Can technology really engage employees?
Is embracing technology the answer to engaging your workforce?
There is so much in the news that says that technology is damaging and taking over our lives. With the average person spending around 4 hours a day on their mobile phone, it is easy for people to assume that it is distracting and dangerous. It could be argues that there is nothing we can do about it and things can only get worse.
Whether you are happy about it or not, technology is here to stay and it will only keep growing. As an employer you have two choices, either make the most of the technology staff already embrace or give them access to the technology so they can develop vital skills that can be utilised in the workplace.
The theory is, that the happier your staff are, the more productive and engaged they will be. So surely it makes sense to embrace technology and incorporate it into your engagement strategy?
Here are the reasons we think know technology will work in your favour.
Communication is king
Most employers don’t realise that they already have a communications infrastructure in place that won’t require lots of money or time to implement. Through their employees mobile phones, they have the ability to communicate with them where they know they will read it and pay attention. The best thing is, it benefits staff, wherever they are. Remote workers who are on the road most of the day and staff on production lines who have no access to emails can still be involved and a result will feel engaged with the knowledge that you care that they are in the know. Through an engagement app or push notifications, staff can receive information on benefits windows right down to important business information and if it is on their phone, chances are they will pay attention. Communication via mobile devices is a two way operation and also gives employees the chance to let you know how they are feeling. Pulse surveys sent straight to their phone would be a great way to gauge how staff are feeling in the moment, not just once a year when the next annual survey rolls around.
Access anytime / anywhere
Depending on their job roles, most staff will not dedicate a great amount of time at looking at their benefits at work. It may be that they look at the platform a few times and only really spend time on it when they need to access a specific service or benefit. Allowing staff to access their platform anytime, anywhere through any device means that they will be more likely to pay attention to their benefits platform and take advantage of it. This doesn’t have to be through an app, although this would be beneficial. Think about the amount of time people spend on their phone whilst watching TV , or need a discount code last minute in the shops, or even are waiting to book a last minute deal but need to get holiday requests approved quick. Making things convenient for staff will make them more engaged.
Death of the intranet
Bringing everything together in one place will mean staff are likely to embrace using their benefits outside of the workplace either through their fitness device, mobile or computer. Lots of organisations have intranets in place that host benefits and lots of company information but information is hard to access. With a benefits platform you can integrate lots of technology meaning that staff can not only access their benefits but they can use it to their advantage. One great way to integrate other technologies is through a fitness device. Encouraging staff to get active not only helps their overall wellbeing but if they can log it with the platform to track progress, set goals and even challenge colleagues.
All for one
Embracing technology in your employee engagement strategy is a sure fire way to please all generations. With more generations than ever in the workplace you need to make sure that staff can access their benefits in the way that suits them most. All staff might not take in posters but push notifications to notify people of extra shifts might work best for Millennials. Gen Y expect the latest in technology and if you are not offering them this it might be hard to retain them. When it comes to planning your benefits roll out or internal comms strategy, be sure to bear this in mind.
Bridging the digital skills gap
This is not one of the most obvious reasons when looking at employee engagement, but giving employee’s access to the latest technology through salary sacrifice doesn’t just save them money. What it does do is give them access to technology that they may not have had access to before, making them more engaged and developing their skills which could benefit your business in the long run. The current digital skills gap is causing a problem in the UK and through these types of schemes companies are engaging families and investing in their staffed. Skilled workers with enhanced IT skills may stay longer if they are engaged in their job and are grateful to their employer for the opportunity to improve their skills.
Technology is here to stay and if you invest in and embrace it your staff will be more engaged. Showing interest in the benefit of their development not only boost engagement scores but it might make them happier more engaged and productive- which means technology is most definitely good for business too.