Employee engagement is no mean a task for organizations. A 2015 Gallup survey found nearly 30% of employees felt engaged in their jobs; another 50% felt they were disengaged while a further 20% felt they were ‘actively disengaged’.
Employee engagement is the emotional connect that an employee feels for his or her workplace. An engaged employee will not only be enthusiastic about the work but will take positive action to further the organization’s goals. This is easy for small- and medium-sized firms but when organizations are large it becomes difficult to connect with individual employees.
This is where digital technology can play a large part in communicating with the workforce. Digital technology is the compression of large amounts of information for storage into small devices. This is to enable quick and easy transmission, transportation, and preservation of data. Digital technology can transform how people work, learn, and communicate.
Here are 10 techniques to leverage technology to boost employee engagement:
- Collaborative working: Flexibility and working virtually are now common across major organizations. This is not without reason. A Forrester Research in 2016 showed that 63 million U.S. citizens worked virtually, up from 34 million in 2010. As a result, 82% of workers experienced less stress while telecommuting while 69% reported fewer days away from work. Examples of tools for collaborative working include file sharing, wikis, whiteboards, and project management tools (JIRA).
- Gamification of activities: The key to a memorable experience is to motivate learners to invest enough time and effort to learn. One method is to gamify learning activities which will boost motivation, participation and completion rates. For example, a gamified portal at a sales company showed a 417% increase in employee usage, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction.
- Personal devices at work: Millennials are the largest group in the U.S. workforce. Considering that this generation of the workforce uses 3-4 personal devices every day, many organizations have begun allowing personal devices to be used at the workplace. Bringing their own devices provides autonomy to work when and the way they want it.
- Peer-to-peer feedback: Recognition from peers can boost employee engagement. According to a survey, 43% of employees are unhappy because of recognition. This can be addressed if the organization uses digital technology to creates a culture of providing positive feedback to its workforce. Tools like Salesforce Chatter can help create a strong network of colleagues to provide support and help employees surmount the challenges they face.
- Mobile learning: Modern employees are leading a complicated life by juggling several responsibilities at the same time. Time and attention spans are short. Therefore, there is a need for training that can be completed anytime, anywhere. By combining mobile learning and bite-sized training, organizations have been able to include training as part of the employee workflow. This has reduced training costs and increased employee engagement and completion rates.
- Virtual coaching: Virtual coaching or mentoring can be done by enrolling employees in webinars and virtual classes. This can also be done by one-on-one coaching or live streaming. Regular mentoring sessions allow employees to develop their leadership skills and help in self-assessing their limitations. This also provides them with opportunities to network across the organization.
- Agile management: Bureaucratic processes can stifle innovation and frustrate employees who have access to digital technology and tools. Organizations should encourage open communication and streamline processes that require improvement.
- Single collaborative platform: Employee collaboration can be digital. Organizations need to have a reliable platform that will help employees work from different locations without having to waste time commuting for meetings.
- Blogs and social media: Another platform where employees can engage in an open discussion are company blogs and social media pages. These pages can be used for making general announcements, crowd-sourcing, or brainstorming. They can be made more interactive to have a strong sense of community and camaraderie.
- Digital recognition: In traditional office settings, employees involved with liaising with higher management get more recognition than those involved in production tasks. Digital recognition can be weekly through verbal communication or digital gift cards. Digital recognition is a great way to improve relationships between management, teams, and employees.
An organization with positive employee engagement will harbor employees who are happier and more productive at work.