As technology has evolved to solve a wide variety of personal and professional problems, a lot of industries have taken a stab at employee engagement problem. No employer can avoid integrating technology into a successful engagement strategy; employees expect it, and the return on investment is too high to overlook. It’s important to note that while each available software program or platform has pros and cons, none of them has solved the whole equation yet.
Software programs to consider in your engagement strategy include:
- Engagement survey software programs, which generally come preloaded with standard engagement questions and can often be customized. These platforms usually provide a user-friendly employee engagement survey, assurances of anonymity that can come only from a third party, and visually appealing results. However, they can only diagnose a problem; their capabilities run out when the time comes to fix it.
- Performance management platforms, which allow for ongoing, real-time feedback from leaders and even peers and colleagues. Feedback is necessary for mastery, but the system does little to impact engagement as a whole.
- Training management and delivery systems, which provide ongoing instruction and development to employees, usually in an easy-to-use format with automatic documentation. These programs assist with one aspect of engagement—mastery—but fail to deliver on measuring engagement, building community, and more.
- Incentive management systems, which help provide rewards, perks, and benefits for employees. While this solution is helpful in appropriate circumstances, organizations need to be careful not to rely to heavily on monetary-style rewards that typically have short-term effects.
- Modern intranets (with social collaboration capabilities), which serve as a robust system of engagement that facilitates connection and alignment rather than simply diagnosing or documenting the current state. They also provide a platform for management to focus the workforce on what’s important and to reiterate cultural norms.
Technology is nothing short of critical in the engagement puzzle, but technology alone doesn’t drive engagement. There are limits to what technology can do. How technology is applied, is as fundamentally important as what is being used. You need people who are invested, committed, and working toward a highly engaged workforce with intention and purpose to produce real change.