Employee engagement is essentially the measure of how emotionally invested your staff is in the organization’s mission. While the percentage of people engaged in their jobs has grown over the past three years, the number still only sits at an abysmal 33%. Luckily, companies are finding smarter ways to use technology to not only measure engagement, but to promote it as well.
To uncover the best tips on how to maintain an engaged workforce, we asked several companies to share examples of how they use technology to inspire their employees. The results were outstanding as we were able to compile a list of actionable advice that any company can easily apply to their own office.
Here’s what we found:
#1. Hire the right employees
Employee engagement starts with the hiring process. Founder and CEO of Connectifier, John Jersin believes that “it’s a lot easier to find employees who are aligned with your mission than it is to change their beliefs and values once they start.” Jersin stresses that recruiters should be on the look out for candidates with a sense of purpose, interest, and passion.
To find candidates with these attributes, he suggests using innovative recruiting tools such as Connectifier. Intelligent recruiting platforms “can be a huge help in discovering a candidate’s interests through where the candidate is engaging publicly online.”
#2. Measure employee engagement
If you truly want to foster an engaged workforce, then you will need to put in place a solid process to evaluate it. As the cofounder of Officevibe, Jeff Fermin offers his clients a simple way to measure their employee engagement. After implementing Officevibe software, one of his clients “was able to see that their employee wellness was low and that they wanted to improve their employees’ health, from a mental and physical standpoint.”
“Using the recommendations on the platform, they gave their employees subsidized gym deals, massages, and their HR leaders were focused on talking to all the employees and getting to know what problems they had.” In addition to observing a boost in morale, the client also saw that all metrics pointed toward an office-wide increase in productivity.
#3. Show your employees the “big picture”
“We’ve found that it really improves engagement when everyone has a big picture sense of the company’s goals and progress,” says Andrea Lotz of AllProWebTools. Her company uses a tool called the Workflow Timeline to improve employee engagement.
“The Workflow Timeline is a live feed of business updates from everyone in our small company, showing what everyone is working on, what new business is incoming, and all internal client notes.” Lotz goes on to explain that her company’s software can also help “facilitate independent collaboration on tasks, as each employee can see what other team members and departments are working on, and independently offer or ask for help.”
#4. Make collaboration easy
One of the pillars of employee engagement is collaboration. That’s why the people at Incentive have created a social platform that integrates the entire workflow of a company in one place. The CEO of Incentive, Rickard Hansson, shares how his company’s software boosted engagement for a client:
“SBAB, a government owned Swedish bank,was able to increase their efficiency by 10% using Incentive, provider of a complete, socially powered enterprise collaboration platform for mid-market organizations and enterprise teams.”
“In just five months, SBAB estimated that they saved roughly four hours per employee, per week by employing Incentive and moving all internal communication activities (document collaboration, wikis, blogs, instant messages, etc.) to the platform.”
#5. Promote well-being and health
Shelby Kennard’s company, Limeade.com, integrates employee engagement and health. She describes Limeade as “a points and incentive based platform that acts as a single hub for the employee experience.”
An increasing number of companies are following this trend of strengthening company culture by promoting employee well-being.
Kennard provides an example of how one of her clients was able to leverage the Limeade platforms to improve engagement. “Bloodworks Northwest, a blood-collection and distribution agency, has used Limeade for 6 years and increased engagement by 150%. They also get 25% of their new company challenge ideas from employee suggestions and has increased participation in other programs like volunteering, employee surveys and company trainings. Now the CEO is a champion of the program, sponsoring challenges and further heightening engagement as a result.”
#6. Encourage feedback
Founder of CBG Benefits, Chris Costello was concerned that his business was growing so fast that it was hurting the company’s culture. Costello wanted to be sure that his long-term employees still felt connected to the culture, and that new hires felt welcome and could truly become a part of the team quickly. In order to make it easier to receive employee feedback and integrate new hires onto the team, CBG Benefits designed an online employee portal that was “fresh, interactive and to be a central hub for company information.”
CGB uses their employee portal “to publish pictures and mini-bios (with professional and personal/fun information) about our employees, so that long-time employees can learn about new hires, and vice-versa.”
In addition to embedding surveys to allow for feedback, CGB also uses the portal “to publish pictures and mini-bios (with professional and personal/fun information) about our employees, so that long-time employees can learn about new hires, and vice-versa.” The portal has been a huge success as employee usage activity continues to grow month-after-month. Costello “believes it’s contributed to ensuring that the same “buzz” and open communication environment has been maintained in our office throughout a tremendous growth period.”
#7. Create a fun office environment
One of the easiest ways to keep your employees engaged at work is to make it fun. Danielle Estrada of HomeHero has come up with a creative way to use Slack to introduce an element of fun in the office. Every Friday HomeHero hosts a “trivia Friday”.
“Every Friday at 4pm all of our employees are given a trivia question via Slack,” say Estrada. “Everyone chimes in with their answers in the team thread and the winner receives $5 worth of bitcoin.” This weekly tradition has become an employee favorite and a great way for coworkers to bond.
#8. Conduct regular surveys
Neal McNamara provides an example of how his company’s web application, TINYpulse, has improved their employee engagement:
“Our company makes a web application called TINYpulse, which is designed to improve employee engagement through pulse surveys. We also use it in our workplace. Last week, through the software, we learned that a number of people were having the same problem with the flow of our morning meeting. During our biweekly review of the survey data, we voted to change the meeting flow.”
“That’s just one example, but overall the technology has democratized our workplace, exposing opinions that might never have come to the surface. It allows individual employees to feel validated and see management take action, which noticeably increases engagement.”
#9. Offer your services free to employees
At Questis, employees are given access to the company’s financial planning software. Natalie Tucker explains that her company’s “software helps you develop good financial habits and our CFPs tailor financial plans to your specific situation, plus they hold you accountable so you stay on track.”
“Luckily, we offer our services to any of our employees,” says Tucker. “This financial wellness benefit improves employee engagement by ridding employees of financial stress and giving them peace of mind knowing that someone is there to help.”
#10. Strengthen the employee-manager relationship
B.J. Schone started Awesome Boss with the goal of helping managers focus on engagement and recognition. Awesome Boss provides office managers with an assortment of resources to help them better interact with employees. These resources include:
- “Coaching / mentoring text alerts, to help prompt managers with ideas for engaging their employees”
- “Email and text reminders for employee birthdays and work anniversaries, along with simple gifts ideas”
- “Coaching Cue Cards to help managers navigate conversations with their employees”
The manager-employee relationship directly affects the engagement level of employees. A weak manager-employee relationship can be destructive to company culture and create a division within the office. On the other hand if your company can strengthen the link between the two, your employees will feel more comfortable and perform much better.
Based on the national surveys, chances are your that your company still has some room to improve in the employee engagement arena. Take a step back and try to identify the shortcomings of strategy. Most likely, one the solutions above will be able to fill the gap.
Did one of these tips work for you? Share your experience below. Also, if you have a tech tip that keeps your employees inspired we’d love to hear about it.