Employee engagement is a big issue today that we’re all aware of. According to Gallup, as of December 2016, employee engagement is sitting at 34.4%, which is a high percentage as compared to the past, but still disappointingly low. Look at it this way—only about ⅓ of your employees are engaged at work everyday. This is a critical finding considering employees have a vast impact on a company’s success. So, why is employee engagement so low? Are employers not listening to how their employees like to be rewarded?

Over 87% of organizations have outdated and ineffective engagement and rewards systems. Here’s how technology can change that.

Tailor Employee Incentives

Incentives are huge motivators in the workplace and they should be viewed by employers as a worthy investment. According to OfficeVibe, the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they feel underappreciated. Workers want incentives that are valuable to them, but it’s important to remember that what may be valuable to one person may not be for the next.

Employee incentive programs are on the rise and there are plenty of them to choose from depending on your company and its employees.

  • Recognition in the form of a simple “shout out” on an inter-office communication system is a step in the right direction for some of your employees. Sometimes, something this easy can be forgotten during the busy workday, leaving employees feeling underappreciated after a job well done. Encourage everyone to stop for a moment and give recognition where it’s due. A boss may need to lead with this to build momentum, but in the long run, a written thank you can make a big impact.
  • Maintaining a library of high-quality learning materials will be useful for the employees who are interested in a never-ending stream of knowledge. Audio books, memberships to online tutorials and other online resources will fall into this category. Consider creating an incentive system using points that gives gentle encouragement to use these resources. For example, give an employee points for each online course completed, rewarding them once they net a certain amount.
  • Some employees take pride in giving to the community and its people. An incentive program can be tailored around this. For example, for every dollar amount donated, your company could match it. There are several online resources for donations, allowing you to easily keep track of spend.
  • Tangible items may be preferred by some employees over anything else. There are online resources where companies can recognize and reward employees with exclusive discounts and savings on their shopping. Employees can take those rewards and purchase the items they personally care about.

No matter what incentives you choose for your staff, keep in mind that they shouldn’t be thought of as an expense. Giving back to your employees can greatly increase productivity and retention.

Feedback Helps Drive Results

Feedback should be given to employers, managers and employees on a regular basis. Knowing where your work performance stands is vital to pointing you in the right direction in the workplace. But, sometimes giving feedback can be difficult (especially to your superiors) if it’s less than positive.

Technology gives us the opportunity to involve everyone in the feedback process. There are internal employee feedback systems that use a mixture of management deployed surveys and “cheers” authored by co-workers to encourage frequent intercompany communication. Every week, employers can send out a question that will encourage employees to rate or respond with their opinion. This can help employees feel comfortable by being able to send an anonymous response, and management can also engage without outing the employee.

Mentorship is Invaluable

As much as we may wish it did, finding a mentor doesn’t usually happen by chance. Finding a mentor is a process that can take time due to the fact that it requires a good fit. But, how do you go about finding a mentor for your employees? You guessed it—technology.

There are several online resources that can help with matching a mentor with a mentee by setting aspirations and outcomes. The systems select a mentor that aligns with the employee’s personality and goals. By using this matchmaking approach, you’re setting yourself up for success. Third party advisors that can help jumpstart, reshape or push the connection along are also available if needed.
Technology is slowly working its way into the world of human resources. Business function transformations are on the rise and we must follow suit to keep up with our employees needs. It’s important to re-evaluate what technology can do for us and how we can work with it to help with employee happiness, productivity and retention.