Xoralia 2.2.0 release notes

Xoralia 2.2.0 release notes

Highlights of this release:

  • Freemium product license
  • License management administration and usage reporting
  • Document preview enhancement

Freemium product license

Try Xoralia for free! The Xoralia team wants everyone to see how good Xoralia is before buying. Our Freemium license lets users test all functionality, excluding branding customisation and report extracts, for an unlimited amount of time

License management administration and usage reporting

  • Track license statistics with our usage bar with corresponding download report
  • All figures are simple and displayed in real time

View granular details on the usage extract report

Document preview enhancement

  • Improve user experience
  • A larger reading window and simplified attestation process
  • No need to close tabs, the users now stays in Xoralia

Document Owners can now fully preview their documents as they assign to readers

Xoralia 2.1.0 release notes

Xoralia 2.1.0 release notes

Highlights of this release:

  • Simplified and enhanced look-and-feel for end users
  • Front end admin panel
  • Self manage Xoralia admin permissions
  • Self manage removal of legacy or unwanted document libraries
  • Branding – custom logo upload
  • Introduction to reporting – read report download
  • SharePoint webparts and user focused notifications

Start up/Log-in screen

  • Changed for simplicity
  • Aligns with Microsoft log in theme
  • 'Set up Xoralia' for self-installation guidance on new tenants

Usability improvements

  • Last synced awareness
  • Version history awareness
  • Simplified experience choosing document library
  • New 'Settings' admin panel

Admin panel

  • Add custom logo to Xoralia
  • Improved library association options
  • Remove library association for legacy libraries
  • Manage your license

Amend and update Xoralia admins

Improved reporting

  • Read report readability enhancement
  • New functionality to allow read report download file

How to ensure compliance with policies and procedures using the digital workplace?

How to ensure compliance with policies and procedures using the digital workplace?

So, you've made a change to the company travel policy and the team has updated the company travel policy document. How do you let employees know about that change and ensure they comply with the new process?

This is easier said than done. Employees are already bombarded with information and have little time as they have multiple digital communications channels to navigate. There might be a different travel policy for different locations and groups, and it may not be the most inspiring or engaging document to read, so it's hard to get the attention of employees.

This might sound like a problem that's not that pressing, but collectively getting employees to comply with policies, particularly when they have changed, is a real headache for support functions, compliance teams and risk departments. Some policy changes can have major implications for regulatory, legal and compliance processes, while others can have a considerable ripple effect on employee behaviour.

At the same time, employees often want to comply with policies, but struggle to find the details to do so. Even if they are able to find the right document, they may not be confident that they have the latest version, or know when and what aspect of the policy has changed.

The good news is there are solid approaches you can take across your digital workplace and other key digital channels to help ensure employees do comply with key policies and are made aware of updates.

Let's explore eight of these.

1. Establish clarity around policies in your content strategy

Having good content is critical across your intranet and digital workplace as a whole, but not all organisations have a content strategy that defines the content that is important, how it can be accessed and how it is going to be kept relevant and up to date.

If you don't have a content strategy, you should define one! This should specifically address different types of content: for example, news, operational evergreen content, documents and so on. The content strategy should also define how policies are going to be managed, and cover issues such as:

  • What is a policy and what is not a policy?
  • How do we deal with procedures, guidelines and other related documents?
  • How can we ensure they are managed effectively?
  • How do we ensure they are accessed by all employees?
  • Who is responsible for keeping them up to date?
  • How do we ensure policies are actionable?

By providing clarity on all these issues in your content strategy, you can design the channels, processes and tactics that are going to support effective policy management in your company.

2. Create a central policy library that is easy to access with strong findability

Compliance starts with providing easy access to the policies and procedures that employees need to comply with, and making them easily findable and discoverable. All too often, policies are difficult to find because they are scattered across many places, such as multiple SharePoint sites or intranet pages.

The tried-and-tested way to make policies more accessible for everyone is to provide a central policy library that is available through your main digital workplace channels, likely your SharePoint intranet, Microsoft Teams and search. In this way, everybody can easily find and reach the policies they need. The library itself needs to remove any barriers to access and findability; it needs to be easy to use while simultaneously maintaining elements such as security-trimming on particular policies if applicable.

Sometimes, the details behind the library can prove important here. For example, we designed our Xoralia Policy Management solution to make it super-easy for employees to connect to the right policies with various elements such as:

  • Targeting to different AD profiles so the right people can see the right policies
  • Clearly presented information about each policy with title, details, owner, function, version, when last updated and more
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft 365, SharePoint, SharePoint intranet and Microsoft Teams, as well as the related mobile apps, Xoralia is built on SharePoint
  • Notifications with relevant alerts
  • A powerful search facility through one interface with the ability to apply relevant filters including policy owner, location and mandatory / non-mandatory reads.

3. Drive trust in policies with robust content governance

At the centre of policy management is making sure you have robust content governance around each policy. This can help to build the trust that is essential for employee compliance with your policies, so they are 100% confident that the policy they are accessing is the definitive and latest version available. Important content governance principles include:

  • Having a clear, visible policy owner for each individual policy to drive accountability
  • Ensuring there are robust access rights and any necessary approval workflows
  • Scheduling regular content reviews to ensure policies are up to date
  • Making sure there is version control and numbering of different versions
  • Having standards such as naming conventions for policies.

For example, in our Xoralia policy management solution, we’ve ensured there is support for content governance with:

  • A visible department or function and named contact to establish clear ownership for every policy
  • Robust content life cycle governance with version control, numbering
  • and automated review notifications (that also support auditing)
  • Strict access control and flexible approval workflows
  • Useful and intuitive interfaces to help admins and policy owners manage their content.

4. Make your content readable, scannable and acceptable

Let’s be honest, most policies are dreary, lengthy documents that hardly anyone reads. When was the last time you read the small print on a usage policy or on some Terms and Conditions? But actually, policy documents usually contain some very important details that employees need to follow, or would want to access if they knew about them. Often, this is the how to element of the policy or its main, salient points. Structuring your policies so they are more readable, scannable and actionable for users is essential to get employees to follow them. There are several ways you can do this, for example:

  • Creating simpler and more concise summary versions, with access to
  • the full version below to allow people to dig deeper if they need to
  • Having clearly headed sections, and perhaps including jump links to these
  • Incorporating links to related policies and guidelines
  • Using inclusive and accessible language, and avoiding legalese at all costs
  • Highlighting sections that have changed
  • Ensuring content meets accessibility guidelines.

5. Establish a mandatory reads capability with tracking analytics

A critical capability for ensuring employees comply with policies is to enable mandatory reads, where employees have to confirm that they have read and understood a particular policy. With analytics to track who has read a policy and who hasn’t, compliance teams or departmental managers can take additional action if there are employees who are yet to read an important policy document. In this way, employees are alerted when there is a change, and won’t forget to read and digest the relevant information.

Mandatory reads are a core feature of the Xoralia solution, where employees receive a personalised list of the policies they need to read and when, as well as relevant notifications; mandatory reads for specific policies can be targeted to different groups. For admins, the whole mandatory read process is automated through notifications and a tracking report with enterprise-wide reporting, while for policy owners, the progress of who is reading their policy is tracked. For more detailed reporting, analytics can also be integrated into custom Power BI dashboards.

6. Personalise the experience with notifications

Personalisation is a key aspect of digital workplace experience, and needs to be included in any central policy library. It should make a user aware of the policies relevant to them (preserving security-trimming) as well as any updates or mandatory reads they should know about, but also take into account the policies they have already read. Flexible notifications are also crucial to remind users when an action is required.

7. Make it easy for your admins and policy owners

Getting employees to comply with policies requires a holistic approach that makes sure compliance teams and policy owners have the right tools to manage their policies effectively, with intuitive interfaces and automation where required.

Making policy management easy for your admins and policy owners is just as important as making it easy for users. For example, within the Xoralia solution, there is a simple view for policy owners that shows the status of the policies they own, including when they are up for review or have expired. Clients have told us that even a simple report like this can make all the difference.

8. Leverage all your digital communication channels

For important policy changes that require a change in user behaviour, there may also need to be a broader communication effort. Here, you can leverage all your digital communication channels to ensure to get the message out, including through intranet news items, relevant Teams channels and even your learning management system.

If your digital workplace is based on Microsoft 365 and your policy library is based on SharePoint, the ability to link to specific policy pages is much simpler. For example, some of our clients amplify messages to major updates in their Xoralia policy management library via both intranet news and activity streams within Teams.

Compliance with policies is possible

Getting your employees to comply with your policies is possible with the right approaches and solutions in place. If you’d like to discuss policy management or would like a demo of our Xoralia Policy Management solution, then get in touch!

Book a live demo

Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

Book a demo

How to use Office 365 for policy management

How to use Office 365 for policy management

A key requirement for the digital workplace is for employees to be able to find the trusted, authoritative information and documents they need in order to complete tasks and be fulfil their role. This includes policies and procedural information covering everything from the staff handbook, to Health and Safety procedures, to travel expenses, to rules about how to use social media channels. Policies can also cover areas relating to professional development, as well as required reading for new joiners as part of an onboarding process. Managing your policies in the digital workplace is very important, albeit not particularly glamorous! It requires attention to four different but overlapping areas:

  • Dissemination and storage: Ensuring everybody can access and consume policies and procedures easily.
  • Findability and discoverability: Allowing employees to find the right policy at the time of need.
  • Governance and workflows: Creating clear ownership and authoring processes so that policies are always up-to-date and employees trust the policies they access.
  • Reporting and tracking: Tracking policy authoring and consumption, including covering mandatory reading of policies.

If you do not employ effective policy management, you can run into both inefficiencies and risks, with people using out-of-date policies and not carrying out tasks correctly. The consequences of this can be anything from relatively unimportant to severe for example, health and safety policies, procedures and related information must be up-to-date so it’s critical to spend time perfecting policy management across your digital workplace.

Using Office 365 for policy management

The backbone of most organisational digital workplaces is Office 365 / Microsoft 365, so it’s unsurprising that we’ve recently been asked about the best way to deliver effective policy management within the Office 365 environment. Thankfully, there are a variety of different 365 tools that can support all four elements of policy management already detailed, and in this article, we explore your options.

Note that we’ve used many of these technologies (and relative approaches) in developing our Xoralia policy management software – an easy option for organisations who want an off-the-shelf product that can fit effortlessly into their 365 digital workplace (including SharePoint and Microsoft Teams), and support best practices in managing policies across the digital workplace.

Let’s explore each of the four elements of policy management.

Dissemination and storage

Disseminating policies to employees is best done via a central policy library that can be accessed through a central channel that every employee can easily reach, such as a corporate intranet, Microsoft Teams or a mobile app. The best option for creating this library is through SharePoint, which can be integrated seamlessly with your other 365 channels. For example, LiveTiles intranet software comes with its own policy library feature based on SharePoint, while our Xoralia solution can integrate with a SharePoint intranet and Teams. If you have a frontline workforce, there is also the potential to use the intranet app or build a dedicated Power App so policies are available through mobile devices.

Because of SharePoint’s flexibility, you can disseminate policies as pages, documents or both; for example, you could present the essential points of a policy on a page for readability, along with the ability to download the document from the page to access more detail. SharePoint’s in-built version control for both pages and documents helps ensure users are viewing the very latest version of a policy.

Another essential strength of SharePoint is the ability to target policies to particular audiences based on Active Directory profiles. Just as you want to ensure internal communications are relevant to locations, divisions, roles, levels of seniority and language, policies must be targeted for relevancy. For example, in global companies that have been built up through acquisition, HR policies will often differ from country to country, and it is critical that employees see only the policies which apply to them.

Findability and discoverability

Strong findability is a foundational principle for both a successful digital workplace and a reliable central policy library. Employees must be able to find the right policy at the time of need. Here, you can use Microsoft Search to ensure your policy content appears in your intranet or SharePoint search; applying the right metadata will allow your users to filter and refine the search.

A central policy library should promote good findability, with a dedicated contextual search for the policy library with appropriate metadata and filters, as well as the right categories and labels. Applying targeting through AD profiles to personalise the search for different groups can also improve findability here.

When we came to build the Xoralia policy management tool, feedback from clients continually stressed the importance of robust findability and discoverability. Bearing this in mind, we included the ability to:

  • Filter results by different tags defined for the organisation, including subject categories, departmental owners or intended audience
  • Filter by contact name, such as the owner of a policy
  • Browse through policies alphabetically
  • Assign appropriate views for policies that must be read or need to be reviewed by a policy owner
  • Access a Teams app where policies can be searched for and appear as cards.
  • Governance and workflows

    Any good policy management solution needs to have robust governance, principally around the authoring and content management processes. Here, you can use both SharePoint and Power Automate to ensure that policies are always up-to-date by applying the right permissions, and introduce workflows to make it easier for policy owners and authors to remain on top of this task. Establishing clear ownership of a policy to drive accountability is dependent on supporting governance; the permissions that can be applied in SharePoint at the page and document level mean that only defined owners have the rights to update the policies they are responsible for. A good approach here is to display the name of a policy owner or appropriate contact on the policy itself, as this supports accountability, transparency and trust. In our Xoralia solution, there is a clear contact displayed not only on the policy itself, but also in the policy listing view.

    You can use Power Automate to define appropriate workflows and automated reminders around the authoring process. This includes approval workflows where review and approval are required before a policy can go live, as well as expiry workflows which send automated reminders for policy owners based on defined review dates. These are all features we chose to build into Xoralia, as well as the views for policy owners to see all the policies they own and those that are approaching review. To further underpin governance, Xoralia also displays when a policy has expired because the policy owner has failed to check it by the review date.

    Power Automate can further be used to support repeatable dissemination workflows. For example, perhaps you want to push out a particular policy to a specific audience that for compliance reasons you require to be read at a set time each year, or whenever it goes through a substantial update. You could use Power Automate to trigger this process every time the policy goes through an appropriate update or on a particular date.

    Reporting and tracking

    Reporting on your policy library and tracking its usage is beneficial in ensuring that employees are using it, but it becomes particularly important when you need to ensure there is a mandatory read of a policy. This could be for compliance reasons from a regulatory body, or for internal purposes such as when you need everybody to urgently read the new flexible working policy introduced to support hybrid working. Mandatory reads usually work by presenting a user with the policies they must read, and then requiring them to complete a declaration that they have read each one.

    The reporting becomes important to:

  • Track who has read a policy so you can carry out interventions to make sure everyone has done so
  • Provide updates on progress to senior stakeholders
  • Use reporting to show external parties read rates for compliance purposes.
  • As you might expect, in Microsoft 365, the versatility of Power BI allows for the required tracking and reporting, enabling filtering by location and department and allowing administrators to filter based on group, specific policy or group of policies. Strong reporting is at the heart of Xoralia, with quick views for policy owners to get the headline statistics to track the progress of mandatory reads, and support the flexible reporting you need. Users also see the policies they must read.

    Automating this tracking and reporting is excellent news for anyone who has had to use a combination of email and spreadsheets to keep on top of who has read a policy – a thankless and highly inefficient activity.

    Going further The beauty of Microsoft 365 is you can also integrate your policies into other areas where relevant, such as:

    • Creating an employee onboarding app using PowerApps that includes mandatory reads of policies
    • Creating a chatbot using Power Virtual Agents that references your policies
    • Providing access to your policies within Teams channels
    • And more!

    If you’d like to discuss our Xoralia Policy Management tool or managing policies across your Office 365 digital workplace, then get in touch!

    Book a live demo

    Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

    During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

    Book a demo

    7 reasons to use SharePoint for policy management

    7 reasons to use SharePoint for policy management

    Pushing out mandatory policies and tracking reads is perhaps the most requested feature in policy management. But before we get into that, let’s look at the other commonly requested features and examine how SharePoint (and Office 365) addresses these.

    Having one source of truth for key policies, procedures, forms and other key organisational documents is important. Employees and managers need to regularly access information such as your staff handbook, IT usage policy, holiday request process, social media guideline or supplier due diligence checklist and more and be confident that these are accurate and up to date. In regulated industries such as financial services there can also be strict guidelines for interaction with customers or processes which must be followed to reduce risk.

    Most organisations provide access to policies via their intranet but all too often these are:

    • Scattered across different department sites and are hard to find
    • Do not get updated with the very latest version
    • Simply do not get read, even if they are mandatory to read
    • Are not trusted by employees so they request a copy or rely on a version on their own file network or inbox, that may not be up to date.

    Policy management is important. Not managing your policies and procedures carefully or making them easily available in one central place leads to risks for organisations and individual employees, as well as inefficiencies. Sometimes it can also be an requirement for industry regulators or other external third parties, and may even be the subject of an external audit.

    Seven reasons why SharePoint policy management is the best approach

    If your organisation is using Microsoft 365 or SharePoint on-premises, then it makes sense to leverage the power of SharePoint to help better manage your policy documents.

    1. SharePoint is likely to be your existing and secure document management solution

    If you use SharePoint or SharePoint Online, then that is likely to be at the root of how most people manage documents their documents and files in your organisation. Documents can be easily shared, collaborated on and there is also effective version control, meaning that you can avoid issues such as duplication and ensure there is one source of truth; this is a critical factor in manging your policies. Leveraging SharePoint for policy management also means that your existing users will be already familiar with the system in place used for managing documents. Of course, SharePoint will also be fully secure.

    2. You can automate lifecycle management processes

    Lifecycle management is absolutely key to successful policy management. For example, you need to make sure that policies have owners who regularly review the documents they are responsible for. SharePoint is excellent from this perspective and you can leverage its integration with Active Directory as well as Power Automate (Flow) to create clear ownership, notifications and workflow to ensure polices are kept up to date and also create views that show admins the status of policies.

    3. You can get a complete audit trail

    As well as lifecycle management you can also get a complete audit trail of updates to your document, showing when and by whom. This transparency is very important for minimising risks, underpinning accountability, and even for external auditing purposes.

    4. You can easily provide access to all

    It is critical to provide easy access to policies for your employees. As most organisations already use SharePoint for their intranet or for communication sites, it is easy to integrate a policy document library into the channels that employees already have access to.

    5. You can integrate it into your search

    Policies also need to be findable and discoverable. Again, most organisations are leaning in on SharePoint or Microsoft search options to allow employees to find what they need. Using SharePoint for policy management means that these documents will be included in your main search, perhaps through the intranet.

    6. It can integrate with your wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem

    If you are on Microsoft 365 you will likely be using a wide variety of different collaboration and communication tools such as Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Outlook and SharePoint team sites. The obvious integration between a SharePoint-based policy library and the rest of the Microsoft 365 platform means it’s easy to embed and share key policies from the library in the places where every day work happens.

    7. You can track usage and get data

    Using SharePoint for policy management means it is also possible to track usage and get data on different policies, for example numbers of views or when they were last updated. By leveraging integrations with Active Directory and PowerBI you can also start to create reports and track critical data such as whether a mandatory document is being read and by whom.

    But what about mandatory policies and tracking reads? Introducing Xoralia Policies

    Overall, using SharePoint for policy management is the way to go. Having deployed many policies libraries on SharePoint and intranets over the years, we decided to combine all our knowledge into an app which can help customers fast track to a secure, user-centric and robust policy management library.

    Xoralia Policies is a brand-new app designed, developed, and managed by Content Formula. It provides organisations using Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online a quick-to-deploy central policy library than can be accessed via a SharePoint-based intranet or SharePoint site. Xoralia Policies can also be installed by on-premises SharePoint customers.

    The app is a simple but complete solution that provides:

    • Easy, central access to the latest version of organisational policy and procedure documents for all staff
    • Robust policy management with assigned content owners and regular reviews across different departments and functions
    • The ability to track the progress of mandatory reads for particular documents, as well as other useful analytics
    • All you need for auditing purposes.

    Main features

    1. An attractive, central policy library

    Xoralia Policies acts as a central policy and procedure library that can be reached via a SharePoint-based intranet or via a SharePoint site, such as a communication site. When accessing Xoralia Policies users are presented with an attractive and intuitive interface that has been designed to help employees find that they need.

    Each policy is listed with salient details including the title, the owner, the document format, the date it was last updated and any related instructions, such as whether it must be read. These instructions are personalised to the user. A handy summary at the top of the page also lets a user the number of policies that they have to read.

    2. Complete auditability

    Organisations may need to demonstrate to regulators or other external bodies that they both have robust processes in place to manage their policies but also that all employees have read policies that are considered to be mandatory. Xoralia Policies leverages the power of SharePoint to provide a complete audit trail of document changes, and also shows clear review policies in place with the ability to track these. This should satisfy both your own internal and external auditing requirements.

    Xoralia Policies also has the ability to ensure employees are carrying out mandatory reads. If a policy is mandatory to read, employees can access the document within the app and then make a simple declaration confirming once it has been read. In-built analytics show policy owners and admins the percentage of those who have read the policy.

    3. Robust policy management with automated notifications

    At the heart of Xoralia Policies are robust policy management features to ensure that documents are kept up to date and your library remains the one source of truth for policies. Each policy has an identified owner and a defined regular review period.

    Notifications ensure that owners are reminded to review the policies they own; Xoralia Policies also has a simple dashboard that shows a policy owner their policies that are due for review or have expired. Transparent ownership and review information displayed on each policy also encourages accountability.

    4. Analytics for mandatory reads and more

    Xoralia Policies also comes with powerful analytics. Xoralia Policies shows policy owners the percentage of users that have read a policy, while administrators can access a more detailed analytics dashboard showing the status of all mandatory reads as well as other salient analytics relating to document status, for example. There are options to use Power BI for more detailed and custom reporting.

    These analytics can help teams to prepare for audits, making interventions where necessary, but also get a better understanding to building engagement with employees.

    5. Strong findability

    Findability is critical. Employees want to be able to find the right policy quickly and effortlessly. The app includes a strong search facility where an employee can enter keywords to find the policy they are looking for. Additionally, employees can filter by different categories including mandatory and non-mandatory reads, the function who owns the policy (IT, HR, Legal etc.) as well as custom tags defined by you.

    6. Easy set-up and deployment

    The app is quick and straightforward to implement. Because Xoralia Policies can be applied to an existing SharePoint library it means you can convert an existing policy library to the app. It can also be deployed from within any SharePoint intranet or other SharePoint site. Simplified Policies takes a few days to implement. Content Formula can handle the whole implementation or work in partnership with your IT function to deploy the app.

    7. Options for customisation

    If you have special requirements around managing and presenting your policies, there are options for customisation. Call us to discuss.

    SharePoint is made for policy management

    When it comes to managing your policies and ensuring your employees can find and access them, SharePoint is a strong option. If you’d like more information about using SharePoint for policy management or about Xoralia Policies, and would like a product demo then get in touch!

    Book a live demo

    Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

    During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

    Book a demo

    7 ways to use SharePoint to support employee onboarding

    7 ways to use SharePoint to support employee onboarding

    An important use case for any digital workplace or employee experience platform is employee onboarding. When a new hire first joins a company, there are lots of forms to complete, team members to meet and information to absorb. A successful onboarding initiative helps make that process for new joiners more efficient, less overwhelming and as welcoming as possible.

    Typically, an onboarding programme might continue from when a person is hired through their first 90 days or so, but can last longer, even sometimes extending up to a year.

    Employee onboarding is an important element of employee experience. Critically, there are a plethora of statistics that show a successful onboarding programme can significantly reduce employee turnover and support talent retention.

    Over the last few years, there has been more and more attention paid to how the digital workplace supports onboarding. Since the pandemic, the digital side of employee onboarding has become even more important as companies have been forced to design virtual onboarding programmes during lockdown. Thankfully, SharePoint, with some additional integrations from across Microsoft 365, can support employee onboarding in several ways. Let’s explore seven of these.

    1 Provide a secure SharePoint site before day one

    When a person first confirms that they are accepting a position, there is often a lot of paperwork they must complete before their first day, as well as information to provide and reading to do. Completing this before their first day usually helps get everything prepared, including setting them up on different systems, ordering IT equipment and so on. It can also allow them to learn about the company and even meet their new colleagues.

    Creating a secure SharePoint site that new hires can access before their first day is a great way to provide all the necessary information and documents, as well as create all the forms they need to complete. The latter can use embedded Microsoft Forms with workflows from Power Automate to help IT and HR functions complete all the pre-first day tasks. A specific, secure SharePoint site can prove to be far more efficient than using email and helps a new hire make a flying start when they join, rather than spending the first day filling out forms and reading documentation.

    2. Create a hub for your new hires on your SharePoint intranet

    A SharePoint intranet often contains valuable information that new hires need to know regarding the company and its processes, its strategy and values, tools and apps, how to get things done and so on. Intranet teams often choose to create a new hire hub which highlights all the content that is valuable for a new starter, as well as adding specific resources for the new starter community. This might include checklists of things employees need to do, a welcome video from the CEO or presentations which feature in onboarding and induction sessions. It might also display a calendar of all the milestones an employee needs to be aware of in their first 30 days. A hub can also contain links to some of the elements mentioned below, including a task list, a Yammer community, policies and learning resources. Ideally, a new hire hub should have web parts that are targeted and personalised to ensure resources and links are relevant to the individual and their location, department and role.

    3. Build a custom set of personalised tasks with automation and workflow

    When new starters join a company, there are a lot of tasks to complete, including forms to fill out, policies to read, learning to complete and courses to attend. Aggregating all these tasks into a targeted list can be extremely helpful in making sure the new starter keeps on top of what they need to do. Creating a set of personalised tasks that appears in your SharePoint intranet can be done through customised development, taking advantage of Power Automate to deliver the right workflows. Building this into your intranet homepage can also ensure they are front of mind for the new starter.

    4. Get mandatory reads on your policies

    When a person joins a company, there is often a lot of reading to get through, some of which might be mandatory. They may need to read a professional conduct policy, an IT policy, a social media usage policy and a range of other HR policies. There may also be some mandatory risk compliance procedures they need to read and digest, and which managers or HR functions need to monitor to ensure they have been read and digested. SharePoint can help with both disseminating information and monitoring mandatory reads.

    You can use SharePoint document libraries to distribute companywide policies that need to be read, and also add some personalisation, customised development, Power Automate flows and Power BI reporting to create a targeted mandatory reads capability where the new starter confirms they have read a particular policy. A team manager or HR function can then monitor completion through reporting. This mandatory reads feature is so popular that we created it within our Xoralia policy management solution for SharePoint.

    5. Create learning for employee onboarding using LMS365

    Learning is usually a huge part of the onboarding experience. As part of the induction process, a new starter may need to take a series of courses or training programmes so they can settle into life at their new company and carry out their role. Some of this learning is likely to be mandatory. Typically, it may include:

    • An introduction to the company, its strategy and core processes
    • Health and safety
    • How to use technology platforms
    • Specific role-based training, often technical or specialist in nature
    • Mandatory compliance training across different areas.

    The best way to incorporate learning directly into your SharePoint environment is to use a learning platform like LMS365; this integrates seamlessly with SharePoint and Microsoft 365 because it’s based on SharePoint itself. Some organisations choose to put a SharePoint page or site ahead of LMS365 in order to create a compelling entry point into the system or make it part of their intranet experience (most employees might not even be aware they are entering a different system). Given its power, many teams have established a whole onboarding programme within LMS365.

    6. Create a new hire community

    Meeting people and networking helps new employees settle quickly. Creating a community for new starters is a strong element for any onboarding programme, and is a good way to engage new starters. New hires can support each other, as well as connect with HR and other support functions to ask questions. With SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365, a Yammer community with an embedded feed in your new hire area on the intranet can work very well, although some organisations might prefer to use Teams for community interaction.

    7. Get feedback on your employee onboarding programme

    An important method of improving your employee onboarding programme is to make sure you ask for feedback from the new hires who have just gone through it. Getting specific feedback and input can help identify issues that need fixing, highlight elements that are working well and elicit ideas for improvements.

    There are multiple ways to get feedback using SharePoint. You could embed a Microsoft form to ask specific questions or seek more detailed feedback, or you could embed a Yammer community on a SharePoint page to generate a discussion. You can also use SharePoint commenting to generate comments and ideas. However you do it, getting feedback can make all the difference, and sends a positive message that feedback from users is valued.

    Designing employee onboarding using SharePoint

    Employee onboarding is a key process in employee experience, and can make a tangible contribution to talent retention. SharePoint is a strong foundational technology to design onboarding experiences and deliver related content and features. If you’d like to discuss using SharePoint for your employee onboarding programme, then get in touch!

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    Understanding tags

    Understanding tags


    Xoralia allows you to tag policy documents in SharePoint and then surface those tags to allow users to filter and find policies. The Xoralia policy tags rely on the SharePoint taxonomy and managed metadata services to make it extremely easy for document owners to create and maintain tags across their document libraries.

    Configuring SharePoint for tagging

    Xoralia utilises SharePoint Managed Metadata to tag documents. To create and manage tags, you must first create a set of tags in the SharePoint Term Store – to do this you will usually have to be a SharePoint Service Administrator or have been added to the Term Store as an administrator previously.

    Go to SharePoint admin (https://yourtenant-admin.sharepoint.com) and select 'More Features' and then Term Store. From here, you can create a group of tags and then a Term Set that we will later use within our document library. You can also add the tags you’d like to use in Xoralia from here. Read more about SharePoint Term Store here.

    Adding tags to your SharePoint library

    Once you have a library associated with Xoralia, you are ready to add the ‘Tags’ column to the SharePoint document library. To do this, navigate to your library and select the SharePoint cog in the top right corner and then ‘Library settings’. From here, click on ‘Create column’. You must then use the following settings:

    • Column name: Tags
    • Type of information in this column: Managed Metadata (the page will refresh once you select this value)
    • Multiple Value field: Allow multiple values
    • Term Set Settings: expand the ‘Taxonomy_XXXXXX’ in the large box and navigate to your newly created Term Set (not the group, you must select the Term Set that you created)
    • Default Value: Leave this blank unless you’d like to have all documents created within this library tagged with a value by default

    Select OK to save your changes. You will now be able to add tags to a document within your SharePoint document library by editing the document properties.

    Any changes that you make to tags take around 10 minutes to appear inside of Xoralia.

    Download user guide: Understanding tags

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