Employee Engagement is one of the modern concepts of management. It focuses on engaging the employees with their job to increase their commitment to the work thus enhancing productivity. An employee who is engaged or involved with the job would be more committed to achieving goals. This enhances productivity and is beneficial for the organization. Employee engagement not only improves productivity but it also leads to increased loyalty to the organization. This ensures retention and reduces attrition.
Organizations from various sectors have realized the importance of employee engagement. They have understood the role it plays in motivating employees and improve morale. Organizations are implementing different kinds of strategies to increase employee engagement. Technology can be very helpful in this. Technology offers various tools that can be helpful in increasing employee engagement.
The following are 5 secrets that an organization can follow to use technology in the most effective way to enhance employee engagement.
1) Use the right technology
Technology solutions are available today in almost every area of work. It is important to select the right technology for employee engagement. The tools that are selected must be apt for the organization and the employee’s needs. Some of the considerations here are:
- The tool must be simple and easy to use.
- It should have a user-friendly interface suitable for all employees to use, even non-technical staff.
- Where required, training should be provided on how to use the tool.
- The tool must be available for use on laptops/desktops, and through mobile apps. This ensures that the tool can be used anywhere.
Some of the areas for which tools are needed include:
- Instant messaging and text chat.
- Video chat and video calling.
- Text messaging for instant information exchange.
- File sharing.
- Collaboration software, including shared whiteboards.
- Project management and related tools to manage work schedules.
- Timesheet tools to record activities and time taken.
- Intranet with an internal wiki or knowledge base to share resources.
Using the right tools for all these areas can help to keep employees engaged. The tools would ensure that employees stay focused on the job and get the help needed for their work. Use of these tools will have a direct impact on productivity.
2) Recognize Efforts
Employees work hard to complete tasks. They work with the aim of achieving their personal goals, as well as the organization’s goals. It is important to recognize the efforts put in by employees. Recognition plays an important role in employee engagement. An employee whose work is recognized and appreciated would feel motivated to achieve more. Technology can play a part in this.
Engagement apps or whiteboard sharing tools can be used to recognize achievements of employees. This recognition should not be limited to an e-mail to the employee but must be known throughout the organization. Notifying the entire organization of the achievers for the week/month is a good way to engage with employees.
The employee whose achievements are published is not only satisfied but will strive to achieve more. Other employees would also work with the intention of being recognized. Employee of the week/month can be identified and the results shared with everyone.
3) Implement a Reward system
Recognition and praising an employee for his/her achievements is a good motivating factor. Recognition by itself may not help as a long-term strategy. The recognition needs to be accompanied by a reward. A reward acts as a greater motivating factor to achieve goals. While monetary rewards like incentives and bonuses are helpful, there are many other ways in which an effective reward system can be created to reward achievers.
Apart from financial rewards, other rewards that can be offered to achievers include:
- Paid leave.
- Paid vacation.
- Tickets to the cinema or a show.
- Paid lunch/dinner.
- Vouchers to use to make purchases at a store or online.
- Discount coupons to purchase a product.
- Surprise gifts.
These rewards can be offered based on work achievement. Technology can be used here effectively. Depending on goals achieved, an employee can be awarded points. An app or tool can be used to keep track of points scored by employees. The reward system planned needs to be transparent.
Whenever an employee accumulates a certain number of points, he/she should have the option to redeem it. A tool can be used where the employee selects the reward of his/her choice depending on the points obtained. This is a great way to keep employees motivated. A well-designed and implemented reward system can help increase employee engagement.
4) Use Training to improve engagement
Training can be a powerful way of improving engagement. Training is essential to be aware of latest technologies and industry trends. Training is also needed to understand about a new product an organization has launched or to understand new systems being implemented. Training helps an employee gain skills needed to achieve goals.
When training is implemented in an organized and effective way, it can be very helpful in ensuring employee engagement. An employee whose training needs are identified and who receives the right training would feel more engaged with his/her work. The employee is more confident and can achieve greater results thanks to the training.
The process of identifying training needs and the training process itself can be delivered using technology. Online tools are available to provide training. Employees can get trained using apps on their mobile phones. This makes the process of training more accessible and allows the employee to learn at his/her convenience and pace.
The concept of bite-sized training is effective in training delivery. Small modules of 10-15 minutes are more effective than hours of training. Multiple bite-sized training modules can be delivered using technology. This will prove to be very effective in employee engagement.
5) Measure the effectiveness of engagement
Technology can be used to improve employee engagement. An organization can use any of the above methods to do this. It is important for the organization to know whether the methods being applied are yielding results or not. The effectiveness of employee engagement needs to be gauged. Technology can be helpful here.
The success of employee engagement strategies needs to be measured frequently. This will help in understand if employees are really engagedwith their work or not. It will help the organization to understand the success rates of their strategies. They can use this to fine-tune strategies to enhance employee engagement.
Some of the ways in which technology can be used to measure engagement effectiveness are:
- Conducting employee surveys to understand how happy they are with the engagement measures. These surveys can be conducted online or through the mobile phone through apps or text messages.
- Feedback can be formally taken from employees periodically. The feedback can be used to identify employee expectations. The feedback can be administered using apps or other such tools. The information from this feedback can be analyzed using tools to understand how engaged employees are.
- Instant feedback through text messaging/instant messaging can help get quick feedback on measures.
The 5 secrets listed in this article can easily be implemented by organizations. Technology plays an important role in increasing employee engagement. Organizations can easily make use of technology to improve employee engagement. This will help them achieve improvement in productivity and employee retention.