Increasing Employee Engagement Through Technology
Employee engagement is a crucial part of today’s business scenario. According to Gallup in 2015, only 30% of employees said that they are engaged in their job. 50% of employees opined that they were not engaged and around 20% of employees were of the opinion that they were actively disengaged. This indicates a serious workplace challenge. However, the situation is not all that grim. Nowadays, organisations are looking at intelligent ways to enhance employee engagement by taking the help of technology.
The concept of employee engagement measures how emotionally invested your employees are in your organisation. An employee who is truly engaged, wishes the organisation to succeed and do not expect just next month’s salary. They have invested emotionally with the organisation’s mission. Forbes defines employee engagement as the employees’ emotional commitment towards the organisation and its goals. Engaged employees wish to have their say in the business of the organisation. They like to feel that they are a part of the larger team, working towards a common objective. They also wish to be valued as a crucial member of the organisation.
The question is what is technology’s role in this entire scenario? Some organisations hesitate to provide their connected employees with gadgets such as smart devices, phones, tab etc. Employees are of the opinion that these technological gadgets eat into the productivity time, as people tend to get involved in playing games. However, that is not true. If an employee wishes not to be productive as work, they will find other ways of being non-productive without taking the help of technology. It is the person and not the tool that matters in terms of whether being willing to be productive or not.
How to Increase Employee Engagement Through Technology
Let’s take a look at five different methods for leveraging technology in order to enhance employee engagement.
Just as the human body, work can be performed in a much productive manner when it’s flexible. Virtual and flexible work is the next huge thing in today’s business scenario. According to the Forrester research reports by 2016, more than 63 million Americans will be working virtually. In the year 2010, this figure was around 34 million. So obviously the jump is huge. In fact, a recent survey suggests, employees who work remotely experience lesser stress, have higher morale, fewer absences. This cements the fact that you need to use technology to work virtually. If virtual working is encouraged, you will be able to have more motivated, happier, and more productive employees in your organisation. If you have a virtual workforce, it will also cut down your overhead costs, and it will display your trust in your employees to work remotely.
Also, with the help of technology, it is easier to use social media and other collaboration tools to stay instantly updated on your projects. If you use online means of communication and remote working it will help to boost your employee engagement by enabling better communication between employees irrespective of location.
Let’s take a look at some of the tools that will help to work collaboratively in an effective manner:
- Sharing files: Explore file sharing with the help of Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other similar means. The reason for suggesting this is that it the fees for mass storage is relatively cheap, it offers a simple interface, and you have your peace of mind that everything is well-communicated in a safe manner and all the data is backed up on the cloud.
- Wikis: Create a shared resource where you employees can look for all the information on their own via a self-access center for training and development. It will keep everyone on the same page, and your employees will stay updated on the appropriate way of doing things.
- Organisation and Project Management Tools: With the help of sites such as Trello, JIRA, Basecamp, Wrike, and Asana, etc., you can create, organise, and delegate tasks to your employees by sharing certain elements into shared projects. These project management tools facilitate you to have chats and conversations in between tasks. These are really helpful and can make the life of your employees easier and thereby enhance employee engagement and productivity.
- Messaging & Forums: Use tools to help your colleagues share ideas and work together collaboratively. One such amazing tool is Slack which helps to pass files, float questions and ideas, brainstorm and compare notes as well. We call it collective consciousness
As per the 2014 Cisco Connected Tech Report, professionals use at least two to three work and personal gadgets in their day to day lives. Also, around 60% of respondents in the survey opined that they would rather select a device other than a laptop for both their personal and professional use. Around 70% of HR professionals are of the opinion that the current generation of employees perform faster if you allow them to use their own mobile devices instead of laptops and desktops. If you allow your employees to bring their own devices to work, it will help to enhance employee engagement by giving them the freedom to function the way they want.
3. Peer to Peer Recognition
43% of employees is of the opinion that one of their biggest sources of unhappiness at work is lack of recognition. Smart companies have adopted a peer to peer recognition to enhance employee engagement.
This method also seems to work for those employees who have trouble with authority or who do not seem to get along with their bosses. It is really sad that a lot of employees feel unappreciated enough through friction with their boss. If such employees receive support and recognition from their peers, they will be able to emerge out of this challenging situation in a much easier manner. If you are able to create a culture of recognition amongst your employees, it generates an entire new attitude and outlook. All that you need to do is to make your employees feel worthwhile and good about themselves.
4. Mobile Learning
As per the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey conducted in 2014, mobile learning is said to have change the level of employee training. Online and mobile learning are changing the expectations of employees. Todays employee leads a multifaceted and busy life where they need to balance work with hobbies, family, etc. It is therefore essential that you offer employees access to learning content and complete training at a time and place that is convenient for them. By facilitating mobile learning, you can increase the enthusiasm of employees towards learning. Employees find it much more convenient and happy if they are allowed to complete these learning programs on their mobile from the comforts of their homes.
One of the key challenges faced while delivering training is to generate enough motivation amongst the target audience so that they are willing to invest their time and effort that is required to learn. Since gamification techniques are more on a practical note and compelling, if you use it appropriately, it can boost the rate of participation in the Elearning courses and thereby enhance employee motivation.
When you use games to teach, people find it fun and have a natural tendency to engage and compete. To achieve expected results, it is important that you first assess the existing HR strategy, the goals, and needs of your organisation. You should also consider if gamification can fit in well with the entire strategy before you invest in it.