Employee Engagement Tech: Balancing Efficiency and Employee Experience
Employee engagement tech is essential for businesses looking to thrive in a digital world.
The impact and influence of technology on employee experience has accelerated tremendously in recent years. A number of workplace facets such as culture, well-being and skills development, are now deeply intertwined with technology. Reflecting the fact that technological experiences are now as important as physical ones.
The Evolution of Frontline Jobs and Employee Engagement Technology
Frontline workers make up more than 80% of the global working population. As a result, many companies are refocusing their efforts on making technology, which was traditionally made available to back-office employees only, readily accessible to frontline workers.
In fact, in many companies the technology that frontline workers are being exposed to is more sophisticated than tech utilised in other parts of the business. This is in part driven by the need for these workers to readily have solutions and tools at hand to efficiently complete their work.
Challenges Faced by Frontline Employees
While there is little doubt that frontline employees are benefitting from the integration of technology, there are also a range of negative impacts they have to contend with, these include:
Sense of disconnection – shift workers are particularly vulnerable to this type of experience and workplace technology can often further limit human interaction. Mandatory face-to-face check-ins or peer-to-peer sessions are vital aids to workers in these environments.
Continuous work cycles – technology can bring great efficiency into the workplace, but employers need to ensure that workers don’t find themselves on a workplace ‘treadmill’, contending with a seemingly never-ending work stream.
Tech gap – the rapid rate at which technology is rolled out in organisations can be overwhelming for workers. Embedding ongoing technology learning is the best solution.
It’s therefore imperative that as companies pivot towards greater use of technology, they take care to manage the mental well-being of their workers.
The Role of the Employee Experience in Organisational Success
It’s widely acknowledged that engaged employees take active roles in delivering service, are quick to deal with problems and willing to explore alternative solutions to workplace or customer challenges. The approach adopted by these employees often leads to word-of-mouth referrals by customers and positive social media profiles.
The impact employee engagement can have on the bottom line of companies is illustrated by the Sony employee, Ken Kutaragi in response to customer requests for better performance from the company’s Nintendo product range. He spent his own time improving its performance, ultimately giving rise to one of the company’s success stories – the PlayStation.
Wyzetalk’s Integration-Ready Product
Using three-channel mobile capability, our employee engagement solution connects organisations with their workforce on any mobile device, anywhere in the world. We also harness the experience we have in developing employee engagement solutions for leading global corporations to integrate with key systems, such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Google and Microsoft.
This integration capability allows our solution to connect business-critical platforms, centralise information, and digitise processes. We are also able to do custom integrations for a wide range of management systems including: learning, vacancy, scheduling and other operational systems.
Employee Engagement Tech: The Power of an App
A leading producer of copper and cobalt, based in Central Africa, needed to improve communication and employee engagement.
To address this challenge, Wyzetalk was part of a partnership that helped develop and deliver the infrastructure needed for a digitally inclusive and connected business by creating an app for these frontline employees.
The app was broken down into four key sections:
- Latest News and Alerts – sharing operational information and business news
- My Workspace – featuring HR and payroll information
- Employee App Power – incident alerts, safety dashboards and case studies
- Employee Feedback Channel – features include ‘Suggestion Box’ and ‘Ask Leadership’
According to research, only 20% of employees are engaged at work, which can have a negative impact on overall employee engagement. This digital platform has assisted this mining organisation in engaging with its employees by keeping them informed and fostering a culture of transparency and inclusion.
Balancing Efficiency and Employee Wellbeing
For many companies, the connection between the effort exerted by employees (measured in hours worked) and productive outcomes is no longer apparent. A study conducted by Deloitte revealed that in a wide range of companies and industries, employees are only using approximately 14% of their available skillsets on a regular basis. This potentially low level of engagement with their work, can spill over to other aspects to the employee-employer relationship, notably affecting issues of morale and the value of contributions in the workplace.
In assessing the challenge of low skillset utilisation, Deloitte recommends companies foster a ‘connected’ or ‘networked’ culture where employees can bring their skills and knowledge to bear on business challenges. In this respect our digital solutions that offer multi-directional communication channels, provide for flexibility around task scheduling and allow employees to quickly report workplace hazards (and suggest solutions), opens up avenues for creating an engaging experiencing and positively impacting well-being.
The Future of Employee Engagement Tech in Frontline Jobs
Looking ahead, it is highly likely that technology will play a greater role in the work lives of frontline workers. The impact will be felt in the following areas:
Data driven decisions – data profiles of workplace performance will help companies make decisions on a wide range of aspects, from the need for training all the way through to adjusting workloads, for maximum efficiency.
Schedule flexibility – equitable flexibility for frontline workers so they can control this important aspect of their lives will in a large part be powered by technology.
Emerging technologies – Artificial Intelligence assistants and wearables will increasingly be used to collect data on employees’ health, family situations, living conditions, mental health and even sleep patterns in order to better respond to their needs.
For forward looking companies, this is an opportunity to embrace new approaches to work, that will keep employees engaged and enthusiastic about their work.
Technology is the ultimately workplace disruptor. It can bring a multitude of benefits to companies, but for these benefits to be fully realised, the way it is integrated into the workplace is critical.
For many workers, technology presents an unknown and its integration needs to be carefully undertaken in order to ensure that workers do not feel they are being undermined or regulated by technology, but rather that it has the potential to augment and improve their performance.
For companies seeking to boost the impact of technology in the workplace, our digital solutions integrate with the world’s leading people management solutions and offer the room to customise solutions. For a better understanding on how we can help talk to us.