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Is Technology Key for Increasing Employee Engagement?

James Solomon | July 18, 2019


New research from a leading employee engagement company, has revealed that the top three HR priorities for 2019 are:

  • increasing workplace productivity
  • increasing employee engagement
  • increasing employee retention

In order to do so, the research suggests that having HR tools that integrate into their current workplace technology is a key priority in 2019 for 89% of HR professionals.

  • Over half of HR workers said their top priority for 2019 is increasing employee engagement
  • Almost 9 in 10 HR workers agreed that employee engagement would improve if their workforce had the technology to recognise each other for good behaviours on an ongoing basis

The research, which surveyed 500 HR professionals across the UK, also found that a further 86% of HR professionals agreed that employee engagement would improve if their workforce had the technology to recognise one another on an ongoing basis. But when it comes to connecting employees, HR has an even bigger obstacle to overcome with an increase of disparate and mobile workforces.

These results come as no surprise, as HR professionals continue to struggle with mundane, manual processes that could be automated. According to the research, HR professionals state that they are spending 366.6 hours a year manually checking, responding to, and keeping up with, multiple HR applications. Many organisations are using different platforms for employee communications, recognition, applicant tracking, onboarding, and performance management; forcing all employees to access multiple apps a day. This lack of unification definitely poses an issue.

But when it comes to connecting employees, HR has an even bigger obstacle to overcome with an increase of disparate and mobile workforces. Indeed, data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of UK workers who work remotely continues to see a steady increase year on year. In addition, Google estimated 3 billion people globally perform work away from a desk every day across all types of industry.

There have been endless conversations, and volumes written about the convergence of HR and technology. In fact, a recent industry report shows that the market for HR technology solutions is around $40 billion globally. Yes, digitization of HR is here, but Piyush Mehta, Chief Human Resource Officer, Genpact, argues the trend shouldn’t be followed blindly. Below are her three reasons for implementing HR technology.

  • To empower employees. We are in an era that revels in riding the wave of cutting-edge technologies for empowering employees. But it has to make life better and easier for workers if it is to be truly useful. Digitized processes and a strong self-service orientation will revolutionize the employee experience by giving them quick, easy, and virtual access to get things done anytime and anywhere.
  • To enable quick and informed decision making. Real-time employee analytics is becoming essential for any organization’s growth. Whether it is analysing multiple sources of data in seconds, providing feasible solutions, or calculating the ROI on various employee initiatives, digital HR is the key to quick and informed strategy and decision-making. Additionally, with its ability to produce insights into the workforce, technology can help companies retain talent and spot employees who are likely to leave. The use of employee analytics allows HR professionals to have a richer and deeper understanding of employee needs and concerns in real-time.
  • To make talent recruitment effective. Hiring is not just about acquiring the best talent, it’s also about elevating the experience of the people who are being hired, as well as the recruiters and organizations that are doing the hiring. HR and hiring teams can make this a reality by using advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to enable digitised hiring and virtual onboarding—leveraging these tools to provide candidate analysis and insights.

Evidently tech can make a big difference to the lives of employee benefits professionals. That said, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that people are much better at engaging other people than computers! Let’s look at reward and recognition schemes as an example. Employee recognition is reliant on team moments; a public acknowledgement of hard work by a manager can be much more powerful than a notification on a company intranet. Likewise, when it comes to communicating the features of a new voluntary benefits initiative, we have found that having ambassadors and real-life case studies to bring these benefits to life are much more effective than mass mail outs or micro-site launches. After all, people respond to other people!

In some instances, it can be difficult to engage employees who work remotely. To find out more about the challenges posed by the modern workforce and how recognition technology can help address these, download our e-Book.

Download My Free Recognition E-Book

Topics: Reward and Recognition