Employee engagement has many benefits for your organization, including employee productivity, but how do you optimize your workplace to encourage it?
Is it enough to have employees get to work on time, put in their hours, and do the bare minimum? Of course not. You need to make the most of your workforce through encouragement and communication — and the key to that is employee engagement.
Employee engagement, as the wording suggests, is all about getting staff members invested in their work. This means they’re more enthusiastic, more productive, and more satisfied with their positions. The question is how can you manage it? How can you adjust your organization’s daily routine to better marshal your human resources?
One option is to use ever-improving technology to draw people in. In this article, we’re going to look at 4 tips for using tech to improve employee engagement.
It’s easy for employees to stop feeling the kind of camaraderie that’s so important for an effective team, especially now that remote working and flexible hours are becoming more common. They can get stuck in their silos, working in isolation on projects that only distantly intersect with those of their colleagues, and never really knowing how everything else is going.
This is really bad for engagement: full-time workers can end up feeling more like freelancers.
That’s why it’s so important to get people working together as often as possible. Due to the existence of collaborative software suites, projects that require everyone to pitch in can bring that camaraderie back even if those involved are far apart. One method that can work really well for this is social media promotion through employee advocacy. You can encourage everyone to work together to promote your brand while also building their own personal brand by using the same platform to share posts.
Employees can share marketing-approved company messaging and content, while also sharing third-party content that’s of interest to people in their industry. Employees will also receive suggestions on who to follow and what activities to carry out in order to be more active on social media in order to grow their presence and be more engaged.
Support Role Adaptation
Sometimes an employee can get stuck in a rut because their role never changes. In another instance, a worker can find their role changing in a way that they dislike. This will inevitably lead to resentment, discontentment, and a rising willingness to consider career alternatives. It’s very important to stay on the same page with employees and have open communication with them. It’s also important for you to help staff members expand their skills and steer their workloads — and tech can make a big difference.
While it’s surely impractical to simply have someone switch their role just to try something new, you can provide them with fresh training tasks to assess their capabilities and inclinations. Think about all the admin work that goes into running a business — what pieces of work could you delegate, trusting digital tools and resources to guarantee viable results? Here are some ideas:
- Copywriting. Perhaps one of your employees has a kernel of writing talent that could be nurtured into something special. By giving them some core writing tasks (perhaps for your website and/or blog) and supporting them with tools like Grammarly, you can help them develop and get some usable copy out of the bargain.
- Client invoicing. Financial management can be somewhat awkward, but parts of the process are straightforward enough to serve as introductions, with invoicing being the prime example. With plenty of guides out there, and resources suiting every viable tool (there are templates specifically for Word, for instance), there’s little risk in letting your employees compose some invoices — you can easily check them before sending them.
- Graphic design. You might find that some of your workers dabble in graphic design outside of work, and even if they haven’t had formal training, they might have enough skill to justify being used for that kind of work. Since you can inexpensively snag an Adobe CC subscription, why not give such employees the opportunity to draft some graphics on work time? If they’re terrible, you won’t have lost too much.
Gamification is increasingly popular and for good reason. The idea is simple: by taking tasks that can otherwise be quite dry and bland and turning them into games of sorts (complete with competitive elements and rewards), you can make them massively more engaging and interesting.
Competition is something that’s often underrated in the workplace. Sure, not everyone responds well to being pitted against their colleagues, but many people welcome that kind of thing. It makes them feel challenged and motivated — when they lose, they’re pushed to redouble their efforts, and when they win, they get to feel accomplished. And tech is great for gamification. By keeping relevant events and actions carefully tracked and visible to everyone, it ensures that participants always know exactly where they stand (and what they need to do).
Relax Your Oversight
Everything we’ve looked at so far has been about addition — doing more with tech to improve employee engagement — but this is different. In this case, I’m recommending subtraction: specifically the removal of the kind of overzealous monitoring that so often accompanies the provision of workplace equipment.
Take laptops, for instance. It’s become perfectly conventional for office workers to be assigned specific laptops to use: they can take them to meetings when needed, and work remotely when allowed (or even encouraged). Some companies obsessively oversee the use of their laptops, though. They use tracking software to log exactly what their employees do with them, and implement frustrating restrictions.
This is really bad for employee engagement. It makes employees feel that you don’t trust them, and actively impedes their ability to make the most of the tech equipment made available to them — so stop doing it. Set guidelines, certainly, but let workers customize their machines and even use them for non-work purposes if it doesn’t get in the way. It’ll benefit you in the end.
This goes for your overall approach to employees. You should trust your employees – you hired them for a reason. Don’t worry about tracking their actions on their laptops, and don’t worry about them saying the wrong thing on social media. You should give them guidelines on what they can do and embrace employees on social media through your social media policy.
Encourage your employees to be active on social media and encourage them to be more involved to nurture employee engagement. You’ll be happy that you did.