It’s never been more important to focus on employee engagement. Throughout the pandemic, there have been great shifts to the working environment, changing the face of business as we know it. But one thing is certain. Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver of success.
Research shows time and time again that companies with engaged employees are the clear winners. Along with promoting retention and fostering customer loyalty, high engagement levels also boosts profits. A survey by Willis Towers Watson revealed that companies with high employee engagement have three times higher profit than those with low employee engagement. Quite simply, engaged employees build better, stronger, more resilient businesses.
With the spotlight firmly turned towards employee engagement, companies are now reviewing their employee engagement strategy. And with the rise of remote working, internal communication channels are coming into question. Are the current channels effectively reaching the homeworkers? How do we know if those business-critical communications are being received and understood? Traditional channels such as emails and intranets are proving less effective in the face of current challenges.
The employee engagement app
One of the key employee engagement trends to emerge is the adoption of the employee engagement app. As a one-stop solution, it’s an attractive proposition. After all, an app is a kind of ‘super channel’ connecting people in a variety of ways from chatting to videos, intranet to email. However, before you commit to investing in an employee engagement app, it is important to select the right one for your business.
When you’re assessing an employee app, you need to ask the right questions to make sure it’s going to really deliver. We’ve drawn up three crucial questions that cut to the heart of the matter. If you can answer ‘yes’ to these three questions, you can be sure you’ve found a successful solution.
Does it reach every single employee?
This is a decisive question that is fundamental to the success of your employee engagement app. One of the key issues facing internal communication with remote workers is the efficiency of their home technology provision. Do they have the right hardware and software in place to connect to your channels? This is particularly crucial in times of change and crisis. Precisely when you need to maximise reach, you may find that employees are falling out of the loop due to tech issues. In fact, home technology issues are emerging as one of the primary barriers to employee engagement.
This is where the employee engagement app should come to the rescue. A robust app will connect with employees by allowing them to use their favourite means of communication, whichever hardware or software platform they prefer. The ability to choose your own channel is at the heart of every employee engagement model. When you personalise your approach by offering communication channels to match individual preferences, you’re opening the door to maximise employee engagement and motivation.
By providing an app that links to an employee engagement platform, employees can use their own smart devices to access company communications. Simply by allowing employees to use their own devices, and choose their own channels, you’ll be cutting through many levels of resistance. According to a Forbes study, 49% of employees say that they’re more productive when using their own device. The fact is, people tend to avoid communication if forced to do so on a device they’re not comfortable with. By letting them choose their own channels, you’ll expand your reach almost effortlessly.
This is especially important when it comes to crisis communications. A good employee engagement app will offer push notifications and in-app acknowledgement requests. This means you’ll know exactly who has received and read the message, and who hasn’t. If you have a remote workforce, this is when you’ll really appreciate the improved reach and connectivity of a robust employee app.
The bottom line: Opt for an app that works seamlessly across all platforms and devices. This will allow employees to choose their own communication channel. As a result, you’ll find it easy to reach and connect with every employee, even the hard-to-reach.
Does it build a bond with your employees?
There’s a big difference between informing and engaging. Rather than simply firing out information and commands, you should be aiming to prompt your employees to take action. Your aim is to open up a free-flowing channel of communication, which encourages participation, feedback and response, as well as imparting information. Participation is one of the key drivers of employee engagement. Ultimately, you’re looking for an employee engagement app that encourages staff to get involved and take action.
An employee engagement platform will ensure your messages are both received and understood. Look for an app that offers an array of modules to promote participation and feedback. These can include social spaces where colleagues share information to communication hubs, innovation platforms and news channels to encourage company-wide participation. When you’re exploring how to engage employees, look out for these modules:
News and updates
A good news module will offer dynamic news pages which encourage interaction. By giving employees the option to subscribe to news channels, share videos and make use of popular social tools such as likes and comments, you’ll be tapping into a powerful source of engagement.
A conversation module offers a social space where employees can meet, chat and share. Company-wide discussions will engage staff in the bigger picture and keep your business vision front-of-mind, whereas team discussions will help to focus the dialogue and build team spirit. The key is to get them talking.
An innovation module will enable employees to put forward ideas and suggestions that address business challenges. Why is this important? It promotes a company ethos of innovation and improvement. It’s also a platform for the employee voice. When staff feel their ideas have been heard and acted upon, employee engagement levels take a meteoric rise.
Look for an app that includes a recognition module. As one of the employee engagement best practices, public recognition creates a positive culture of appreciation. A recognition module will encourage peer-to-peer, departmental and company-wide recognition, helping to promote company values and build a sense of belonging.
The bottom line: You’re looking for an employee engagement app that encourages employees to get involved. Choose an app offering modules that open up a dynamic two-way channel of communication, inviting feedback and participation.
Does it measure engagement levels?
It’s vital to measure the impact your messages are having on your audience. Have your communications been read? Have they been understood and acted upon? And, crucially, have they boosted engagement? You need the ability to compare how teams and divisions are interacting and track engagement levels. Only then will you be able to act on the information you’ve gathered and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Does the employee engagement software provide the tools to monitor participation and improve engagement? It should offer built-in reporting and real-time dashboards to help you keep your finger on the pulse of your organisation. Look out for these modules to help track your engagement levels:
The launch of your app is a crucial time that needs careful monitoring. Less engaged employees are unlikely to take on new software without additional encouragement. This is why it’s vital to monitor the success of your roll-out as the app launches across the company. Choose an app that keeps a track of onboarding rates to help you stay on top of the game.
An innovation module is a great way to assess how actively engaged your employees actually are. By allowing engaged staff to contribute to the success of the business, you are both boosting and tracking engagement levels. The module will allow you to capture ideas and follow them through to implementation.
A feedback module will make sure you’re really listening to what your employees have to say. It will offer ad-hoc polls to gauge opinions, preferences and points of view, along with employee engagement surveys to help you keep track of staff happiness and motivation. You should be able to easily download the results for offline analysis and collation.
This will help you monitor the ongoing health of your organisation. Look for an app that will let you schedule regular check-ups of engagement levels and help you monitor your eNPS score. You should be able to choose how frequently to monitor the company’s pulse and keep track of your employee engagement score as it changes over time.
The bottom line: Unless you’re measuring the success of your app’s impact, you’re just shooting in the dark. Choose an employee engagement app that offers built-in reporting and scheduled feedback to ensure you always have the full picture.