Employees are more than your workforce—they are your competitive advantage. Engaged employees are a key differentiator for business innovation. The research connecting engagement to improved business outcomes is indisputable. Gallup’s most recent meta-analysis found highly engaged teams had 21% higher profits on average. To support innovation and avoid disruption, companies need to invest in improving engagement.
In the past, measuring the effectiveness of employee engagement ideas was done with surveys, which fail to capture a workspace’s 360°, multiparty 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 social HCM software as a tool for engaging employees at work.
Workplace Engagement & Social HR Tech
Following the industrial revolution, organizational models were tied to automation. 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 if they are forced into a model of work that does not accommodate who they are as individuals. Today’s leading companies recognise that innovation cannot flourish in the automation model and are developing new operational structures. 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.
Innovation and breakout performance will only come from highly engaged employees. Engaging employees is no small job, but it is 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 the employee community.
Orchestrating a Social Network
An organization cannot inspire its people without understanding the social context. Relationships are built; values are expressed; culture happens whether there is intention put into creating it or not. Companies must decide how effective they want to be at influencing their workplace culture.
The most effective HR teams set social objectives in order to create community and purpose so that problems within an organisation can be identified and solved. Modern HR has the crucial job of identifying divergences and aligning company culture to match business objectives.
When organizations put intention into their social frameworks, they make it possible to create social objectives that are aligned with business objectives. Social 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. Social objectives can also be used to communicate shared purpose, give greater meaning, and provide recognition of people’s contributions.
Enterprise social networks 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. Yet engagement is a complex equation without a singular answer. Tapping into this potential means recognizing individuals’ unique motivators, experiences, and beliefs. Companies need 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 space. While all companies have online collaboration tools for communication, these have been focused on file-sharing and chat functions instead of being able to target the internal network with the information most relevant to them. Too many companies’ only tool is a megaphone that only adds to the overwhelming amount of information their employees have to sift through each day.
Avature’s employee engagement solution 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, 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 Social
Today’s businesses need agile technology that enables them to try out 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 innovate recruiting and HR initiatives in real time, while also maintaining day-to-day activities.
Social 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. Technology has this power to improve our relationships. 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