The growing awareness in HR circles of the relationship between employee engagement and organisational success had extra emphasis when the lockdown forced a separation between employer and employees.
HR teams saw the importance of keeping employees engaged and motivated, whilst remote and challenged in ways no one had ever experienced. Prior to the pandemic there were programmes for wellness, happy hour and mentoring to name a few; but the importance of technology in all of this was not at the forefront. Now, technology underpins employee engagement activities. Think Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack!
Employees become engaged at an emotional level and feel a visceral commitment to their organisation. This emotion drives their behaviour as a representative of the company. Often, engaged employees exhibit elevated levels of enthusiasm for and dedication to their employers. The behaviours elicited by such states produce positive outcomes and there is little doubt that engaged employees can produce beneficial outcomes for their employers. Initiatives taken to ensure the well-being of teams during their “new normal”, (whatever shape it was taking) were met with a positive response from employees, because they felt valued.
The means by which employees can be engaged are dynamic with both established and emerging ideas vying for attention. Yet, despite the enormous range of engagement activities and options, global surveys ahead of the pandemic were indicating a general decline in employee engagement levels. It is possible that employees came to view ‘perks’ as the norm, rather than an exception. Global HR and Payroll software provider, Frontier Software, believes HR practitioners need to turn their attention to the employee experience, giving staff the tools needed to do their job well. Equipping employees with technologies that enhance their work experience should be a priority for any HR team; the idea is not to disengage the employee from their peers and colleagues, but to minimise the time required to complete necessary tasks. And, by doing so, the employee is free to pursue those activities that engage them with their employer and thus return benefits.
Employee self-service (ESS) is a simple tool that empowers employees by giving them access to their own data 24/7. Deployment options include browser-based and mobile apps, thus ensuring employees with flexible work arrangements can access their data as and when it is suitable for them.
ESS offers the following benefits that all lead to positive, engaged employees:
Increased employee autonomy
Increased employee input into decision making
Drives L&D, performance appraisal and career planning
The power of ESS lies in its ability to enable those processes that underpin employee engagement. When coupled with the potential cost savings and process efficiencies, ESS offers organisations a practical and effective tool to facilitate engagement and evidence shows that engaged workers produce better outcomes for their employers. There has never been a better time to highlight the benefit of software that makes life simpler and enables the user to perform actions at a time and place to suit them.
In the last 6 months, Frontier Software has seen increased interest in self service and mobile applications. For many organisations, now is the time to add flexible, efficient tools to the HR tool kit.