Many organizations suffer from low employee engagement without even realizing it. In case you aren’t familiar, employee engagement refers to the level of mental and emotional connection that employees have to their work; it’s the underlying sentiment that affects an employee’s loyalty to the company, daily work performance, and general attitude. If you can find a way to boost employee engagement, you can almost instantly improve your company’s performance in many different areas.
The question is, how can you improve employee engagement?
How Better Employee Engagement Improves Your Organization
First, let’s take a look at the many positive effects that higher employee engagement can have within your organization. When your employees are more engaged with their work and with their workplace, you’ll see several benefits:
- Higher productivity. First, engaged employees tend to get more done throughout the day. They care about what they’re doing, and they take their work seriously. They’re capable of getting more tasks and projects done in the finite hours of the day.
- Better collaboration. Employees who are engaged are also better collaborators. They genuinely feel like they’re a part of the team, and they’re willing to lend support and assistance to the people around them. Better collaborators tend to mean faster, more efficient work, and better finished products.
- Comprehension, focus, and understanding. Employees who aren’t engaged tend to get distracted easily, or may not be able to comprehend their work as well as their engaged counterparts. By increasing employee engagement, you can improve employee understanding, reduce mistakes, and improve the integrity of your work as an organization.
- Higher retention. Of course, engaged employees are much more likely to stick around with your organization. They show higher rates of loyalty and interest in their future careers, so your retention rate can increase dramatically.
How Technology Improves Employee Engagement
So how can you achieve these results? One of the best steps you can take is investing in the right technology. With the right tools and the right technology investments, you can increase employee engagement in a matter of months—or even faster.
- Digital signage. First, invest in digital signage throughout your organization. Digital signage like the ones from Visix allows you to accomplish many different tasks and responsibilities; you can use it to provide information to employees about the nature of their work, you can use it to broadcast announcements, and you can even use it as an interactive opportunity to engage with your employees directly. If used properly, digital signage can keep employees informed and interested in their work environment.
- Better core tools. Most employees rely on technology as part of their jobs throughout the day. They log onto laptops and tablets and rely on operating systems and software to accomplish their responsibilities. Unfortunately, many of these tools end up being old, slow, or out of date. When your tools don’t allow you to work as fast or as effectively as you could, it feels defeating—and naturally, employees become less engaged. Investing in faster, more efficient tools can give those employees a major lift.
- Collaborative platforms. Employees are able to collaborate much more effectively when they’re using the right platforms. Suites of tools, like Office 365 and G Suite, provide a number of apps that employees can use to work together, stay organized, communicate, and delegate tasks. With so many options for these collaborative platforms, it can feel overwhelming to a new business owner. However, you can rest assured knowing few platforms are strictly “better” than others; instead, you have to choose the right fit for your organization.
- Training and education. Employees naturally feel more engaged when they’re provided with better education and training. Not only do they feel more competent at their jobs—and therefore more confident—they also see that their employer genuinely cares about them, and is willing to invest in their future. Ultimately, technology is just a small component here; its job is to make the training and education more accessible. You’ll still need to go through the effort of creating training programs and education courses.
- Social platforms. If you want your employees to collaborate effectively and work together in harmony, you need to support better social relationships. Your employees—especially those in the same departments and working in the same sub-groups—should be bonding with each other on a regular basis, and should feel comfortable communicating to each other. You can support this with the help of social platforms that encourage communication and make it easy for employees to connect. Some organizations have even customized and adopted an entire internal social media platform.
- Employee feedback. One of the most important elements of your employee engagement strategy is going to be collecting employee feedback and learning from it. Most of the time, you can gauge how engaged your employees are by asking them a handful of direct questions. You can ask them how they feel about their work, including evaluating the current level of their workload, their perceptions of challenge and stress, and their general attitudes toward the workplace and their coworkers. Ask them what could be done to make them feel more connected to the workplace, and if there are any changes that have worked in their favor in the past. Then, you can use employee feedback tools to analyze the results and generate new strategies for improving employee engagement.
Other Methods of Improving Employee Engagement
These tools and technology investments can all help you improve employee engagement, but by themselves, they may not be able to help you achieve all your goals. To fully master employee engagement, you’ll need to work on other environmental and procedural elements of your workplace; for example, you’ll want to ensure your supervisors and managers are trained to give positive feedback and nurture employees, rather than “cracking skulls.” You’ll want to provide employees with regular opportunities for breaks and vacations. You’ll also want to hold regular teambuilding events, and other informal sessions where employees can get to know each other. It takes time, but if you’re dedicated to the cause, employee engagement can ultimately improve.