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Article Contributed by Jennifer Livingston

One of the biggest challenges for businesses is maintaining employee engagement. Irrespective of benefits, salaries and incentives, a working environment where employees are motivated and engaged is important since they feel they are working for a common goal, participating in formulating business strategies and objectives and supported to develop themselves. When the staff are not engaged with each other, it is difficult to retain them, business struggles with low productivity, and increased absenteeism. Top five drivers of employee engagement include innovation, pay, career opportunities, organization reputation and managing performance. The good news for many organization is that there are technologies which can create a motivated workforce and boost engagement.

Peer-to-peer platforms

Internal social media platforms are one of the ways managers can encourage employees to engage with each other. Social media platforms especially those with instant messaging capability allows the employees to send a simple message such as ‘thank you’ to a fellow co-worker. Social media may allow events such as internal nomination for recognition for various programs such as employee of the month.

Social media offers the business a way to engage with customers on social networks as well as keep the employees engaged. Social media technology platforms may also allow an organization collect important data and feelings about their products from the customers. Social media platforms include Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype and email. Employees can translate webpage as work platforms to promote better engagement with peers. Basically, this technology “creates a visible culture of recognition within the business to boost employee engagement”.

Instant tangible rewards

Tangible rewards are known to have more impact on employees in terms of improving their engagement and motivation than pay rises and cash bonuses. For example, a manager may use an online platform to instantly award credits or points to an employee. The employee will then have the choice to choose a reward which means something to them. Whether it’s an electronic gift, merchandise or an experience, the reward means more than cash related rewards. Most of these platforms in many organizations are used to monitor employee achievement and reward scheme performance and then used to give feedback to the employees.

Big Data

When managers use data collected from social media and online feedback platforms to improve efficiency and business processes, it means the employers have huge amount of information available for use. Instead of disposing the information, it is a wise choice to use it to give employees real-time performance reviews for their performance rather than the bi-annual manager-employee performance review meetings.

Instant feedback mechanisms

The bi-annual performance review meetings are known to be too infrequent to maintain a healthy employee engagement between the managers and their employees. However, instant feedback is good for higher engagement rates. Instant feedback helps the managers to gather more actionable feedback. Instant feedback mechanisms can be done through social media platforms or an online rating platform that can tell the employee how well he/she has performed.

BYOD, embracing mobile and more work flexibility

The three of them are meant to provide flexibility for the employee to work effectively. Bring their own devices to work (BYOD) continues to grow in any organizations where employees want to work with devices they are familiar with and not the ones provided at work. This is because most employees own smartphones and tablets. Linked to BYOD, is the ever-growing usage of mobile devices for work. In order to embrace the idea of employees to work from anywhere at any time, smartphone devices and personal computers have enabled companies to allow some of their employees to work from home. This has provided more flexibility for employees while maintaining a constant engagement between them.

With the availability of technologies which can enhance employee engagement, businesses should take advantage of this opportunity to promote and create a positive working environment. The global employee engagement has improved tremendously in the recent times. The main factor for this growth is because employees prefer working for companies which offer career progression, has solid reputation and rewards for performance.



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