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Who wants what from a company website?


Study Reveals Communications Gap Between Employees and HR Managers, And Direct Relationship Between Satisfaction and Information Retrieval

Information being offered on employee communication web sites isn't exactly what employees want to know about. According to the results of a "Online Employee Communication Effectiveness" study conducted by Decision Tree and, 45 percent of employees want access to a company annual report while only 21 percent of HR managers currently or plan to offer this information online. The survey also indicates an employee's ability to access information can directly affect satisfaction.

The two-pronged survey of human resource managers and employees indicates a communications gap between HR managers and employees. Key areas where employee interest in online information differs from HR managers includes:
· Suggestion Box: 64 percent of employees vs 29 percent of HR managers
· Company News: 61 percent of employees vs 44 percent of HR managers
· Benefits Enrollment: 56 percent of employees vs 41 percent of HR managers
· Job Application: 51 percent of employees vs 43 percent of HR managers
· 401(k) Information: 56 percent of employees vs 43 percent of HR managers

"Information demand is higher than the intended supply and employees show a stronger
interest in accessing HR information than managers are prone to provide," said Richard
Shaw, president of "We believe the strong demand will force companies to
realize that intranets and extranets are key tools to effectively communicate with
employees, increase morale, and establish a sense of community within the company."

Three out of four, or 71 percent, of employees surveyed were also interested in "value-
added" services including financial services and electronic bill paying, while 58.5
percent want access to loan applications as well as car and home insurance information.
Conversely, HR managers indicated they currently offer or plan to offer job postings, training course information and company news.

According to the survey, 90 percent of HR managers plan to offer information online in
the next two years and more than 90 percent of companies that currently offer information
electronically want to expand their offerings. However, employers cite the following
reasons for not posting information online:
· Technology is not in place (46%)
· Employees did not ask for it (32%)
· Costs involved (21%)
· Type of workforce (20%)
· Not business need (17%)

Satisfaction and Information Retrieval

These findings also show that the time taken to receive requested HR information relates directly to employee satisfaction. Employee requests filled in less than one day received a "very satisfied" rating by 50 percent of employees, while those that were processed in one to three days received a "very satisfied" rating by only 20 percent.

Quick information retrieval is a crucial factor in employee satisfaction. HR managers’ reasons to post HR information online include:
· Improves service to employees (84%)
· Raises level of communication (81%)
· Enhances employee communication (81%)
· Gives employees more direct control (69%)

The study was based on 86 online interviews with Human Resource managers and 450 online interviews with company employees. The HR Managers and employees were screened so that the sample represented small, medium and large businesses. Participants in both studies were recruited from companies where at least 50% or 25+ employees could access the Internet from work.


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