and updates. They relied instead on snail mail (to send intake forms) and lengthy phone conversations—a painstaking process that made intake procedures drawn out and frustrating for all involved.

Eventually, the marketing and intake teams came to us to develop a website they could manage and update themselves, with a fleshed-out intake section that communicated information in multiple formats—an animation, a checklist, and graphics—and explained in clear, digestible terms what new patients needed to know and do before starting treatment.

Ultimately, the investment in an improved website paid off, enabling the intake team to feel valued by the organization and work more efficiently and strategically. At the same time, the new site helped patients feel informed and supported at the start of the process, while trusting their provider’s transparency on issues of cost and billing.

2. Create a site that boosts morale.

Today’s professionals crave jobs that provide a sense of purpose. They want to feel valued and make a meaningful contribution. They care about workplace culture and the ever-elusive work-life balance. How can your website help with these?

Your website serves as your organization’s hub of information, conveying in images, words, graphics, and other media who you are, what you value, how you approach your work, and what services you provide. With your website, you can set your own narrative, convey what makes you different, and tell stories about why your work matters. But you can only do these things if you invest time and effort to do these things.

An optimized website, for instance, takes advantage of digital publishing by including sections for blogs and news stories, where you can feature employee accomplishments and celebrate your team’s achievements, big and small. Likewise, your website can present employee bios in ways that make each member feel like part of a team—working together toward a larger purpose. With strategic planning and the right web development partner to help, your employees can take pride in your website—and ultimately the organization to which they commit time and talent.

3. Don’t overlook your intranet or internal portal or website.

If employee engagement is key to employee retainment, then you won’t want to skimp on your intranet or internal portal. Think of your intranet as the place employees go to learn about everything from benefits and professional development to DEI events and organization-wide news.

Take caution, though, not to turn it into a one-way communication highway. Instead, make it a place where employees can engage and share knowledge and content with colleagues, while collaborating across geographic locations and departments. Also make your portal practical, using the digital infrastructure to house and provide easy access to apps and resources your team uses regularly, such as:

Plenty of management teams overlook the need for a rich and dynamic intranet site, believing it doesn’t matter since outsiders never see it. In reality, your intranet is a great place to cultivate employee engagement and interaction, and to show your employees that you value their time and care about their experience.

If you’re looking for a partner to help maximize the potential of your website and internal portal, Astriata can help. With our award-winning web design and development and usability testing with our proprietary application, UserHappy® , we can help you get the engagement and retainment outcomes you need. Get in touch to find out how.


Looking for more information on how your website can help—or hurt—your hiring endeavors, read “Professional Organizations: How to Tell if a Poor Website Experience Is Hurting Your Recruitment Efforts.”


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