Blog Engagement

6 steps to increase employee engagement with HR technology

Employee engagement is one of the most significant drivers of business success. So, in a time where many businesses are dealing with a lack of certainty, having that edge can make all the difference. One of the biggest benefits of a highly engaged workforce is the level of discretionary effort your people willing provide. Having the right tech stack can make or break your people. 

Modern technology drives change in the workplace. From email to AI algorithms, there are numerous examples of workplace tech that we all just take for granted nowadays. But choosing the right tech solutions creates a more engaging workplace by enabling better communication, and giving employees the tools to succeed.

Workplace tech (whether it’s a calculator, a video conferencing app, or any other piece of software) cuts down the busywork, so we can get on with the parts of our jobs that make the most impact.

More engagement technology doesn’t mean less human

Harvard Business Review recently published a report on technology's make-or-break role in employee engagement. 82% of respondents believed employee happiness is 'significantly impacted by how well their workplace technology performs,' and 77% report that good employees will seek jobs elsewhere if their current job fails to provide the tools and information they need. Digital employee wellbeing comes into play here.

One of the most common arguments against adding more technology into the workplace is the idea of automation. It’s definitely an understandable fear, as nobody wants to be made irrelevant by a machine. But there’s more to tech in the workplace than automating people out of their jobs.

If anything, employee engagement technology exists to keep people in their jobs. Low engagement or active disengagement can be strong predictors of employee turnover. But technology solutions for employee engagement can address the issues that drive away your top talent.

How to harness the power of technology for higher employee engagement

Driving employee engagement with technology is all about choosing the right solutions for your business. When it comes to evaluating potential tech solutions, we’d recommend involving your IT department from the very beginning. They’re the ones who’ll be responsible for getting new software up and running, and their in-depth knowledge means they can help you choose the best tools for the job.

But, while HR should defer to IT on all things technological, we’re still going to leave you with some tips of our own about the role of technology in employee engagement.

6 tips for improving employee engagement with technology

Always start with your why. Why are we doing this? What do we hope to achieve? Develop a strategy rather than ad hoc bits and pieces to make a lasting impact on your employee engagement. Here’s how to make it a success.

1. Review where you are now and identify your weak spots

Armed with a renewed motivation to improve engagement and our simple model, you can run a good review of your current employee engagement strategy and existing technology stack. See where you are strong and where you might need a tech-powered assist.

Remember, there is no order to the model, and not really a priority target either though working from bottom to top does make sense if you have no engagement strategy currently. Match up what you are doing against each of the 10 elements, investigate how well each is working and beef up that strategy to maximise your gains.

2. Scope out your options

There are hundreds of employee engagement technology solutions on the market. Some focus on a very small niche of engagement, while others profess to offer a full ‘one-stop-shop’ solutions. In our experience, these tend to be ‘jack of all trades’ style solutions, so beware.

Your best bet is to look for a solution or two that will fill any gaps within your current engagement action plan (or improve current performance), with many software options providing viable solutions to a selection of engagement areas.

One top tip here is to consider your current tech stack. No employee is going to be all too keen to add yet another username/password combination to their memory bank. So look for solutions that offer integrations with tools you already use and single sign-on (SSO) functionality.

A growing place for employee engagement technology apps is the Microsoft Teams AppSource store, with a small selection of vendors offering robust apps that will sit directly within Teams - this offers the added benefit of being very easy to integrate into the daily life of an employee.

3. Collaborate with your colleagues

IT should be your first port of call here. Lean on the experts within your business when it comes to selecting and implementing any new technology. HR will champion engagement initiatives by building the right team around the table to ensure its success. Collaboration helps craft a solution that is likely to achieve what the organisation needs it to and shape a successful rollout.

4. Plan the rollout

Speaking of the rollout, how a new piece of software is implemented is often the crucial moment of a project. The best advice we can give here with your employee engagement technology is to start simple and communicate often.

The best practice is to rollout any new solution with the base features you really need to help tackle a specific challenge. Once the business has got a handle on the new software and process, and you start to see some positive results with regards to your challenge, then look to add new or additional features.

Internal communication is vital with any tech rollout. By being open and honest about the aims of any new engagement tech and showing staff how this will benefit their day-to-day working life you help minimise any resistance to the new change and provide purpose and autonomy to the whole process.

5. Train and maintain

As part of the rollout process, develop a clear plan for how managers and employees will receive training on any new software. Then once the initial training is done plan in periodic refreshers or sessions detailing new features as they’re added to maintain participation.

Good employee engagement vendors will supply you with resources such as training plans and agendas. Great vendors will run training with you.

6. Review periodically

Once you’ve rolled out and have a few weeks or months under your belt, it’s time to review. Again, good vendors will provide you with the tools to do this effectively and may even help you review as part of your subscription.

Focus on the success stories and their worth to the business as well as the sticking points and challenges that your people are facing and reporting.

The best solutions will see participation rates rising in the first few months then maintain over time. Where drops in usage occur, readdress the strategy, and amend where required.

This excerpt is from our latest best practice guide: Employee Engagement in a Remote Working World. Download your copy using the form below.