When it comes to building a productive and sustainable workforce, employee engagement can be a key indicator of the success or failure of HR initiatives. While every employee has their own reasons for feeling disconnected from their work, the root causes often have a good deal of overlap. Whether due to poor leadership, a lack of fulfillment or an absence of work-life balance, the consequences of unengaged workers can have a major impact on the success of any business.
Addressing key operational challenges can feel like an impossible task, especially in large companies that employ thousands of workers across several different business groups. But thanks to recent innovations in HR technologies, many organizations are starting to stimulate increased morale and a greater sense of belonging. But before we dive into how HR tech is improving employee engagement, it may be useful to recap the current state of the U.S. labor force.
How widespread is the employee engagement problem?
According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace study, only 33% of U.S. employees report being engaged at work. That said, defining what employee engagement actually means has been a point of contention for HR professionals and business leaders alike. Although many conflate engagement with job satisfaction, the term has a lot more to do with the emotional attachment employees have to their organization and it's core values.
Employees who aren't invested in their company's business objectives are often less likely to feel their work has any meaningful impact on the world at large, which can negatively affect their productivity and performance. More often than not, disengaged workers end up looking for other employment opportunities, leading to higher employee churn and turnover rates. Considering the average cost of recruiting and training a new employee can run as high as $100,000 for large companies, per research from Forbes Insights, there's plenty of incentive to address the engagement problem.
3 ways HR technology can boost employee engagement
First, it's worth mentioning that the global human resource management market is expected to reach $30 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Grand View Research. And while the growing demand for human capital management (HCM) platforms is largely a result of process automation and the push for big data analytics, many companies have adopted the technology to mitigate specific problems. To that end, here are three ways HCM software is helping improve employee engagement and secure long-term results:
1. Tracking employee performance: As mentioned previously, employee engagement and performance are two sides of the same coin. Using HCM platforms, companies are able to monitor their workers' productivity in real time. This increased oversight allows HR professionals to identify disengaged workers and develop personalized interventions that may prevent them from leaving the company.
2. Conducting engagement surveys: While it may seem obvious, the surest way to locate systemic issues with a company's management strategy is to simply ask employees for their feedback. Whether through point solutions or a unified HCM platform, companies can leverage HR technologies to collect valuable insights on their workers' engagement levels that can help guide their improvement efforts.
3. Offering employee training and development: When it comes to retaining top performers, providing career advancement and training opportunities is a must. According to a 2018 report from LinkedIn, around 93% of employees would be willing to stay at a company for longer if it directly supported their careers. Traditionally, professional development was only available through specific channels, but HCM platforms have empowered employees to drive their own learning. This can not only streamline their career advancement efforts, it can also make them feel like valued members of their organization.
Companies can offer all the incentives and work perks under the sun, but if their employees aren't actively engaged there's a higher risk of unwanted turnover and productivity losses. While HCM technology cannot solve every organizational issue, it can provide HR professionals with the workforce data they need to make a difference in their workers' day to day.