How does technology improve employee engagement?
The effects of technology on employee engagement in organisations have been a debatable topic for some time now. While some applaud technology for improving communication in various ways, others are concerned about how much time employees spend on their devices during work hours. Since many employers are unable to track employees’ activities in a BYOD (bring your own devices) work environment, they have a genuine reason to be concerned about employee engagement. On the other hand, the benefits of technology on employee engagement are enormous and cannot be negated by the few though valid concerns that come with technology use at the work place. Here are some of the ways that technology improves employee engagement:
Modern organisations are encouraging flexibility at work as a way of bringing some work-life balance and as a source of employee job satisfaction. Technology enables flexibility by allowing employees to work from home which according to a PGi Telework Week Survey, 80% of employees consider a perk and benefit offered by their employer. Research has shown that telecommuters are more likely to put in more work hours than those reporting to the office daily. Further, the same study showed that 82% of telecommuters experience less stress levels and 80% reported higher morale when allowed to work from home.
More work satisfaction
Work satisfaction and employee engagement go hand in hand since satisfied employees are more emotionally invested at work and give more of their time and resources to their organisation. Research has shown that employees with access to digital technology at the workplace show more job satisfaction when compared to those without access to technology. According to a report by Connected Workplace, 83% of employees with digital technology showed more satisfaction at work compared to only 62% satisfied employees without digital technology.
Managing across generations
The current workplace comprises a mix of generations who are managed in different ways. While the older generations prefer face-to-face meetings and conference calls, younger generations are more comfortable being addressed through emails or text messages. Millennials and Generation Y know no other work-life except that with technology and some even prefer to use their own devices at work as opposed to using office devices. BYOD flexibility allows them to customise their devices to meet their work needs as well as get some autonomy which is important to them. Individuals can access work from their devices or cloud making communication with management effective without as much face-to-face interaction.
Engagement across borders
Lastly, thanks to globalisation, many businesses have expanded to different parts of the world. Businesses are even able to outsource services from various parts of the world by use of the Internet. Engaging employees or contractors across a wide geographical region can be a challenge but thanks to technology, managers can keep in touch with them and provide real time feedback. There are mobile applications and software that have been developed to allow members working on a project to connect and correspond. Employees can easily convey ideas and opinions even when working from totally different parts of the world.