Technology that helps build better employee engagement in any business
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.
Technology's role in modern working
Technology and employee engagement have a close relationship. New technology allows us to complete our jobs more quickly and effectively, and to adapt in times of change. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example where businesses were forced to restructure as remote teams to keep functioning.
Tech that helps us communication more effectively has been essential for businesses to transition into a fully remote way of doing things, especially video conferencing and messaging apps. Although remote work existed before 2020, it was more of a perk. Widespread implementation in response to COVID-19 has shown that remote working is a valid first option, driven by the technology that made it possible.
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.
Tech helps managers adapt their management style
This risk of turnover is just one reason why bridging the gap between technology and employee engagement practices in the modern workplace is especially important in helping managers continue to lead their teams effectively.
When you're managing a remote team, not having the ability to easily read the room when you walk in can be quite jarring. It's also more difficult to have a quick chat to discuss an issue or congratulate your team on good performance. That absence of face-to-face interaction means soft skills can be forgotten.
So, technology plays an essential role in helping team leaders to communicate better with their team and adapt their management style.
Why employee engagement is more important than ever
A manager's priority is keeping their team engaged. In part, this means removing obstacles to performance and providing the most effective tools for the job. Whether it's a communication tool, an aid to collaboration or a check-in platform for two-way feedback, new tech can reinvent how we do our jobs and make frustrating or time-consuming tasks quick and easy. That's why an understanding of the relationship between technology and engagement is essential for business success.
Just to be clear, although technology and employee engagement are becoming more intertwined as time goes on, engagement has always been important. But with teams across the world fractured, and with many people experiencing remote work for the first time last year, employees feeling isolated from their colleagues has become a real issue.
For many, their daily routine and the people they interact with form a huge part of their professional identity. And having that stripped away can make your employees feel disconnected from your company's goals and culture.
When employees feel like they belong they take pride in their work, have a connection with their colleagues and feel a sense of ownership of the company's successes. They are willing to go the extra mile. In times of uncertainty, those seemingly small things can make all the difference.
What technology is changing the workplace today?
It's important to implement the right technology to boost engagement in your business. Implementing new tech relies heavily on employee buy-in, which you'll struggle with if they've been stung before.
Here's our take on the 5 types of tech that can help boost engagement in the workplace today:
- Social media: Communicating with employees who aren't PC-based can be tough. Tim Rutter of Tata Steel took their internal communications programme external, using Facebook to keep employees updated on company news. He said there's been huge praise not just from the employees but from their families and the communities where the group are based. Employees felt more connected to the business and its goals as a direct result.
- Two-way feedback tools: More businesses are turning to employee feedback platforms like Weekly10 to supplement or outright replace their annual engagement surveys. Regular check-ins give you real-time feedback on employee engagement, instead of just a snapshot in time and ensures that you can respond to issues in a timely manner before they become major problems that cost you top talent.
- Recognition or kudos platforms: Being called out for great work feels, well, great. One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is feeling valued by others. Recognition by peers and managers strengthens the emotional bond between your people and the company's goals and doing this through tech means it's written down for all to see.
- Collaboration tools: The whiteboard will never be replaced but implementing tools that help with brainstorming and collaboration means teams can think, plan and execute more effectively even though they're working remotely.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): Despite decades of sci-fi pop culture telling us it's a bad idea, a lot of modern business leaders are pushing machine learning algorithms in their business. Perhaps more than any other tool, AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we work, eliminating the most time-consuming, least engaging elements of our jobs like filling out and checking legal paperwork in law firms. AI can also hugely benefit the way we collect information and obtain insight in the workplace.