Six tech tips for increasing employee engagement

In the current work climate, keeping your workforce motivated has never been more crucial

Six tech tips for increasing employee engagement

In the current work climate, keeping your workforce motivated has never been more crucial — and complicated. Thankfully, there are great tools available that can make the human resources team’s lives easier and boost employee engagement.

With the increase in available technology such as collaboration tools, recognition tools and learning tools, Amy MacGregor, VP of employee experience, global HR at Manulife and speaker at our upcoming HR Tech Summit Toronto, shares a few ways she’s helping keep the company’s employees engaged.

  1. Mobile — make it easy, simple and accessible

HR professionals need easy and efficient ways to communicate with employees quickly, which means mobile is really key, MacGregor says. Mobile interfaces allow HR teams and employees to handle things relevant to their jobs in the moment.

“There is a broad range of mobile applications available now that range from for polling to real-time engagement with employees at a more personal level,” MacGregor says. “Even considering Covid, we have enabled an app for our daily health check-ins.”

  1. Peer-to-peer recognition

Nothing motivates staff like real-time recognition for a job well done — it shows them they are being rewarded for every bit of hard work, large or small, that they do for the organization.

“Employees feel good recognizing peers,” MacGregor notes, adding leaders and employees can earn points through participating in Podium, a global recognition program that allows the workforce to recognize anyone, anywhere, anytime.

READ MORE: Is your remote team suffering from app fatigue?

  1. Collaboration and co-creation

Manulife uses a tool called Mural for collaboration and co-creation. Teams can use it to create diagrams, for example, which are popular in design thinking and agile methodologies, as well as tools to facilitate more impactful meetings and workshops.

“The tool can be used to bring disparate teams together to solve real business problems,” MacGregor says. “Everyone has a voice and the output is richer.” 

Manulife also leverages its Voice of the Employee (VOTE) group, which is a number of employees and leaders globally who lend their voice to new program designs, tools and content to ensure a user/HCD lens is applied to everything the company does.

READ MORE: How technology can save your workforce

  1. Ongoing and regular feedback

“Continuous feedback is becoming the new normal in evaluating employee engagement,” MacGregor says.

Manulife has multiple channels to collect feedback, be it by email or formal feedback collection via HRIS tool. 

“We continue to leverage our annual employee engagement survey and supplement with ad hoc surveys and review and analysis of employee data for insight generation,” she says.

  1. Data, data, data

HR teams can use data to support decision making related to people matters and understand the current state of the workforce informing discussions on talent needed to meet business — data is key to really know your employees and curate experiences for them, MacGregor says.

“It is especially important in the talent and learning space where we can use data to understand and curate learning or career journeys for employees.”

  1. Staying connected with your work community while working from home

Finding a way to maintain connection in the workforce is one of the biggest challenges employers are facing in the current climate. Since Manulife moved to a remote work environment, MacGregor says they use technology such as Microsoft Teams and host events like virtual coffee chats, regular “ask me anythings” (AMAs) with senior leadership teams, happy hours, fitness challenges, and motivational speakers. Opportunities to interact with colleagues outside of the day-to-day work tasks is key to maintaining a strong company culture.

“It helps employees continue to stay connected,” MacGregor says. “Especially in personal ways that allow us all to share our humanity.”

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