What HR is Getting Wrong About Employee Engagement
You might think you’re doing everything right to promote employee engagement, but if you asked your employees, they’d probably tell a different story.
According to a recent report from G2 Crowd, 66% of human resources staff believe employee engagement has increased in the past year. But just 34% of non-HR employees feel more engaged.
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Is the employee engagement gap widening?
These stats highlight the starkly different perceptions of HR and non-HR employees. While employee engagement has risen to the top of human resource departments’ agendas, actually improving it has proven to be a major challenge.
Increasing employee engagement across the board is not just about winning staff over through perks or benefits. It’s not about satisfaction scores.
It’s about creating the right culture, addressing employee “pain points,” and enabling the right solutions.
But overriding the norms, processes, and behaviors that prevent you from creating a culture of engagement is easier said than done. That’s why many HR professionals are seeking employee engagement solutions to add to their toolbox.
The question is, are they helping?
Employee engagement solutions are not a silver bullet
Over the next 12 months, 64% of HR staff expect to dedicate a bigger portion of their budget to employee engagement technologies. But steering money in that direction is only one piece of the puzzle.
“Many respondents sense that employee engagement is important for a thriving company culture, but there is a disconnect between whether employees are engaged and what the solutions may be,” according to the report. “HR professionals claim to provide engagement initiatives, but they might be failing to communicate the value of these solutions and how employees can best utilize them.”
While the vast majority of HR staff think HR software systems can improve employee engagement, only 30% of non-HR employees think they work.
Employee engagement hinges on enablement
While non-HR employees have little faith in the power of HR software to boost engagement, 70% believe access to modern technology that helps them fulfill their responsibilities will improve engagement.
From the employees’ point of view, enablement is the key. They want:
- To achieve maximum productivity
- Less frustration and stress
- Less complexity on workplace software
- Seamless transitions between digital tools
HR professionals’ desire to boost employee engagement through technology is correct, but the point of focus is misdirected.
While HR software systems are important, relying on them to address employee engagement doesn’t account for the fact that enterprises can have as many as 300 mission-critical platforms and apps. This means employees could be tasked to uses a dozen every day — the majority of their work is performed in front of a screen.
The new reality in the digital era is work is inextricable from technology. As a result, the way employees interact with their digital tools has a direct impact on their engagement level.
Tools that are complex, difficult to navigate, require lengthy onboarding or training sessions, or hinder productivity will undermine even the most carefully planned initiatives to boost engagement.
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Empower your employees and watch engagement soar
Prioritizing employee engagement is not only wise, but it’s also critical to retaining staff and maintaining performance. The cost of low engagement comes in the form of absenteeism, turnover, low morale, and churn.
Every aspect of the employee experience has an influence on engagement, from employee onboarding to wellness initiatives to the number of development opportunities available.
But you cannot ignore the fact that virtually all aspects of work are completed on digital tools. Ensuring you are taking the steps to enable ease-of-use and productivity is essential for boosting engagement.
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