No matter what line of business you are in, maintaining high levels of employee engagement is key to attracting and retaining top talent. If your employees do not feel a sense of pride, ownership and meaning to their work, their performance will deteriorate, churn will be high and they’re unlikely to develop expertise or transfer knowledge to their peers. Building employee engagement means more than company retreats or keeping the office fridge piled with trendy snacks – engagement is all about culture and personal growth. As such, boosting employee engagement requires hard work. Luckily, there’s an app for that.
What constitutes an employee engagement platform?
Today’s savvy HR manager can access a plethora of great employee engagement platforms which, might not transform your organization overnight, but will help you implement a culture of ownership, discern who and what needs to improve and drive learning and retention of company knowledge and norms. Before going into picking a platform for your organization, its best to probably start with a broad definition of what employee engagement software is. Then, based on your goals and infrastructure, you can choose from the different options listed on review sites or touted by your colleagues and friends.
Employee engagement software refers to a wide range of platforms designed to help managers understand employee sentiment, monitor performance and boost the adoption of desired behaviors and traits. The goals behind using these software can vary based on the type of employees it is used for, the market the company is in and the issues managers are trying to tackle.
Choosing the relevant engagement software
Performance & Goal Engagement
For a call center or sales units, employee engagement software will likely focus on performance monitoring and hitting hard KPIs (e.g. sales quotas, conversion rates, average call times or reported customer satisfaction levels). When choosing an employee engagement platform to target performance it’s important not to mix cause and causality. The platform you choose should not be focused on metering success or driving competition as a goal in itself. A good engagement platform will help you monitor and reward the activities that drive success e.g. completing a lead qualification process or learning the product manual extensively to be better qualified to answer questions. Simply rewarding success will not help weak employees improve and competition alone will not motivate everyone equally.
For companies dealing with complex products or heavy regulation, a common gripe is usually to do with employee’s level of proficiency in company knowledge as well as their ability to retain this knowledge during their day to day grind. Hence, employee engagement software, in these companies, should focus on getting personnel to complete learning sessions and stay engaged with their training on a day to day basis. While most mature companies will already have some content or learning management system (LMS) in place, these platforms are usually bulky and not in tune with modern concepts of learning. Engagement platforms in this setting can help supplement the company LMS or replace it. These type of engagement platforms will help segment content to small, easily digestible microlessons, space out and serve training based on activities employees are engaged in or underperforming at, provide access to learning at any place, any time and on any platform and use game themes and mechanisms to motivate employees towards completing tutorials and tasks.
Survey & Feedback Platforms
More general targets for employee engagement software can be help with setting and tracking goals and allowing managers and employees to provide feedback on one another. While in the past it was common for companies to conduct periodical assessment sessions where goals were set and performance was matched against last year’s goals, this practice has recently fallen from grace. When relying on occasional assessment sessions the goals set may no longer be relevant and the feedback provided can be outdated. Hence, various tools were created to help companies set objectives and key results (OKR) that are tailor made for each employee and keep these dynamic based on performance. Another set of employee engagement platforms were created to allow employees to provide feedback more frequently and enable managers to discern valuable information from it. When deciding on a goal setting or feedback platform it’s important to make sure these software integrate well with your existing platforms such as the company intranet or your CRM. Doing this will make sure that employees are more prone to engaging with these platforms to monitor their progress towards their goals and to provide feedback that is relevant to the actual tasks they are doing. A good employee engagement platform, in this setting, will serve as a type of fitness tracker for the employee and allow him to monitor his performance and visualize what he can do in order to achieve his goals.
Knowing the lay of the land, defining your goals and matching the available offerings in the market for employee engagement tools will help you make an informed choice in and will hopefully put you on the right track for supercharging engagement in your company and getting the most out from your employees.