The five things you need to think about when choosing and implementing employee engagement tech

This week we thought we would bring you some advice from Maria Gyemant in our HR tech practice, who gives some thoughts on what you need to think about when deciding what employee engagement systems you should choose for your business.

Understand what ‘employee engagement’ is, what impacts it and its benefits

Employee engagement represents, at its core, that “extra mile” your employees will take to help your business achieve its goals; which doesn’t necessarily mean doing more, but doing things better. Remember, an engaged employee is one that feels a strong, positive connection with your organisation. Therefore, engaged employees will be your biggest allies!

There are a lot of things that will have an impact on how your employees feel about your organisation, such as:

  • Opportunities for career growth
  • Alignment with your company’s strategy, values and mission
  • Relationship with their manager
  • Level of autonomy to carry out their jobs
  • Environment/Office Space
  • Workload and work/life balance
  • Compensation and Rewards

At the end of the day, we think that it boils down to trust, respect, fairness, justice, co-operation. At its heart, the employment relationship is about mutuality*.

When done right, employee engagement can be a great driver of success and help your business stand out against your competition – there are plenty of case studies and research that demonstrate its positive impact in your business performance. Here are some things an engaged workforce can help your business with:

  • Reduce absenteeism and turnover
  • Improve productivity
  • Attract top talent
  • Increase your organisation’s revenue and profitability
  • Get a higher NPS and customer loyalty

Decide if and what kind of tool you are going to bring along to help you

Measuring employee engagement requires the right tools. After all, receiving ongoing feedback from your employees has come to replace the more traditional – and limiting - yearly employee survey.

If you decide to bring in a tool to help you, there are plenty in the market which offer basic functionality such as surveys & pulses, anonymous employee feedback and praising. They also allow you to benchmark your company against others in your industry and segment your workforce in sub-groups such as by department and line manager. These functionalities allow you to build a broader picture to help you understand which areas you can improve on. Some even provide you with action plans to help you do exactly that! Also, by providing you with insights and dashboards, they help you see things such as how your employees’ engagement progress in time or what impact changes you implement might be having.

Apart from these basic functionalities, some also incorporate performance management as part of their offering – such as performance reviews, goal management and one-to-one meeting management - so you can reduce the number of external tools you bring into your stack.

Get buy in from senior leadership

As with everything else, you are going to need to articulate this to your senior leadership. Being able to explain ROI is important, so make sure you do your research and put together your business case as to how employee engagement will help your business to back your request. You can refer to our previous point to help you get started.

Implement and maximise adoption

As with every new tech implementation, it doesn’t end once you’ve deployed it. As we discussed previously, behavioural change is a massive part of ensuring success. Getting support from leadership and being able to communicate to different stakeholders (your line managers, employees, etc.) the value the new tool will bring to the organisation is crucial to maximise your chances of adoption.

Don’t forget that it’s not all about tech

Yes, technology is a great ally, but it’s not a silver bullet. It will certainly help you understand the pain points your business might be going through and give you ideas on how to improve but it will simply not replace human interaction. Making sure your employees feel valued and listened to – not just as employees but also as individuals - is, at the end of the day, what will help ensure they stay engaged and loyal to your business.

If you'd like to find out more about some of the partners we currently work with, visit our 'tech & friends' page here.

* Francis H, Holbeche L and Reddington M (eds) 2012 People and Organisational Development: A new agenda for Organisational Effectiveness, London, Chartered Institute on Personnel Development