Employee engagement is on the minds of many HR leaders. So often, the question is asked, “How do we engage with our employees?” Some develop strategic culture initiatives; others ask employees what can be done to make them feel more engaged with the organization. The question of “why” should also be answered. There are a lot of reasons why employee engagement should be important to a company, but mainly it comes down to dollars and cents. Keeping employees on-staff longer can make or break the success of a business as a younger, more vibrant millennial workforce begins to take over. They expect so much more than just compensation. They expect a high level of engagement with their teams, and with the company. This starts with company culture and the development of the workforce from the ground up with technology at the heart of it all.
“The concept of employee engagement starts with the employee experience, which encompasses everything that an employee experiences in the workplace – it is a 360-degree view of their interaction with an organization’s culture, physical environment, and perceptions. Technology should be a big part of those interactions.” – Ben Olson, CEO of Essium
Five ways that Technology can improve employee engagement:
- A Better Onboarding Experience: Setting the standard for culture and engagement starts with onboarding. Its the first, and possibly the most important interaction between an employee and employer and sets the tone for the entire employee lifecycle. An electronic onboarding experience, especially one that has the ability to be completed on a mobile device shows that a company is forward thinking and embraces technology. Some may argue that this type of onboarding lacks the human element, but every company has a golden opportunity to show their commitment to technology, and use those tools to engage with each new employee the moment the paperwork completed. The personal touch comes in when HR can walk them through company culture and training. Win. Win.
- IM Messaging: There are some pretty powerful IM systems that companies are using (i.e. slack.com) to give employees an opportunity to constantly communicate and collaborate on projects. These communication systems reduce the need for time-consuming meetings, conference calls and video chats. Many questions and calls for feedback can be done in just a few exchanges between key team members.
- Feedback Loops: Technology has given employees the ability to collaborate using a variety of platforms from social media, to shared google docs, to simply texting. These platforms also provide a way for younger workers to connect with co-workers in a comfortable and familiar way.
- Mobile Apps: A poll from “Dynamic Signal” found that 55% of employees said they would feel more informed and engaged if they could communicate using a mobile app. This means communication doesn’t stop at a desk monitor, but rather goes straight to the employee themselves, no matter where they are.
- Intranet: The idea of an intranet is not new, but it is still highly effective in creating a higher level of engagement. Depending on how it is set up, It gives the employees yet another way to interact and communicate, it provides an easy way to submit HR requests, it can even reduce the stress of walking into the bosses office to ask for time off.
HR Technologist: There’s no denying the fact: employee engagement is a serious game-changer for businesses, regardless of size or scale. In a highly complex market, fraught with rising attrition rates, retaining employees is critical. Add to that a young, vibrant millennial workforce who are hungry for various facilities, benefits, and means of engagement, above and beyond only compensation. This is why improving employee engagement is integral to a company’s culture, as well as its long-term profitability. But what does engagement really mean? To many, high engagement means your workforce is inspired to perform assigned tasks to the best of their ability, are constantly motivated and enthused and feel a sense of ownership/accountability for each project.