In the digital age, employees are more than your workforce – they are your competitive advantage.
If our experience working with some of the largest and most successful enterprise organizations in the world has taught us one thing, it’s that engaged employees are a key differentiator for business innovation. The research connecting employee engagement to improved business outcomes is indisputable. In fact, Gallup’s most recent meta-analysis found highly engaged teams generated 21 percent higher profits on average for their organizations. To support innovation and avoid disruption, companies need to invest in improving employee engagement.
In the past, most employee engagement strategies focused on surveys.
And yet, workforce surveys, if not handled properly, fail to paint the full picture of a workspace’s multi-party dialog. Enterprise HR technology historically was unable to measure engagement, because it managed people as numbers instead of taking into account sentiments. Avature’s CEO and Founder Dimitri Boylan explains in a recent interview with London’s Business Reporter, how it is extremely difficult to get the right outcome with the wrong tools. This need gave birth to employee engagement platforms as a tool for engaging employees at work.
Workplace Engagement & Social HR Tech
Following the industrial revolution, organizational models were tied to automation and employees were forced to fit into a company’s operational structure.
This mental approach of reducing people down to workers and restricting their activity to be the activity of the company has some fundamental flaws, and it impedes the competitiveness of the organization. Systems that don’t accommodate how people interact socially have no use in modern HR.”
-Dimitri Boylan, CEO & Founder, Avature
Employees will never be top performers (and your organization will never improve employee engagement) if they are forced into a model of work that does not accommodate who they are as individuals. Today’s leading companies recognize that innovation cannot flourish in this “automation” model and are now developing new operational structures driven by employee engagement tools. These models for innovation are inclusive, embrace diversity, and allow employees to identify as themselves so that they can achieve breakout performance.
Employees need to be their full selves if they are to be their best selves at work and this best version will only come from highly engaged employees. Engaging employees is no small task, but the benefits of employee engagement will soon come to define the future work of human resources. HR teams are being tasked with facilitating connection in order to lay the groundwork for buy-in and creativity. To understand how they can do so, they first need to learn what drives employee engagement and why employee engagement is important within the workforce community.
Orchestrating an Engaged Workforce
An organization cannot inspire its people without understanding the social context in which they work. Relationships are built, values are expressed and culture happens whether there is intention put into creating it or not. Companies must decide what employee engagement strategies they want to implement and how effective these strategies will be in influencing their workplace culture.
The most effective HR teams set social objectives in order to create a sense of community and purpose. It is this sense of community that ultimately assists in identifying and solving productivity problems at the workplace. It is for this reason that modern HR has the crucial job of creating an environment that assists in aligning company culture to match business objectives.
When organizations put intention into their employee engagement frameworks, they make it possible to create engagement l objectives that are aligned with business objectives. Engagement objectives can facilitate problem-solving and increase productivity. They can help employees build rapport and community with coworkers from strategically related teams, such as marketing and sales, or developers and tech support. Engagement objectives can also be used to communicate shared purpose, give greater meaning, and provide recognition of people’s contributions.
Employee engagement software can take the pulse of an organization made up of 100,000 people spread around the globe. Technology isn’t enabling anything not done previously, but it is enabling it at a scale and a pace previously unimaginable.
Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘I need to build a submarine.’ An organization thinks: ‘We need to build a submarine, and we need to influence you to build a better submarine.’ Influence has to be there.”
-Dimitri Boylan, CEO & Founder, Avature
Use Targeted Content to Engage Employees Personally
People analytics is a modern function of HR. And yet engagement is a complex equation without a singular answer. Tapping into this potential means recognizing the’ unique motivators of individual employees, including their experiences and beliefs. Companies need an employee engagement software that is flexible enough to gather multiple metrics in order to improve future outcomes.
Market segmentation, which already transformed the candidate experience, is now spreading to the employee engagement space. While all companies have online collaboration tools for communication, these have traditionally focused on file-sharing and chat functions instead of being able to target employees with the information most relevant to them. Unfortunately, organizations tend to limit their use of these tools to that of an internal megaphone, overwhelming employees with the amount of non-relevant information they have to sift through each day.
Avature’s employee engagement platform gives HR ownership of the interactive employee portal and network news feed. As HR learns about employees – whether it be their skills, professional interests, likes, dislikes, areas for development, or other aspects – they can target their messages to communicate effectively with them. Through interaction (especially remote employee engagement), they can understand what drives employees, and with that level of insight, make smarter talent decisions. Segmented messaging enables greater strategic alignment within company walls.
The Future of HR Tech Is Engagement
Today’s businesses need agile technology that enables them to try out new and innovative employee engagement strategies. Avature’s HR tech is built around marketing and communication needs. It prioritizes flexibility and agility at its core so as to remove technological risk. Avature’s platform enables its customers to test innovative recruiting and HR initiatives in real time, while also maintaining day-to-day activities.
Employee engagement is a part of every organization’s DNA. First generation HR tech optimized how we share information. Next-generation HR tech is accelerating people’s ability to connect with each other and operate as a team. Boylan paraphrases the role of agile HR tech for these enterprises:
It all comes down to,‘Do you have a set of building blocks that allow you to create the next idea?’”
A version of this article was also published in Business Reporter. View it at business-reporter.co.uk