Ways to Improve Employee Engagement with Technology
Before we go on to elaborate on the methods of improving employee engagement, we need to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to the notion itself.
There are many similar definitions of the term, but they all basically suggest that it includes emotional investment towards the company and its goals. An engaged employee does not only think about their paycheck, but they want to be actively involved in creating strategies and in the monitoring process. That is your team captain on the pitch.
Even though a Gallup study revealed that employee engagement had been stagnant and that an alarmingly low percentage of people said they were engaged, it is by no means a sign that we should just give up on involving employees. On the contrary, we need to have as many people on board as possible and we should make use of any help available.
Such help can come in many shapes and forms, but we are going to have a look at technology as a powerful tool to boost your employee engagement, if used correctly. Needless to say, no piece of technology will be enough without an element of human interaction, which is supposed to awaken the wish for engagement among employees. So, here are some ideas for you to consider when it comes to using technology for this purpose.
Long gone are the days when you needed to have everyone physically present at the same location if you wanted to have a meeting or simply to discuss an important matter. More and more employees are working from remote locations, since such work provides them with many benefits and the companies have realized that such workers are usually more satisfied and productive.
Various forms of communication now make keeping in touch a breeze. Emails, chats, Skype or conference calls, all help everyone involved keep on top of all relevant issues while files and documents are shared almost instantly. All employees who feel that they are getting help from modern technology are bound to feel grateful and more engaged.
You might step it up a notch and use technology to help you manage all types of projects as well. There are many great pieces of software that allow you to organize and manage tasks, share documents, have conversations, reminders, and monitor progress, but you should definitely run a project management software comparison before choosing the one that suits you the most.
Since there is no progress without learning and while we sometimes lack the motivation to learn, it is quite important to create an atmosphere that fosters participation in learning and boosts motivation using gamification. I is a well-known fact that people are competitive to some extent so why not make a measurable activity such as learning more fun?
More learning happens in a relaxed and stress-free environment, but you have to be careful about not turning what is intended to be harmless fun into a nasty competition which would damage interpersonal relations. Another element to consider is the age of your employees, since you might expect more resistance to such a relaxed approach among senior workers.
Bearing in mind the fact that Generation Z is next in line for employment, it might be a good idea to reconsider the approach to learning opportunities and employee training. The most important features of this type of professional development are that it is not limited by geographical location and that it requires mobile devices, something our future young colleagues were brought up with.
What such an approach brings about is, among other things, flexibility, which has become a quality looked for in almost all aspects of life. If you manage to utilise technology in a way that it provides optimal conditions for professional development of your employees, allowing them to complete tasks regardless of their location, you will be saving on classroom costs and travel times, while at the same time increasing employee engagement.
Basically, you need to focus on allowing more flexibility and opportunities for your employees to organize their work in the way they find the most suitable. Giving more freedom does not have to imply chaos and anarchy. On the contrary, you might find that your employees are less distracted and much more focused on their task, which means they are likely to be more efficient and productive.