HR teams are tasked with the difficult job of establishing strong workplaces staffed by happy, engaged employees.
Of course, a positive workplace culture all starts with a compelling candidate experience that gets the right people in the door — but once a new hire has settled in their role, HR must offer an equally compelling employee experience. In order to do this, HR pros should imagine employees as consumers who must be constantly engaged with the employer brand to maintain peak performance levels.
For guidance in this endeavor, HR pros may want to look at how social media companies have created thriving, interconnected communities online through interactive technologies.
These social technologies are public forums where people gather to talk about social issues, movie trailers, music videos, viral memes, products and services, and so much more. These communities are the very picture of engagement — and the logic that drives these social media platforms can be applied to similar ends in the workplace.
Bringing Engaging Tech to the Workplace
According to a 2017 Salesforce report, 71 percent of employees want to use the same level of technology at work as they do in their personal lives. Familiar and intuitive technology enriches people’s lives outside of work — and people want it to do the same at work, too.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, crowdsourcing, and social media are integral parts of our lives today. These technologies help us shop online, watch movies, communicate with friends, and more. What happens when we incorporate them into the workplace, too? Improved employee engagement and retention.
For example, consider the role crowdsourcing and social media can play in the performance management process, a key component of the employee experience. Platforms like Tandem turn performance management into an interactive activity, where employees can give, receive, request, and comment on evaluations from their coworkers both publicly and privately.
There is value in the massive data gathered from the crowd’s input on employee performance. Getting constructive feedback from multiple sources is more comprehensive and informative than getting the feedback of only one individual. If an employee gets four pieces of constructive criticism to every one piece of praise, that’s an indicator that the employee should think about changing up their work habits. Similarly, if an employee is receiving five pieces of praise for every one constructive suggestion, the worker knows for sure they’re doing something right.
Instant messaging is another everyday piece of technology that can help organizations realize massive gains in employee engagement. Platforms like Slack allow for easier and quicker communication between colleagues than email can offer. Plus, instant messaging clients allow for more personality and camaraderie in communication, with employees using emojis and GIFs to blow off steam and raise spirits.
All of this leads to more productivity, according to Slack, which reports that its product increases office productivity by 32 percent.
People First, Tech Second
The common misconception that technology enables laziness in the workplace must be abandoned. Since the beginning of time, people have made tools to help them perform tasks more easily and with greater productivity. Social media, artificial intelligence, and other modern advances are simply descendants of the humble wheel. These technologies should not be shunned or feared, but embraced.
Derek Herman is a content writer for Phenom People.