Employers are constantly looking for ways to boost employee engagement, and often implementing new, “cool” technologies is a place where they start. The thinking is that this new technology will impress, excite, and engage their employees, sending productivity skyrocketing. But often the reality is these implementations leave employees feeling indifferent about the new tools, or even worse, frustrated with having to learn something new.
In the article, Does technology improve employee engagement?, Dion Hinchcliffe discusses some of the pitfalls associated with treating technology as a driver of employee engagement. It starts, he writes, because of the relationship between collaboration and success:
“It’s because interaction and collaboration amongst employees is the very lifeblood of the typical businesses. Data consistently shows that good collaboration can have dramatic consequences in terms of business results, from minor efficiencies that might enable the delivery of cheaper products to market, all the way up to the creation of game-changing new advances that can remake an entire industry.”
But technology isn’t always a silver bullet used to increased engagement, the real culprit often lies with culture:
“At this point in the collaborative revolution, it’s become clear to many observers that culture change is one of the largest remaining obstacles to near-term advances in engagement, and therefore collaboration.”
Before implementing new technology blindly, you should assess your company’s culture, and your current reliance on technology. No matter what your current culture is, here are a few guidelines for getting started.
- Increase comfort in technology. If your employees aren’t comfortable using computers, tablets, or smartphones, requiring them to participate in social media activities or other “current” trends will have the reverse affect and demotivate your staff. Start by building slowly on your employees existing strengths and comfort level.
- Once comfortable, keep your foot on the gas. If you have a staff that embraces technology, make sure to include them in the discussion, planning, and implementation of new systems and procedures where appropriate. Technology and fads are constantly changing, so be careful not to get in the habit of implementing something for no reason. Every improvement should have a purpose.
- Revisit what is working and what’s not. You’ve implemented a new system, but is it working like it should? If yes, great! But you’re not done. There are bound to still be problem areas, keep requesting feedback and talking to your employees to help improve your system even more. If it’s not working, re-assess the situation – perhaps there is another underlying cause, or your culture doesn’t support or welcome the new system.
- Enthusiasm is contagious. You’ve spent a lot of time and money researching, implementing, and maintaining your new tools. Lead the way with your enthusiastic use and championing of the system – your employees will follow your lead.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about using technology to help improve employee engagement in your business please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.