8 Ways Technology Can Improve Employee EngagementOctober 26, 2020
While there are so many things that an employer can do in order to create an optimal work environment, at the end of the day, it comes down to the employee to commit to their work. To improve employee engagement, it is a complex phenomenon and it’s affected by so many different factors. There are so many ways in which technology can improve employee engagement in your workplace. Here are the top 8 ways that you can start introducing into your work model as soon as today.
1. Better employee monitoring
One of the things that the majority of your staff members hate is the idea of having a supervisor watching over their shoulder all the time. This makes them feel like they’re not trusted or appreciated. So, what is an employer supposed to do, just let them autonomously work until there’s a problem? According to Price’s law of productivity, about a square root of all your employees are doing half the work. For instance, if you have 100 employees, only 10 of them are responsible for 50% of the work getting done. The remaining 90 are doing the rest 50% of the work. The bigger the enterprise, the larger the discrepancy.
With the help of an employee monitoring software, you have a simple, effective and non-invasive method of checking what your employees are doing. Moreover, you’re able to put this into exact numbers. Price’s law of productivity is a general rule, not an inescapable phenomenon. By replacing a lazy employee with a productive one, you won’t force one of your most productive employees to magically go dormant. Instead, you’re likely to put yourself ahead and achieve a massive boost in productivity. This is why such tools are invaluable for employees.
2. Higher productivity through tools and devices
Investing in tools of productivity is quite an interesting notion. First of all, you need to bear in mind the importance of understanding whether you’re getting your money’s worth. For instance, there’s an estimate that an additional monitor may increase the productivity of a person working in a digital environment by a staggering 40%. It’s also quite clear how noise-reducing headset or silent keyboard may give their own contribution to one’s productivity, as well. All in all, there’s so much room for potential improvement.
There is also numerous software to improve employee engagement and upgrades to consider. Platforms like The Pomodoro Timer can enhance your employees’ ability to work in intervals. Adequate collaboration tools will allow them to seamlessly collaborate on massive projects as if they were in the same office. Communication tools and platforms that they can access via various devices can help make them universally available. This makes your team more flexible and responsive. In scenarios where minutes make a huge difference, this can mean the world.
3. Leisure through technology
Investing in your team is a huge issue, however, you need to understand the best way to invest in your team isn’t necessarily the most intuitive one. For instance, if you’re trying to boost and improve employee engagement and loyalty, you need to buy them something they want, even if it’s something that they don’t exactly need. You see, buying everyone an additional monitor is a great idea from the perspective of an employer but it might not leave that great of an impression on your staff. After all, by buying them something that boosts their productivity, you’re investing in your own project.
So, where do you make a difference? Well, by investing in leisure! What does this mean? First of all, you need to keep in mind the fact that by investing in quality, you’re showing active interest. For instance, when equipping your office kitchen or cafeteria, you’re bound to get a coffeemaker for your team. Going for a high-end coffeemaker instead of a budget one can make a world of difference. You can also order quality coffee pods in bulk in order to save money and give your employees a coffee shop-like experience.
4. Remote work
The benefits of remote works can be exploited through present-day technology in a number of different ways. First of all, the present-day ability to share information through collaboration tools and all other sorts of cloud-based devices is simply unparalleled. Second, you need to bear in mind the fact that with the present-day communication tools, the difference between in-house and remote workers has never been smaller. In the era of the pandemic, this is particularly important, however, it is just one of the reasons for this. Keep in mind that relying on remote work also gives you the availability of a much larger talent pool.
The advantages of remote work can help you customize your business model as a whole. If the nature of your work is measurable in results (number of posts completed or lines of code written) you can use this as a metric. The above-discussed employee monitoring tools can also measure the number of hours that they’ve clocked in. Most importantly, you need to understand that you don’t really have to choose traditional or digital. You can have them both. You can make a model where your employees have to come in 3 days per week and work the next 2 from home. The arrangement can be made in any way you see fit.
5. Fair evaluation
The majority of HR tools are specialized in enabling you to provide your employees with a more accurate, less biased estimate of their work performance. Why is this important? Well, for starters, people do not want to be underestimated. If they know that they’re doing hard to keep the company afloat, they’re pulling late hours and, overall, giving their best, yet, their performance review is similar to that of their much lazier coworkers, sooner or later they’ll ask – what’s the point. How does this happen? Well, because people in charge of review are A) biased or B) not doing their job right.
With the right evaluation tool, you get a simpler situation in the office. First, you get an unbiased method of determining one’s performance. Second, you place yourself in a situation where you have a perfect report. Therefore, any employee that is dissatisfied with their performance can request a report and see the exact reason for the mark that they’ve received. Evaluators are not the only ones being biased. This way, they will feel more motivated to get engaged, seeing as how they will be able to see the results of their work.
6. AI-based tools in charge of menial tasks
Another major boost and improve employee engagement is the fact that the majority of menial tasks will finally be off their shoulders. How? Well, with the help of AI-based tools. The majority of simpler, menial tasks can be entrusted to robots like chatbots and similar. This would help with task delegation immensely because you would no longer have to put someone in charge of a boring, menial task. By allowing your human workforce to focus on the most creative and demanding parts of the job, you will keep them more motivated and more engaged.
The key thing is that you understand the approach to this situation. Work hours of your staff are a finite resource. For every single one of your employees, you have 40-60 hours of work per week. An hour of work on a menial task and an hour of work on a core task take the same amount of time. By finding a way to shift the power in favour of the latter, you can completely revolutionize the effectiveness of your team. This is one of the things that often fly under the radar but have a massive potential to them.
7. Training and education
Engagement often sounds like a matter of motivation but this metric is far more complex than that. Why do people avoid dancing in clubs? Most likely because they’re terrified that they’re bad dancers even when they’re not. So, how can this be translated into the workplace? It’s all a matter of skill and self-confidence and both of these things you gain through training. With advanced training tools and technological concepts, you can easily put yourself in a much more favourable situation.
First of all, advanced training tools can help you simulate the real work environment, thus giving your employees a much safer practice tool. This will also give them a chance to experiment, thus gaining courage for future work-related tasks. Other than this, it would give your training staff a chance to learn on experience. With the help of AI, VR and AR technology, these training scenarios and simulations can become far more realistic than they ever were before. By using this methodology, you will find yourself in a scenario where your employees are completely ready once it’s their turn to get a piece of the action.
8. Social interactions may improve employee engagement
The last thing worth mentioning is social interactions made possible through these communication tools. You see, the majority of these communication tools, even the professional ones, have some traits of classical social networks. They have various emotes, image-, meme- and gif-sharing options, which makes people interact differently. This makes employees form social relationships even outside of their professional bond. Later on, it’s possible that your employees will add each other on social media and even use their personal social media accounts in order to discuss work and boost the level of collaboration on massive projects.
One of the things you need to understand is that interacting with their coworkers boosts the overall level of employee loyalty by adding another layer to it. Being loyal to your boss is great but being loyal to your co-workers might also be quite beneficial. If you genuinely like everyone on the project, failing to do your task will feel like failing your friends. This means that your employees will work extra hard to avoid this scenario. By having this extra piece of intrinsic motivation on their side, they will be even more engaged.
Each of the above-listed methods is fairly simple to understand and relatively easy to implement. Most importantly, it puts you in a spot where you have a chance to make a relatively small adjustment and then reap the benefits for years to come. These are systemic upgrades to your business model that definitely shouldn’t be underestimated.