Employees are the most valuable assets of an organization. If they’re satisfied, enthusiastic, and engaged at work, the business is more likely to prosper. Likewise, employees who feel connected to the organization stay longer, work harder, and motivate co-workers to do the same.
While a happy employee might be a good performer, it isn’t always the case. That’s why employee satisfaction, which shows how happy employees are, doesn’t alone do the trick. To put that into perspective, a satisfied employee might be someone who’s delighted to receive the paycheck by doing the least amount of work.
There’s a better way to ensure that employees contribute their full efforts to help the organization realize its goals. It’s called employee engagement and is all about an employee’s commitment to the organization.
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to a company and its goals. It’s based on trust and two-way loyalty between employees and an organization. Emotional commitment means that employees care about their work and the company and aren’t present there for the paycheck alone.
Fifty-six percent of respondents of a survey feel that their organization has achieved a positive return on investment (ROI) from its investment in employee engagement. Employee engagement isn’t just about activities or events that make employees happy and connected to the organization. Instead, employee engagement drives performance and enables companies to achieve their goals.
Employee engagement affects all aspects of an organization: customer experience, revenue, employee retention rates, and innovation. Simply put, it’s the strength of emotional connection employees feel toward their work, their team, and the organization as a whole.
Assessing employee engagement is also about setting the right corporate culture. In fact, two out of three millennials chose to work at a particular organization because of its culture and purpose.
Based on the level of engagement, employees can be categorized as highly engaged, moderately engaged, barely engaged, and disengaged.
Highly engaged employees tend to stay longer and have favorable opinions about their work and workplace. They love their job, feel connected with the team and organization, and are ready to chip in extra effort when required. They also encourage the employees around them to do the same.
Moderately engaged employees have moderate opinions about the employer. They are committed to their work but sees many opportunities for improvement. They are likely to underperform and might not take the initiative to ask for more responsibilities.
Barely engaged employees don’t have any specific opinion about their company. They lack the motivation to work and excel and will try to do the least amount of work. Such employees are more likely to churn.
Disengaged employees, on the other hand, have negative opinions about the company. They lack the commitment to their job and takes zero responsibilities. They’re disconnected or don’t care about the company’s goals and future. If not handled properly, they can affect the productivity of employees around them.
Again, employee satisfaction isn’t employee engagement. It’s often confused with concepts like wellbeing and happiness. That’s because a lazy employee who does the most miniature work and gets paid a heavy check can be satisfied and happy but not engaged.
Employee engagement, on the other hand, is the emotional connection with the company that drives an employee to provide the best output. It’s when an employee comes to work, fully energized, with great ideas to execute. It’s about understanding one’s role in the company and having a clear understanding and vision of attaining its goals and objectives.
Of course, employee engagement can’t be forced. Employees can’t be manipulated or forced to get emotionally connected with a company. Doing so can increase employee churn rates and negatively impact the company’s growth.
Instead, employee engagement must be organic. By giving employees opportunities to learn, improve, and excel, they will automatically feel inclined to work harder. It’s a two-way street and a give-and-take relationship.
Engagement tools augment employee engagement. Such tools make it easier for employees to stay engaged with their company, or in other words, they facilitate the right environment for employees to stay engaged and motivated.
In short, employee engagement tools can help companies:
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach towards employee engagement. It differs based on the organization and even the team. More precisely, you need a collection of tools to improve employee engagement.
Any software that can help employees stay engaged with the company can be (loosely) considered as an employee engagement application. In that light, an employee gifting platform is also an engagement tool.
In short, an employee engagement tool is any software that helps companies:
The following are the common types of engagement tools:
Employee engagement is vital for any company that views high employee retention rates, profitability, and innovation as crucial growth drivers. HR professionals and managers view employee engagement with utmost importance as it can help reduce the need to recruit new employees frequently.
When employees are engaged in their work, they would want to go above and beyond and do more than what is expected. Here are some of the common benefits of using employee engagement tools.
Engaged employees are 17 percent more productive than their peers. Along with completing the assigned tasks, they’re more likely to undertake optional tasks. Productivity directly impacts the success of a business. Highly productive employees are more likely to bring innovation to work and nurture collaborative relationships.
As mentioned above, engagement doesn’t mean satisfaction. Instead, employee engagement is a smart way to boost job satisfaction. Engaged employees are more likely to be satisfied with their job. When satisfaction is high, they’re more likely to put extra time and effort into their work.
Engaged employees are more likely to treat the customers well, which would significantly affect customer experience and engagement. Such employees will be willing to go out of their way to help customers achieve their goals, thereby increasing the chances of those customers doing more business with the company.
Happy customers are contagious. They tend to speak highly of the company to partners and others, bringing you high-quality clients. In short, employee engagement can uplift the relationship between a company and its customers.
Employee engagement is closely linked to performance. Since engaged employees are more likely to be high performers, engagement can be an essential metric to measure employee performance. The data collected is sometimes anonymous and is used to assess the performance and engagement of a team. Other times, it isn’t anonymous and is used to evaluate an employee.
The best employee engagement apps let the HR teams understand what employees care the most about and their concerns and use this information to better the company’s culture. Employees who feel they’re heard are more likely to retain and give their 100 percent.
An employee engagement platform gives a detailed overview of how engaged employees are throughout their lifecycle. This can help HR professionals better understand the kind of employees who stay for the longest (or shortest). This information can be used in the hiring process to choose the right candidates who are more likely to retain for a longer time.
Some of the additional benefits of using an employee engagement solution are:
Employee engagement software is sometimes seen as similar to performance management software. That’s because it allows organizations to continuously collect data about the health of their culture with the help of employee surveys.
Employee engagement platforms wouldn’t always have an employee pulse survey feature, for example, in the case of project management tools or communication platforms. Although these are the different types of engagement tools, in most cases, when people refer to employee engagement tools, they refer to employee survey software.
The following are some of the top features of the best employee engagement tools.
An employee feedback platform can act as an engagement tool as it can help raise employees’ voices. Such tools must allow human resources professionals to create and deploy surveys with ease.
They must also make it possible for deploying employee pulse surveys, which are short, culture-focused surveys that help measure various aspects of employee engagement such as satisfaction, work environment, and pay.
The tool should also have survey analytics features that enable stakeholders to fully understand how employees feel about their workplace. There will be options for customizing surveys based on requirements.
Ever since smartphones became prevalent, humans started to become addicted to instant gratification. The top software vendors understand this psychological phenomenon and incorporate it into their products.
As a result, gamification is a commonly seen aspect in most software. Of course, gamification isn’t a feature per se, but it can augment the components of an employee engagement tool. With gamification, it’s easier for employers to increase survey completion rates.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is part of most software applications that are connected to the internet. It automates numerous, monotonous tasks and makes the software more human-like, unlike traditional programs.
Natural language processing (NLP), an application of artificial intelligence, is a commonly seen feature in employee engagement tools. NLP makes it possible to understand employee sentiment with ease through a process called sentiment analysis.
Without NLP, HR professionals will have to go through each feedback to understand how engaged employees are and what they feel about their work. NLP can analyze and group feedback based on specific terms and phrases. Interestingly, NLP makes it possible to collect and analyze employee feedback, irrespective of the language used.
Employees who feel appreciated about their work are more likely to stay longer. As a result, opting for an employee engagement tool that offers features for employee recognition can significantly boost engagement.
The data collected by employee engagement software is invaluable. It can be analyzed to find trends in employee engagement, which can be used to initiate measures that boost the same. As mentioned above, the information derived from employee engagement data can be used to understand the kind of employees that are more likely to retain and also the ones who churn.
Advanced analytical features such as predictive analytics can predict how likely an employee will churn. It can also be used to take precautionary measures to reduce employee dissatisfaction, which is the primary reason for employee churn.
Some of the other common features of an employee engagement tool are:
The right engagement tool will let you monitor the health of the organization’s culture and find suitable employee engagement measurement methods. It’s a great way to enhance employee retention and performance.
An employee engagement platform is also seen as a people analytics tool that allows companies to effortlessly monitor employee performance and output. Since employee engagement software is crucial for growth, here are some things to consider to choose the right tool.
Choosing your company's Engagement software is a complex process. To help HR departments compare and benchmark all Engagement software, we have selected a list of 49 companies providing SaaS tools for HR.
Engagement software is often combined with other HR functionalities. If your company is in need of complementary HR features, make sure to take a look at those frequent combinations:
An employee engagement software solution allows companies to collect data regarding employee engagement, which can be used to assess employee performance and the company’s culture as a whole. Employee survey tools are the most common type of employee engagement software.
Employee engagement software applications can help companies gain real-time feedback, boost employee productivity and retention, create engagement strategies, enhance employee experience, track employee performance, and ultimately offer a better customer experience for better profitability.
An employee engagement platform can be used to gain actionable insights into employee performance and company culture and better understand the employee lifecycle. This information can augment the hiring process and attract the best talent possible.
It’s ideal to use employee engagement tools throughout the employee lifecycle. Although many companies opt for this application once the number of disengaged employees rises or the company culture weakens, it’s better to use it as a precautionary measure.
Most employee engagement tools offer a free trial, which allows you to try out the software before making any significant investment.
Employee engagement strategies aim to understand the problems that restrict employees from being fully engaged at work and working with employees on solving them. Some of the employee engagement strategies include:
The top critical drivers of employee engagement are:
Even if there’s an employee engagement committee in place, the HR professionals usually initiate the employee engagement activities. They take ownership of the engagement initiatives, make sure everything runs smoothly and justly, and eliminate any potential hiccups.