Recently, Forrester Research published their top 10 technology trends for 2018-2020. It’s not surprising to see items like public cloud and immersive customer experiences still growing rapidly and being adopted pretty much universally by companies. But among the newer trends is a topic we tend to speak about quite frequently as well — employee experiences. Today we’ll take a brief look at just how important the relationship between employee and technology can be.
As leaders and managers, one of our primary responsibilities is to help our employees perform at the top of their potential. When this happens, the company moves forward and everyone is happy. But unfortunately, this isn’t always how it unfolds. Inevitably, there are individuals who outperform the team, as well as ones who never seem to get motivated. This range in employee performance can be thought of as employee engagement — where the top performers are either actively or somewhat engaged, and the low performers are typically actively or somewhat disengaged. The percent of employees in each group make up a unique bell curve for each company — whereas some companies have the bell toward the engaged side, and some on the disengaged side.
Obviously, the ratio of engaged to disengaged employees can have a tremendous impact on the business. Don Rheem speaks at length about this in his new book, “Thrive by Design.” But from a very simplistic view, disengaged employees can cost the business in terms of overall employee expense, productivity, profitability, employee churn, quality, customer experiences, culture, and even corporate reputation — and given that each of these are interwoven in a company’s technology strategy, it is easy to understand why Forrester has identified employee experiences as a new tech trend gaining momentum in businesses today.
The next question often is, “So what can we do about it?” Although an overall employee engagement strategy consists of several factors (including leadership training), there are a number of simple things businesses can do to get the ball rolling. Here are a couple items that can help you on your way to better experiences, and more productive employees.
General IT Management
In general, the more IT issues you have, the worse it is for the business. But this is especially true in managing employee experiences. Employees are engaged when they feel safe and confident. When issues continuously arise around IT, employees lose confidence in the business and in the management team. Employees will tend to feel like they are not important, or the executives do not have the capability to solve the problem. Either way, it negatively impacts their impression of the company. Ultimately, the highly engaged employees leave, or engagement levels across the board reduces.
Engagement Management Systems
If you believe that you can only improve the things you can measure (we do), then it makes sense to look at systems to help better track your overall engagement.
(Also check out our review on employee appreciation systems here.) Below are a few systems to help track and manage employee engagement. Each system has a unique approach and should be evaluated for the right “fit” for you and your employees.
Regardless of how you view employee experiences and employee engagement today, we are confident this trend will continue to gain popularity and momentum. And the businesses that are able to take advantage of it will surely reap the rewards.