The Role of Technology in Employee Engagement
From telephone, fax, and email in the 20th century to unified communication and enterprise social networks in the 21st, businesses have long applied the latest technology in the hopes of improving efficiency and productivity. When it’s successful, the investment justifies the cost. When it’s not, businesses eventually try something else.
For many organisations today, engagement remains a major dimension of retention, absenteeism, presenteeism, and productivity.
The culture of your organisation can have a powerful impact on your employees. A positive, open culture can create trust and loyalty among employees, giving them passion for their job and a dedication to the company. This, in turn, leads to increases in engagement, which can inspire enthusiasm and productivity.
According to research, organisations that actively manage their cultures typically have 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher levels of retention. Additionally, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share and their employees are 87 percent less likely to leave. Numbers like that are tough to ignore.
To be engaged, employees need to be rewarded, motivated, invested in and aligned with the company culture and strategy. Advances in technology have defined new rules of engagement that can make this a reality.
Go forth with gamification
Our team here at Clarity International is always on the lookout for solutions to help our clients implement new processes in unique and exciting ways and that also offer a great bang for their buck. In our experience, any technology for employee engagement will have limited results if it’s tedious or doesn’t demonstrate benefits to users. As such, gamification has become increasingly popular, also outside of the eLearning context.
We recently helped one of our clients by developing a strategy whereby we introduced gameplay into their reward and recognition program. By awarding points for demonstrating certain behaviours, employees compete with each other and everything is tracked.
A recent example of this can be seen with Spotify, where employee reviews have actually replaced with gamified versions where an impressive 90% of employees participating in the programmes.
And the survey says…
Surveys are another excellent tool for measuring your organization’s progress when it comes to technology adoption. More importantly, surveys also give your employees a voice, showing them that their opinions matter.
When managers see that their employees are currently unhappy about something, they can start a conversation to find out how to improve things and head off escalating problems to keep productivity and morale from declining. This kind of survey gives employers a more targeted approach to monitoring workforce satisfaction while also giving team members a platform to voice their concerns.
Take me to your user
We talked about this a while ago, but one of our most strongly held beliefs at Clarity International is that there’s nothing more important than the experience of the user. We recently designed a collaboration platform on Sharepoint for an organisation with a large mobile workforce, many of whom weren’t particularly computer literate.
The top priority was to have a mobile platform that was intuitive and required as few clicks as possible. Moreover, much like a well-designed app or website, the look and feel of a platform can make a notable difference when it comes to engagement. A simplistic, or even obsessive, as it may seem, it’s the small details that can make all the difference in the world.
Share and share alike
The truth is, we hire people for the knowledge they have and the things they can still learn. We recently looked at the current state (and health) of company intranets, which is still the first place the employees will generally turn when looking to share information.
Whether this is done via SharePoint or another platform, professionals need access to the information in order to succeed in what they do.
Engaging employees through their knowledge and skills, and encouraging them to share this knowledge and their experiences externally is one of the most powerful ways to integrate employees into the company mission and collaborate with each other.
Brave new world
Digital tools and social networks have changed the world, and the workplace. The right technology allows knowledge to find employees, instead of the other way around. With the right employee communication tools, employers can curate the content they wish their employees to see, and target it accordingly.