How to: Engage with Employees

Why use HR Technology as a tool for employee engagement?

The need to streamline people processes and cut down on admin is often the driver behind the purchase of an HR software system.

But the latest generation solutions are much more than just an efficient replacement for spreadsheets. Used to their fullest extent, they can also make a real difference to levels of engagement within the business.

Recent research from talent consultancy CEB shows that more than half of HR professionals see engagement as the most important issue for their department. This is no doubt partly in response to the ‘war for talent’ which is heating up as the economy improves and the jobs market starts to move again.

So, how exactly can HR technology help organizations maintain levels of motivation and commitment and retain the best and brightest employees?

It improves the flow of communication:

A recent report from Information Services Group points out that today’s employees – and especially Millennials – “expect their interactions with HR departments to be as easy and engaging as shopping on Amazon”. The latest HR technology breaks down the walls that often exist between HR and employees. HR technology can make it easier to engage with employees because it  makes information easier to find and ensures that processes are consistent. The social portals that are integral to many systems can also act as a communication channel for non-confidential discussions – making it easier for people to ask questions and get the right information. Perhaps most significantly, these portals also allow tech-savvy Generation-Y (Millennial) employees to access information and communicate in a way that has become more natural to them and cuts down on over complicating small tasks.

Let’s say: you want to book your vacation, but you’re not sure how many days you can take off. Your manager has yet to look at your request – and neither of you are sure the information about how much time you’ve taken off is up-to-date. It’s often the small stuff that causes the most irritation in teams, distracting people from the task at hand and making them feel demotivated. HR software systems eradicate this kind of uncertainly and speed up processes. At the click of a mouse, employees can see where they stand on their specific leave allowance. Managers can get an overview of who’s off when in the team and can approve requests quickly without having to complete tiresome paperwork. Everything runs much more smoothly – and everyone is happy.

It makes HR processes more transparent:

When people join a business they are usually bombarded with information about HR policies. It’s their first week, there’s a lot to take in – and by the time they actually need to use a process the detail is long forgotten. No-one can quite remember what they’re supposed to do when they are off sick, what the process is if they need to take a grievance or how often they are supposed to have a performance review. HR software systems provide a central place where this kind of information can be housed so that it’s easy to find when people need it. It means that processes are much more transparent, there are no ‘surprises’ and less likelihood that people will feel that they are being treated unfairly if issues arise.

It makes it easier for people to collaborate:

The social portals that are built in to solutions like Cezanne HR can do much to encourage collaboration across the business. Employees can set up profiles highlighting their personal interests and expertise, projects leaders can invite people to share views or get involved in their latest initiatives. Everyone is better connected and feels part of what’s going on in the wider business. People have the chance to use their skills and talents to the fullest and to get involved with the things that really interest them – and of course the organization benefits from harnessing the wisdom of the crowd.

It gives employees a voice:

Technology that connects HR with employees can be particularly valuable at times of change. It provides a vehicle not just for sharing information, but also for encouraging dialogue and allowing the organization to assess issues and get feedback about what people are thinking and feeling. Employees have the opportunity to add their voice to whatever internal debates may be going on and can give valuable front-line perspectives about what is and isn’t workable in practice. People are involved with the change, rather than being passive recipients, and as a result are much more likely to buy into whatever is decided.

How are you using HR technology to boost engagement? Let us know what’s working well for you.

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