There is a growing awareness in HR circles of the relationship between engagement and organisational success and HR teams are now recognising the need to engage employees. But what does it mean and how can they achieve it? Before you implement wellness, happy hour and mentoring programmes, take a moment to think about how technology can underpin your engagement initiatives.
Finding a conclusive definition of employee engagement is challenging. First, employees become engaged at an emotional level and feel a visceral commitment to their organisation. The emotion then 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.
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 are indicating a general decline in employee engagement levels. Even for companies with great engagement programs, is it possible that employees have come to view these as the norm, rather than an exception. HR practitioners need to turn their attention to the employee experience rather than a singular notion of engagement.
Nick Southcombe, CEO of Frontier Software, suggests giving employees 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 administrative tasks.”
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. Deployment options include both browser-based and mobile apps, thus ensuring that employees with flexible work arrangements can access their data as and when required.
ESS offers the following benefits.
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 activities and evidence shows that engaged workers produce better outcomes for their employers.