Today’s employee wants to feel challenged, appreciated, and engaged throughout her career. And while some of the responsibility is on the employee to make that happen through her own dedication, much of her satisfaction with a job is dependent on the company.
One of the top issues facing organizations currently is how to attract, onboard, and retain top talent. HR is struggling with a workforce that lacks the appropriate and necessary skills for top jobs, but the key to solving this is to leverage technology to better engage employees.
Best-in-Class companies recognize the need to invest in technology to make the recruitment, onboarding, and continuous engagement process as effective as possible. According to an Aberdeen report, these firms are 35% more likely to use technology to make recruitment more valuable and 30% more likely to implement engagement technology in the coming year. The innovative ways of integrating technology into new or traditional strategies is going to change and improve how employees interact with their companies and how they perceive their jobs.
The following tactics are just a few of the creative ways technology has helped companies engage employees at every stage of the process. Finding the most intuitive ways to make technology a part of the job will demonstrate a dedication to modern ways of working and the well-being of the employee.
Social Media Advocacy
With 78% of Americans having a social media profile, it is probably safe to assume that your employees have some level of social media presence, whether it’s personal or professional. Companies are beginning to use this ubiquitous activity to their advantage. Many companies have set up social media advocacy programs. This type of program encourages existing employees to post marketing and HR content about the company to spread the word to their digital social circles.
From a sales and marketing perspective, this can greatly increase brand awareness and lead generation. Content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. When the word is coming from real people, customers are more likely to trust the source and be intrigued by how it has affected someone’s life. From an HR perspective, social media advocacy is a powerful tool in showcasing the culture of a company for recruitment purposes. Employees of socially engaged companies are 20% more likely to stay at their company, 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future and 40% more likely to believe their company is more competitive. When they get in on the activity, it becomes a game to engage with other employees and a joy to share the benefits of the company.
To implement such a program, use a social management platform to help employees set up their social accounts, make it a competition of who can share the most content, and guide them with the right content for their social audiences. Salesmen should have a different tone and theme than engineers or financial professionals. The variety will be great for both customers and prospective candidates.
Interactive Goal Setting
Most companies use intranet portals that allow employees to navigate internal communications on their own time. One feature that companies should be implementing in these intranets is an interactive goal setting activity. If an employee can visually chart his goals and see the physical evidence of completion, he will be far more satisfied with his progress. For example, if a team’s goal is to complete a project by a certain date, the goal setting timeline would help keep the project on schedule and celebrate with bright animation when the deadline is met. Much like a fitness tracker celebrates a step goal, companies should play up the small things, too.
Also important to this feature is the ability to adapt with employee needs and interests. The Aberdeen report revealed that Best-in-Class companies are 58% more likely than All Others (60% vs. 38%) to have a flexible goal-setting process that allows for frequent updates and modifications. A digital goal-setting feature is easily customized to these capabilities.
Asking employees to find time to learn something new is demanding and unrealistic in a fast-paced environment, but it is critical to engagement and success. That is why many learning portals present new information in a variety of formats. Giving workers the option of accessing user-generated content, formal learning or ask-the-expert forums through social, mobile and video formats allows them to choose their mode of learning. With more options, they are more likely to participate in learning programs and advance their knowledge. Best-in-Class companies are 76% more likely than others to implement this variety for engaging their employees in learning programs.
Engaged employees are happy and productive ones who make meeting the goals of the company easier than ever. Using technology to further engage your workforce is not as challenging as it may seem. Enhance existing tactics with new tools and innovative approaches. When you engage employees through technology, you will see better employees and returns.
To learn more about the importance of employee engagement and integrating technology, download our report An Employee-Centric Digital Workplace: From Onboarding Through Engagement.