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How to build a B2E portal

27 Sep 2023 5 min read

Written by

Oana Năslău

, Content Writer Specialist

In the current business landscape, when it comes to their success, companies are no longer focusing exclusively on obtaining the satisfaction of external customers. They are actively seeking to achieve employee satisfaction as well. This is because enterprises of all sizes become more and more aware of the importance of employee retention for succeeding. Companies paying attention to their employees' specific needs have brought to life a relatively new concept, called B2E.

Achieving employee satisfaction implies, among other things, using the right digital tools. Think of all the software, systems, or platforms an employee has to stick to on a daily basis. Now imagine you give them the chance to make a list of all the pros and cons of using all these digital tools to decide which should be kept and which should be replaced. When businesses ask the employees' opinion instead of making assumptions about what the latter ones want, they are already on a path to providing a better employee experience (EX). And according to Harvard Business Review, companies that enhance employee experience could increase their revenues by up to 50%.

In today's article, we will explain what is B2E and why does it matter to your company, and then we will guide you through the steps of creating a successful B2E portal. 

What is B2E?

The B2E acronym stands for Business-to-employee, and it encompasses the strategies, software, and technologies that companies use to attract, onboard, train, incentivize, retain, and support their employees. Often, the definition of the term is narrowed down to the platforms used to implement the B2E strategies. These platforms are in fact a digital workplace for employees to communicate with each other, have access to benefits, discounts, announcements, training opportunities, and industry news. Digital workplaces for employees are more commonly known as B2E portals.

Why does B2E matter?

  • It ensures an optimal EX that creates engagement among workforce, if implemented effectively. This is the engine that drives motivation among your employees. If you have happy, motivated individuals inside the company, they are likely to become brand ambassadors
  • It provides a sense of community. Your B2E portal can help you create an environment people feel they belong to. Using the employee portal to help them communicate and share ideas, provide feedback and organize informal activities will reinforce their sense of belonging. This is especially true if we look at the popularity of remote and asynchronous work these days. 
  • It reduces high turnover rates. Your B2E strategy is directly linked to your employees' motivation level. An effective strategy materialized into an engaging B2E portal can increase staff retention. Therefore, you can minimize turnover and its subsequent costs. Also, the opposite would have to be right.
  • It improves efficiency. If you choose the right tools for the B2E portal, chances are the user adoption will be high. Furthermore, having information well organized inside the portal is equally crucial as it saves time. This allows employees to focus on meaningful tasks.

How to build a B2E portal

Putting in place a B2E portal is not one individual's or even one team's job only. It should be the effort of cross-team collaboration. You should also start from the assumption that it will be built with the employees' best interest in mind. This is why a B2E portal must be separated from a company's intranet. While the latter focuses on the company's needs, the portal will have to meet the employees' needs.

1. Ask for your employees' feedback

If you wish to build a platform that provides the best employee experience, start with the employees. Instead of deciding for themselves, involve them in the decision-making process. You can begin by asking people how satisfied they are with the digital tools they use. Then, encourage them to suggest improvements and brainstorm ideas on how their digital workplace should look like. 

2. Establish what kind of information to include

Once you have the feedback results from your employees, you can proceed with deciding on having clear guidelines as to what information to include in the portal. From industry news to information about benefits, discounts, feedback forms, to access to training resources, time tracking tools and information on career development, all this information should be available on the portal. However, you'll also need to assess which information should not populate the B2E portal. As previously stated, company-specific topics and announcements are best fit for an intranet instead of an employee portal.

For more examples of what kind of content your B2E portal should have as opposed to an intranet, please see the table below:

Here's where your information should belongB2E portalIntranet
Feedback and performance reviews
Feedback received by the company from external customers
Employee success stories and spotlight
Company news and announcements
Employee specific documents and information
Company official documents and policies
HR information
Company mission and values
Information on internal tools for employees and training resources
Information on company's products and services

3. Decide which stakeholders should work together to build the B2E portal

A well-designed B2E portal must include information presented in different types of formats. It needs to be thoroughly organized, should combine written materials with audiovisual ones, and should be easy to access and use. It should inform, educate, engage and provide a space for collaboration and communication. This implies having several teams working together to build the B2E portal. While HR teams would help with the employee-related content and initiatives, IT teams would provide their guidance on choosing the right platform for the portal and support on the infrastructure and maintenance of that platform. Additionally, the design team would bring their expertise in terms of UX.

4. Focus on B2E user experience (UX)

Your customers want a great UX, so why should your employees settle for less? 82% of executives surveyed by the Harvard Business Review have made it clear that the performance of workplace technology has a great impact on employees' happiness. 

As such, make sure that the tools and services they access on a daily basis are easy to use and navigate, have a fast loading speed and help them reach the content they're interested in a few clicks. To this end, you can consider, for instance, integrating a powerful search engine to your B2E portal so that important information is just a click away. XWiki has integrated the Solr search engine into the standard product and this allows users to seamlessly retrieve pages, documents, and attachments based on a keyword search. 

5. Ask for your employees' feedback

Asking for your employees' feedback not only before, but also after implementing the B2E portal creates a virtuous circle which is beneficial for a continuous improvement process. A B2E portal is a long-term commitment. Once it's up and running, it will require constant maintenance, upgrades, and refinements. But in order to know which are the improvement areas, you will need the users' input i.e., employee feedback on their experience with the digital workplace. 

How to choose the right platform for your B2E portal

As this topic is instrumental for a successful EX, we decided to attribute its own dedicated section in today's article. Here are 3 big questions you need to ask yourself during the decision-making process: 

1. How is the learning curve?

Everyone in the company will have to receive training in using the new B2E platform, including non-technical users. This means that you'll have to aim for tools that are intuitive and possess a short learning curve so that people don't lose interest in using the portal over time.

2. How easy would be to transition to another platform if need be?

Today's B2E platform will probably not resemble tomorrow's. Needs will change, so you'll have to plan accordingly, in case you will want to switch to a different tool after a while. Therefore, choose wisely so that your preferred platform is not bound by any vendor lock-in. It should also include smooth import and export options to make any eventual transition hassle-free. To this end, you may want to explore open-source solutions, as they tick both the no-data lock-in and reliable import/export features. 

3. How many people will create and edit content?

It's important to pick a tool that has the capacity to keep up with the increasing number of people who will create, edit and add content to the portal. For starters, it's good practice to have an estimate of the number of users managing content on the employee platform.

Closing thoughts

We hope we have given you some food for thought as to why a B2E portal should be an essential component of your B2E strategy. And while we have provided a number of best practices for building a B2E digital workplace, no two such platforms are or should be the same. It's best that you look for ways to customize and adapt the B2E portal according to your most valuable resource's needs: your employees.

BUILD A B2E DIGITAL WORKPLACE IN XWIKI

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