5 Ways Digital Technology Is Impacting Employee Engagement

5 Ways Digital Technology Is Impacting Employee Engagement
Summary: The digital age is here. Companies and organizations must embrace modern tools and tech in order to provide employees with the right resources they trust to ensure success. Here are a few of the ways digital technology is reshaping employee engagement.

How Digital Technology Is Impacting Employee Engagement 

We live in a digital world. The proliferation of mobile devices is transforming how we connect and communicate. And that transformation isn’t just happening in our personal lives; it’s happening in the workplace as well. As a result, businesses that once saw digital technology as a disruption are finding ways to leverage this 21st century technology to help their employees stay more engaged and productive. To that end, here’s a look at 5 ways digital technology is impacting employee engagement.

1. Digital Design With The Employee In Mind

Smart organizations recognize that digital tools in the workplace need to be designed and deployed with the employee’s point of view in mind. After all, employees are people, and they are already using personal digital technology in their daily lives. Factoring this “personal” aspect into “professional” technology will help ensure greater employee engagement because the digital tools they are using at work are user-friendly right out of the box.

2. Disruption Of Stale Corporate Cultures

Today’s employees want digital tools. And companies that want to keep their employees engaged and working for them are recognizing that they need to break away from the traditional strategies and structures of the past. This disruption of the status quo is giving rise to a new supportive environment within the workplace – a cultural shift that is crucial to the success of digital adoption. Senior execs who are willing to get out of their comfort zones and openly use digital tools themselves play an important role in driving positive culture change from the top down.

3. The Power Of Video

For most organizations, email has been the go-to technology for sending announcements and other messages to their employees. But in the digital age many employees seldom use email in their personal lives, making email at work no longer as engaging as it once was. While texting is a better alternative, many organizations are leveraging the power of video to engage employees and make announcements and messages more appealing. Creatively executed, video can add the element of storytelling to announcements and other communications to help employees pay attention to the information that is being conveyed.

Designed for easy access and viewing on smartphones and other mobile devices, videos are also being used as powerful employee onboarding tools. Short video lessons available for viewing anywhere and at anytime allow employees to learn on the go. And studies show that content presented in short video segments results in greater learning and retention.

With video, it’s not about big-budget production values. It’s more about presenting content in a fun and entertaining way – a way that will make employees want to open their emails when they see that a video is attached. Video can also help give stiff organizations a personality makeover, improving relationships between employees and executives, and instilling a greater feeling of community into the workplace. Video grabs employees and spurs conversations, leading to better communication, collaboration, and engagement among the workforce.

4. Engagement Through Gamification

Forward thinking organizations are turning to “gamification”– the application of game mechanics to certain activities in the workplace to drive positive change and outcomes. Employees readily accept gamification because it’s human nature to want to compete, achieve, and be rewarded.

Organizations are finding that game mechanics and “behavior-reward” thinking can be applied in the workplace in a number of ways. One area receiving a lot of attention is compliance tests and activities. Using traditional methods, the compliance process tends to drag on. But with gamification, organizations can award achievement levels and badges to employees who complete compliance tests quickly or get top scores. And these achievements and rewards can be published throughout the workplace. As a result, employees are motivated to do more than just get through the compliance process. They want to do it quicker and better than their peers in order to win the prize. Thus, gamification creates healthy competition that boosts employee engagement and causes employees to interact. This strategy is particularly effective in team building.

As for gamification examples in the enterprise, a number of companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, Deloitte, T-Mobile, and Google are successfully using this strategy. As the trend grows, more and more organizations will discover the power of leveraging people’s love of playing games to engender healthy habits that drive employee engagement, improve business processes, and boost productivity.

5. Boosting Morale

Organizations that bring user-designed digital tools into the workplace are showing employees that they “get them”. They are also showing they want to give them the tools they are already familiar and comfortable with to assist them in doing their jobs. Providing digital tools and access finally shows employees that business leaders trust that they will use them correctly, to their benefit in the workplace and to the benefit of the organization. This showing of trust can boost employee engagement, morale, and productivity dramatically.

The digital age is here. Going forward, those organizations that embrace digital technologies and provide employees the tools they want and need to succeed will reap the benefits that come from having a more fully engaged and motivated workforce.

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