Recently the Team Innovation Minds has embarked on a mission to find out the tenets of a Perfect Employee Engagement solution that every organization should strive for. Who else would be better than our own clients to listen to and understand What Clients Want? It was a fascinating and eye-opening sprint to not only understand the needs of the customers we serve but also to design the GPS for our 2022 roadmap of our Employee Experience SaaS Platform. It may be greedy to keep these wonderful insights to ourselves, so we are sharing them with all of you here. Are you game?
How do we define ‘Employee Engagement Software’?
Employee engagement software is used by businesses to boost job satisfaction and employee retention. The goal of this type of product is to help workers feel they are an integral part of the mission and culture of the organization. As a result, they will be more effective and productive in their assigned roles.
In most cases, employee engagement solutions are administered by the company’s Human Resources (HR) department. This software is also called workforce engagement software.
Aspired benefits of Employee Engagement Software
One of the main benefits of this type of software is that it increases communication between team members at work. It makes it easier and more convenient for internal communication to flow from managers and executives to employees and from employees to managers and executives. In other words, it’s designed to improve top-down and bottom-up communication.
Further, remote employees are able to work together effectively. They can collaborate despite different time zones and schedules.
More Effective Onboarding
Employee engagement programs allow employee onboarding processes to be repeatable for each new hire. At the same time, certain aspects can be personalized for new employees. A thoughtful onboarding experience sets the tone for a new employee’s work relationships and their employee experience journey. If the process runs smoothly and the new hire settles in, it bodes well for a positive relationship over the long term.
Lower Attrition Rates
Employee engagement software has a definite impact on attrition rates. It brings people together and makes it easy for them to communicate. A Gallup poll of more than 195,000 American workers revealed that 16% are “actively disengaged” and a further 51% described themselves as “just there.” Sixty-three percent of respondents said they were confident they would find a job that was “as good or better” than the position they currently held.
When workers don’t feel as though they are an important part of the organization (and that their contribution matters), employee morale suffers and it is much more likely that they will move on to other jobs.
Higher Productivity Levels
Employee engagement programs centralize many functions that employees are required to complete as part of their work. Since the software streamlines these necessary tasks, they take less time. Employees can focus on their work instead of searching for tools and answers. The software allows managers to give employees feedback quickly; employees can focus on projects that drive results and change course when necessary.
The following are some examples of how workforce engagement software is used:
- Employee-generated content keeps everyone informed and engaged.
- The employee directory helps employees find the right people.
- Social features (likes, comments) encourage interaction and relationship building.
- Polls and pulse surveys to collect employee feedback regularly.
- Analytics to track employee engagement metrics and usage.
15 Must-Have Employee Engagement Software Features
1. News center
The News Center provides employees with a personalized newsfeed full of relevant information. It includes items such as company updates, internal news (employee anniversaries, retirements, new baby announcements, etc.), and external industry news. This is where employees come to read blog posts and check out social media activity.
Another benefit of the News center is it provides a common thread for in-house and remote employees. Remote workers have access to the same information as those in-house, along with personalized information relevant to them. This information sharing creates a sense of camaraderie among employees.
2. Engaging Content
For digital workers (and the general population) text-only content is a bit bland. It’s much less likely to catch the interest of someone who is browsing or scrolling and even less likely to be liked and shared with others.
Take that same content and add an image, video, or graphics. And the interest factor increases. The reader has more context to focus on. Additionally, “read more” elements can be added to provide more information on the topic. This type of content is much more engaging.
3. Likes and Comments Feature
Intranet posts written by employees can be formal or informal. Either way, they are an opportunity for employees to learn about each other, their company, and industry insights or challenges.
Employees can provide real-time feedback by quickly liking a post, or they can start a conversation by asking a question or making a comment. This leads to other employees (and the original poster) responding which increases the number of valuable conversations that take place in the workplace.
4. Communities of Practice
Communities of Practice are online communities focused on specific disciplines. Experts can share their knowledge and experience with their colleagues. Communities of Practice also give employees a place to ask questions and get help from subject matter experts. They can enlist help from inside the company without having to take the time to find an outside expert and vet their credentials. This in-house expertise was always available, but the community feature makes it accessible like never before. These experts can share their knowledge through videos, blog posts, reports, and other documents.
5. Communities of Interest
Communities of Interest are used to encourage employees to network and bond through their personal interests. Employees are encouraged to share their interests through texts, photos, links, and videos. These communities of interest are a good way for remote workers to establish a connection with their co-workers.
Employees can post questions and share answers as a way to engage with each other. These social communities are a less formal way for everyone in the company to interact and feel comfortable at work.
6. Onboarding Center
The onboarding center introduces new hires to their company and role. If new employee onboarding experiences are well received, they are more likely to feel engaged with the organization and their colleagues. Research conducted by Glassdoor found that companies with an effective onboarding process improved their new hire retention by 82%. Productivity was improved by 70%. The onboarding center should lead new hires through steps to become acclimatized to the new environment. It should also provide clear instructions for filling out necessary HR forms, digital paperwork, completing profiles, downloading apps, etc.
7. Employee Surveys
Surveys play an important role in measuring and improving employee engagement. If employees are not asked to provide feedback – positive, constructive, or neutral – how can anything be improved? The status quo will remain the same and problems will persist.
Employees may be hesitant about approaching their managers directly about the concerning aspects of their work. Anonymous employee surveys are much more likely to increase feedback collection and identify areas where the company can improve.
Analytics is a key part of measuring employee engagement. Success metrics include employee logins, session time, post and comment frequency, most visited pages, etc. whether your employees are logging into the software at all, first of all.
This data helps determine how employees are interacting with the platform. And which types of content they are most interested in. The latter is helpful when determining the best ways to engage with employees.
9. Employee Recognition Center
The employee recognition center is the place to acknowledge the contributions of employees or teams who have stood out in some manner. Use this social feature of the intranet to announce awards, promotions, transfers, and retirements.
Managers and employees can post shout-outs to team members who perform well and excel as team players. They can let the entire company know about a stand-out employee. This form of positive encouragement helps employees strive for excellence and stay committed to each other.
According to a forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the number of mobile workers in the United States is predicted to jump from 78.5 million in 2020 to 93.5 million by 2024. Since these frontline and deskless workers are on the go, they need a different way to stay connected with their colleagues. Many of them don’t even use a corporate email address, or a company laptop to access the company intranet.
A mobile app allows workers to access intranet information and features from anywhere. Deskless workers can stay updated, share feedback and contribute to the company dialogue.
Employee engagement software can be used to send push notifications when the entire staff needs to be informed of something right away. This is an important feature since it can be used to send out changes to schedules due to COVID-19 or instructions to follow during emergencies.
The employee engagement app can also track who has read a particular communication and who has not seen it. This is vital for key policy changes or safety notifications.
A chat feature allows for seamless interaction and conversations. Team members can post questions about projects. Fellow team members can weigh in with quick responses instead of waiting for email replies.
Chat is also more convenient than trying to reach someone by phone. The person looking for information can post their question and move on to other tasks while they wait. In group chats or channels, another team member may have the answer they need.
13. HR Portal
The HR portal is a keystone feature of employee engagement software. Employees want a HR portal and homepage to access forms and policies, find contact information, get answers to FAQs, and check out the internal job board. News updates from the HR team and dates for open enrolment also interest new and tenured employees.
14. Goal Setting
Many businesses are looking to engage and motivate their employees through software. To accomplish this, managers must clearly define their expectations. Goal setting involves making a specific plan to achieve the stated goal. Employees work as a team and with managers to create an action plan to reach their objectives. As employees meet or exceed stated goals, they should be recognized and/or rewarded.
15. Performance Management
This employee engagement tool includes talent assessment, as well as coaching and employee feedback. Depending on the platform, it may include performance management. Managers will meet with their team members to discuss how the employee is handling their work and if they have any questions or concerns, they wish to discuss privately. Part of the discussion involves the manager going over elements where the employee is doing well and where the employee is facing challenges. The coaching session includes actionable tips and suggestions to help the employee.
Feel free to share your thoughts, and don’t forget to reach out to us if you would like to know more about how Innovation Minds can support your talent engagement.
About the author: Bala Balasubramaniam is an author, an avid blogger, and frequently gives keynotes at summits & conferences focusing on Innovation, HR, Strategy, and Digital Transformation. He has championed Corporate Innovation programs and Employee Experience initiatives for eBay, PayPal, and LinkedIn. Bala founded InnovationMinds.com which provides the Ultimate Employee Experience Cloud Solution to help you make daily ENGAGEMENT your goal and practice, and INNOVATION as natural as breathing.