HOW TO INCREASE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH TECHNOLOGY AND ONLINE TRAINING?

Employee engagement is serious business. In 2015, a Gallup study poll found that incredibly, only 30% of employees say that they’re engaged in their job.

Employee engagement is serious business. In 2015, a Gallup study poll found that incredibly, only 30% of employees say that they’re engaged in their job. More than 50% of employees said they weren’t engaged, and almost 20% of employees stated that they were “actively disengaged.” That’s a severe problem in the workplace. This isn’t just a single piece of research; either; other surveys have found that just 25 to 35% of the workforce across the U.S. are engaged in their work. This really is a silent epidemic. 


However, all is not lost. There may be a way out. Companies are finding smarter ways to boost employee engagement through the use of technology. 


Employee engagement is nothing more than the measure of how emotionally invested your staff is in the organization. An engaged employee WANTS the company to succeed; they don’t just want the next paycheck. They believe in the company’s mission.

According to Forbes, employee engagement "Is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals." What we have to realize is that an engaged employee is not just bothered about a huge salary and swanky benefits. It’s about more than an airline gold club card and a company car.
An engaged employee wants to have a say in the business, they need to feel like they’re part of a team that’s working towards a common goal, and crucially, they need to feel that they are a valued member of the company – not just a tool for generating profit. 

So where does technology come in here? Well, some companies feel hesitant to issue their staff with new dangly gadgets, like mobile phones, smart devices, tablets, and so on. Employers think these things are productivity sinks that take up people’s time with games about candy and farms and pirates. But that’s not the case. If a worker wants to be unproductive, trust us, they’ll find a way. It doesn’t matter whether you give them a 1990 Apple II or a state-of-the-art iPhone 6S. It’s the person, not the tool. 

So here you go – five different methods for leveraging technology to boost employee engagement.
 

1)   Encourage Collaboration

Just like the human body, work is better when it’s flexible. Flexible and virtual work is the next big thing, and Forrester Research reports that by 2016, over 63 million Americans will work virtually. In 2010 what was this figure? A jaw-dropping 34 million. That’s a huge increase. So why this trend? Well, according to the PGi Telework Week survey, 82% of workers who ‘telecommute’ experience less stress, while 80% have higher morale, and 69% missed fewer days of work. 

What we’re saying here is that companies should use technology to encourage workers to work virtually. If they do that, then they reap the benefits of happier, more motivated, and more productive employees. A virtual workforce also cuts overhead costs and shows that you trust your employees to work remotely.

Oh, and did we mention communication? With today’s technologies, it’s easy to use professional social media and collaboration tools to keep up-to-date on projects instantaneously. All we’re saying is that using remote work and online communication helps us to boost employee engagement by allowing more and better communication between workers, no matter where they may be. 

Some of the potential tools you should look into to facilitate co-working include:

  • File sharing: You could just use Dropbox, Google Drive, or anything else. The fees for mass storage are cheap, the interface is easy, and you have the peace of mind that everything is safe and well-communicated, not to mention backed-up on the cloud.
  • Wikis: Create a resource where your employees can find all the information they need on their own – a self-access center for training and development. 
  • Org and Project Management tools: Just like Asana, Jira, and Basecamp. These sites let you create, organize, and delegate tasks, sharing certain elements into shared projects. 
  • Shared whiteboards and forums: You can also consider using tools to assist your colleagues share ideas and work together. Again, the keyword is collaboration – we keep saying it for a reason. A great tool is called Slack. You can pass files, brainstorm, float questions and ideas, and compare notes. 

IBI eConnect gives learners a chance for great small group discussions. This also gives the quiet ones a chance to express ideas and knowledge when the teacher has structured the collaboration groups appropriately. We believe the students retain the skills and topical information better for assessments, also. 
 

2) Use Gamification

A key issue within training, in general, is generating enough motivation so that students will want to invest the time and effort required to learn. As gamification makes practical day-to-day activities (like training) more compelling, using it appropriately can boost participation rates in eLearning courses and increase employee motivation.

People have a natural desire to compete, and if there’s a fun, measurable way of doing so, you’ll notice employees joking and comparing with one another. It’s not a case of ‘just getting it done’ it’s a case of wanting to keep up with their co-workers. And it’s fun!

However, for gamification to deliver expected results, it is critical that you first assess your existing HR strategy, your goals and the needs of the organization. Consider whether gamification can harmoniously fit in with the whole strategy before investing in it.

For instance, one gamified learning portal produced a staggering 417% increase in employee use. In particular, the younger members of staff responded more strongly to this new strategy. The big picture? Increased sales and increased customer satisfaction.

Check out other examples of Gamification techniques used in companies to boost employee engagement. 

Referenced articles: Why is IBI eLearning the system of pedagogy and gamification in harmonious combination?
 

3) Allow Personal Tools at Work


Time to mention smartphones – you knew it was coming. First, here are some key stats from the 2014 Cisco Connected Tech Report:

  • The majority of professional use two to three work and personal devices in their daily lives.
  • About 60% of respondents would choose a device other than a laptop for both work and personal use. 
  • 70% of HR professionals think Gen Y employees perform faster if they are allowed to use their mobile devices instead of computers.
     

These statistics might say a lot about our priorities these days, but again, we’re rolling with the punches. Millennial are the largest group in the US workforce, and they’re glued to their device – so let them use it! BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) increases employee engagement by giving employee autonomy to work the way they want, when they want. In the long run, these minor gains lead to big improvements. So don’t go giving the “evil eye” to any employee with their iPhone out. 

 

4) P2P Recognition 

43% of workers cite a lack of recognition as one of their biggest sources of unhappiness at work. Smart companies have started to adopt P2P (peer-to-peer) recognition to boost employee engagement. As an example, just look at Sales force Chatter. This kind of tools helps your workforce feel valued and respected. Teammates become cheerleaders for one another and create stronger support networks. When senior management is too busy, or too uninterested, having an active network of colleagues behind you can make all the difference to engagement and productivity. 

This method also works for those who have trouble with authority or don’t get along with their superiors. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that a lot of workers out there are deprived of praise or positive feedback because they have friction with their boss. If those workers got support and recognition from their peers, then they’d be able to surmount this challenge a lot more easily. And even those who love their boss can still benefit from peer to peer recognition. The best boss in the world is still going to have a lot of employees to monitor and a lot of their own work to do, so it’s inevitable that some employees will get overlooked. Coming back to Gen Y, this is even more applicable, as this generation particularly requires feedback. 

Creating a culture of recognition is truly a beautiful thing. It creates a whole new attitude and outlook on the company and on working life. All you have to do is you’re your team members recognize what their worth and feel good about themselves, and who can ask for more than that?

 

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The ability to innovate is now a top priority for companies everywhere. The speed at which innovation occurs is accelerating, and consumers are hungry for the new products, services and experiences coming their way. But the economic climate still presents considerable challenges.