Many millennials now feel the best way to enhance their career is to move employers every few years, and culturally that has become the normal working experience for many people.
This brings the challenge of retaining talent to the forefront of the HR world. Technology is changing the game, providing new and exciting ways for companies to inspire and keep employees motivated. In a TLNT article, Jacob Morgan states technology should be one of the top focus points for companies to invest in if they want to create the best employee experience they can.
Creating a work culture which fosters a sense of belonging and collaboration is important for boosting productivity and driving better business outcomes. Josh Bersin explains that the best ‘high-impact HR organisations offer collaborative solutions to help constantly shifting team structures’. He highlights the importance of employees feeling like part of a team and the role technology can play in creating this.
Technology has helped organisations take team collaboration to the next level. The rise of communication tools, such as Slack and Yammer, have moved many employee conversations online. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Employees share ideas, files and feedback through these platforms and are in constant communication with each other, no matter where they are. Developing team spirit in through this medium can develop a much more productive workforce.
However, Josh Bersin argues that we now have a ‘plethora of communication tools that overwhelm most of us’ so the next challenge is to create a virtual platform that encompasses many functions so all employees can use the same software and stick to just one.
Employee engagement software
Measuring engagement beyond the annual appraisal or comments at the team party is a challenge that scales with growth. Technology is evolving to allow an organisation to change their culture, encouraging and enabling continual review and feedback.
Simon Sinek explains that good leadership is about creating a sense of trust and loyalty, and this is when employees will become more productive and engaged. He suggests the only way to measure leadership and how it is impacting employees is to run an engagement survey.
For example, WeThrive offer a software which enables leaders to send monthly surveys to their employees, addressing a range of subjects including mental health, team work, capability and confidence at work. Managers then receive an analysis of the results and specific actions they can take to take to improve engagement. This type of software is making feedback even easier to give, and ‘this explosion of transparency has been very healthy for business’, Josh Bersin explains.
Many of these tools also allow leaders to track progress, so you can monitor whether actions are making a difference. Rachel Fenton from Culture Amp explains that use of employee feedback platforms, like WeThrive, can aid companies in making employees feel valued and believes, ‘employees will feel heard, especially if they start to see improvements made in response to their feedback’
Using these tools only improves how employees relate and respond at work, by giving them a voice and showing them their opinions matter. As Laszlo Bock states, ‘the drivers of successful culture are mission, transparency and voice’, and this type of intrinsic motivator can be an extremely powerful for improving employee engagement.
Many employees leave their job for lack of appreciation and this is a main contributor to an employee dissatisfaction. Lucy Adams explains money is not the biggest motivator, and when we take the attention away from annual bonuses and monetary rewards, we can start to see what factors really engage employees. One of these factors is recognition.
As we spend more hours at work and less time at home, technology has become a significant player in making us feel connected to others and as Shawn Achor states in HBR, technology can aid in creating effective peer-based recognition that people desire.
Creating a work culture where peer to peer recognition is encouraged goes a long way to boosting employee engagement and technology makes it easy to do this.
Thanksbox is a peer-to-peer recognition tool that allows employees to praise and reward each other. They can give a special thanks, nominate others for awards and much more. Reward and recognition tools like this help employees feel valued and respected by the rest of their team.
Through the use of tools like Thanksbox, technology helps create a work culture where recognition is consistent.
Gamification has burst out of the regular consumer market and seeped into the business world. A lot of leaders hold the belief that gamification is a gimmick and disregard it as an effective tool, but it has a tremendous impact on employee motivation.
Robert Schaffer makes an interesting point in the Harvard Business Review, that we are all enthusiastic about many aspects of our lives but many people fail to approach work with that same enthusiasm. He explains that gamification can aid organisations in creating enthusiastic employees by getting rid of the boring ‘sameness’ many people feel doing the same tasks every day.
Users of these apps are set business-related targets to reach and real activities are turned into games. Employees can also track their own progress and learn more about their own strengths.
One of the most important aspects of the gaming world is engagement, and game designers are experienced in keeping their users interested. Katy Tynan makes the point that game designers use a lot of engagement strategies that originate from psychology. These same techniques can be used in gamification for business to keep employees motivated and interested in business-related tasks.
Spinify is one example of a gamification app designed to help boost sales by creating healthy competition between employees. Team member’s performances are added to the app and ranked on an interactive leader board platform.
My key advice is don’t overlook technology when reviewing engagement, your workforce is used to sharing online and will embrace your efforts to make their opinions heard and valued.
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