Now more than ever, employees are expecting social engagement tools and technologies be built into their professional experience as it is on the personal side of their lives. Whether you’re a corporate communicator, HR professional or C-level executive, understanding how to integrate the right technology at the right time to better engage your employees can be the difference between organizational success and failure.
IABC held an employee engagement conference in Denver, Colorado. The conference was a fantastic forum to learn from global leaders about what drives employee engagement and how to inspire your employees. With an attendance of about 75 organizations, the IABC Employee Engagement Conference presented great best practices for communication professionals while identifying some common technological challenges in how organizations approach employee engagement.
We heard some great ideas, but also a wide variety of frustrations with how IT and communication teams work together to deliver enterprise collaboration solutions. Many of the communicators we spoke to have experienced frustrations with the technology options available to them and recognized that IT and the business owners needed to find ways to more efficiently work together to develop an internal collaboration platform that effectively reaches their employees anytime, anywhere.
Nine themes came out of the discussions and are worth a blog post of their own, which is exactly what we did.
1. IT – champion or hurdle?
Explore the impact of how forward thinking IT organizations can lead and support employee engagement initiatives and how you can effectively leverage IT to deliver on your corporate communication initiatives. By learning to work with IT (focusing on the evaluation of social, mobile, desktop and web services), you can develop scalable, cost-effective technology solutions to meet your business needs. Learn more about ideas to help eliminate barriers. The bottom line is IT doesn’t want to be a hurdle.
2. Engagement of disconnected employees
Finding ways to engage employees who do not have full-time access to a computer or are primarily working outside of an organization’s corporate network is a major challenge for many organizations. How about reaching those without corporate email addresses? We have ways to re-engage disconnected, or desk-less, workers.
3. Measuring ROI on employee engagement
Everyone knows intuitively that engagement is good for profits, but how can you connect the dots: measurement. And the measuring can happen at different levels — understanding what engagement evangelists are doing for the bottom line, determining the effectiveness of those tactics, and identifying how technology is helping (or hurting) that engagement. Find ways to measure employee engagement.
4. Open vs. regulated communication
The old model may not be as effective as it once was. Top-down communication, regulated by senior leadership, is full of potential for miscommunication and met with resistance from employees with a desire to be part of the conversation.
What’s open communication? Open communication is more than an “open door policy.” It’s when your culture embraces transparency, where even difficult discussions happen with honesty. Discover technologies that are enabling enterprises to communicate openly. And find out what role IT, and especially security, has in this new open communication world. Learn more.
5. Not all employees are tech-savvy
While Millennials and Generation Z are becoming a major force in the business world (about 4 million are entering the workforce every year), other employee demographics may be less technologically savvy will continue to be a major slice of the workforce pie. Communication professionals are seeking ways to communicate with employees who resist technology (and the change that often accompanies technology initiatives) and how to find technology solutions which address a disparate employee base and provide effective employee engagement. It’s all about your g-g-g-generation. Learn more about how to handle technology at your organization for up to 5 generation of workers.
6. Employees as customers – lessons from external marketing
More communications professionals are turning to marketing to get through the noise of everyday working. While some felt led to do this due to a lack of options in effective internal communication tools, others felt the reason behind this decision was a desire to look at their employees like customers – adopting many of the proven philosophies behind external customer communication channels. This blog will look at the pros and cons of this approach while exploring technology options to support such a strategy. Get more info.
7. Content creation – community vs. communication team
Community-driven content can make for a more engaging and exciting communication ecosystem. While crowd-sourcing content seems like a good idea, there are considerations such as how to control the quality of content and best use the communication team’s time to support the environment and ensure effective and aligned communications. Learn how to incorporate content creation in your strategy.
8. Ideation and innovation
Let’s face it – your employees have great ideas. They are the closest to the key business processes and activities that drive organizational success. Is your organization taking advantage of this reality? Engaging employees to be involved in sharing, promoting, and social interaction around great ideas leads to innovation. In this installment, we’ll explore the impact that ideation solutions can have on engaging your employees and improving your organization through actionable improvements based directly on employee ideas. Get your ideas flowing.
Gamification is an emerging aspect of many technology solutions. Providing new and innovative ways to make business processes more interesting, rewarding, and fun can have a huge impact on productivity and employee engagement. Balancing gamification with productivity is an important consideration. Intelligently incorporating gamification into the technology infrastructure is also critical. Finally, helping executives understand that gamification doesn’t mean that employees will spend their day playing games is essential to the success of these types of initiatives. This blog will explore how senior leaders view this technology and how engaging employees in a fun and exciting manner can lead to a more impactful corporate communication strategy.