Improving employee engagement is not just an HR issue but is, in fact, essential for business success.
Since January 2018, over three million employees have voluntarily left their jobs every month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, Willis Towers Watson found that more than 25% of employees are qualified as being high-retention-risk — and these include high performers with critical skills.
There are a myriad of reasons why employees are jumping ship, including inadequate onboarding, lack of internal career development, and poor benefits, to name a few.
Roughly a quarter of employees have considered quitting their jobs as a result of the software they are required to use at work. Conversely, 80% of HR employees claimed that using HR technologies can improve their attitude toward the company. Although onboarding, career development, and benefits require their own set of technology solutions, these all have a unifying thread — employee engagement. And if companies are not actively engaging their staff, they can expect to experience high rates of attrition.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at an all time low, employees have the power to choose which companies they work for and for how long they stay. And in a candidate’s market, a company’s decision to take employee engagement seriously has more potential than ever to impact their success.
The business problems companies choose to address and the solutions they opt to employ should be considered very carefully. If retention is a pressing concern, (and it is for many companies) they need to consider what role specific software, or lack thereof, is playing.
Understanding employee engagement leads to better retention.
A key to better understanding employee retention might lie in understanding how HR professionals and non-HR employees alike feel about employee engagement initiatives as they relate to retention.
According to G2’s Employee Engagement report 57% of HR employees strongly believe that employee engagement initiatives will help their company retain productive staff. HR professionals understand that collecting feedback can only help them improve employee engagement and company culture. By focusing on the most important issues to their employees, they can create a positive change throughout the company.
While nearly 60% of HR employees understand the value of implementing employee engagement initiatives, G2 found that only 19% of their non-HR counterparts strongly agree that employee engagement initiatives will positively impact retention. Meanwhile, only 32% of them neither agree or disagree that employee engagement initiatives will positively impact retention.
There are a variety of ways to analyze this feedback:over half of the non-HR employees we surveyed do not yet understand the value of employee engagement as it relates to retention rates. This may be because they have yet to use employee engagement software and experience the empowerment that occurs when sharing their voices with their companies and actually being heard.
Beyond understanding the perks of using employee engagement software — there remains a disconnect between HR professionals and non-HR employees on who, exactly, is feeling engaged. Currently 50% of HR personnel we surveyed claim to employ employee engagement solutions but only 15% of their non-HR counterparts believe that their companies use these solutions. So, why are non-HR employees not feeling engaged?
HR professionals claim to provide engagement initiatives but many non-HR employees remain unconvinced that their companies are using these solutions, or that they will help. This could simply be the difference between companies that use these solutions versus those that don’t, or, perhaps, HR personnel understand what employee engagement solutions are, and the value they provide, whereas non-HR employees have yet to realize the benefits of employee engagement solutions.
We are at a turning point when general employees need to be engaged to be active members of their company culture but remain skeptical as to how software can help. What they don’t know about employee engagement software is hurting their company.
Employee engagement technology plans
There are seemingly endless posts and conversations about the concept of employee engagement but what about the software itself? How does it help improve engagement? To break employee engagement down to its essential software counterpart — employee engagement software provides an outlet for companies to elicit feedback on a regular basis, and for employees to be regularly heard.
We can learn a lot from technology implementation plans. So we asked HR personnel about their spending plans for employee engagement technologies for the next year and which technologies they plan on implementing. As expected, the majority of respondents plan on either increasing or maintaining spending on employee engagement.
Over the next 12 months, 64% of HR employees expect their spending on employee engagement technologies to increase (or significantly increase) and 53% plan on implementing employee engagement solutions. These HR technology implementation plans include employee engagement software (53%) performance management software (48%) and employee recognition software (46%).
That these solutions rank the highest in terms of where spending is headed is no surprise. Employee engagement software solicits and tracks vital employee feedback that companies need to improve workplace culture. These tools draw actionable insights from employee feedback essential for improving engagement. Performance management solutions facilitate 360 feedback between management, employees, and colleagues. Meanwhile, employee recognition solutions help businesses and management improve company culture by providing recognition and rewards.
There are a variety of solutions to help engage employees beyond the aforementioned employee engagement solutions These include solutions that provide continual training and education, career development, volunteering opportunities, as well as creating programs around corporate wellness including physical, mental, and financial.
HR technology empowers employees and improves retention
If over three million U.S.-based employees are voluntarily leaving their jobs every month — we might be having an engagement crisis.
Companies face many challenges and HR personnel are tasked with finding the best solutions to all their potential people problems. The challenge will be in deciding which solutions will most benefit their employees, company, and culture. Increasingly, HR personnel are turning to employee engagement solutions to improve engagement and increase retention.
HR professionals need to keep their pulse on employee engagement at their company. After all, what they don’t know can hurt their company. Employee engagement program and process implementation can help companies create a culture of engagement. What begins with the business mission statement, can be realized when companies elicit continual feedback from their employees.
Employee engagement software helps HR employees improve engagement initiatives and workplace culture by helping HR employees understand what they’re doing well and what they need to improve. As they determine what their diverse community needs to be successful members of the organization, they can make the necessary improvements to improve engagement, retention, and company culture.
Employee engagement is vital for a thriving company culture. When employees are asked to provide feedback on in the form of short and frequent pulse surveys, they feel empowered and provide companies have actionable data. Simply put: when employees are engaged, everyone wins.
"This is one of the more tangible ways of how we've saved a considerable amount of money because we've been able to keep our people."
-- Nick Smarrelli, CEO at Gadellnet Consulting Services
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