In a recent article, we looked at the importance of having an engaged workforce, and how your operatives working externally on client sites represent a valuable ingredient of success.
After all, they’re the people who are delivering the cleaning, securing, cooking etc… services you sell, and connecting most often with your clients.
At Innovise we can’t think of a better reason for wanting a workforce who are engaged and that care about what they do. And the data backs us up, proving that more engaged employees perform better – resulting in a 20% increase in sales1 21% greater profitability.
However, recent surveys revealed that in general, employee engagement across the world is low, with just 13% of respondents saying they’re engaged at work and almost a quarter of UK employees confessing they’re actively disengaged with their job2.
To help solve this challenge, modern technology is making it easier than ever to communicate with workers and foster closer collaboration, enabling you to create a more engaged workplace experience.
Here’s just 4 technologies that are making this a reality:
1. Use analytics to create more transparent management
Only 33% of employees surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management felt satisfied with the level of trust in their organisation3.
This was sensed most of all when there was a perceived disconnect between management and themselves – citing a lack of transparency over business’ goals and performance as a main source of frustration.
Whilst there’s no need to inform workers of all aspects of business performance, there is no reason to leave them completely uninformed.
With modern data and analytics technology, creating and sharing information can be done at the click of a button – providing business and individual performance information and managing targets across all levels of delivery.
Your workers are more likely to engage with you if they understand how they’re able to track what’s expected of them and how they’re performing in response – especially if you set those goals together.
Hint: Publish the data you collect in the normal course of business to the employee portals. They will be using these far more often than they are engaging with your newletters, websites or other communications. Let them know about how their site, their contract or their individual performance contributed to the organisations overall success.
2 Use social networks for better communication
Your workers are going to want to share ideas and interact with their colleagues, in fact, 55% want better ways to recognise their colleague’s efforts and 33% want to build better relationships with co-workers outside of their teams4. Something that isn’t easy just by using email.
Many organisations are turning to enterprise social networks such as Slack or Microsoft Yammer, to provide the social platforms for employees to chat about work, share projects and recognise the successes of others.
Social networks allow real-time news to be shared from top-to-bottom of an organisation’s infrastructure, keeping employees informed, engaged and motivating them to replicate successes and share ideas.
Hint: Create links to your social networks through the portals. Give workers one place to go to navigate to the things you’d like them to engage with.
3 Use eLearning initiatives to let your employees grow
Extra work might not seem a good way to increase employee engagement, but giving your staff the chance to learn and grow shows you care about their future. And this is something that’s increasingly important with younger employees, with 76% of millennials saying that professional development opportunities are the most important element of company culture5.
An interesting solution to reducing typical attrition rates.
And instead of relying on restrictive training such as classroom learning or on-site courses, eLearning initiatives focus on digital libraries and online courses to give your workers the opportunity to develop new skills and fulfil their potential at a time, pace and location that suits them (and you).
Hint: Don’t separate your learning and development tools access from the regular systems. Keep access to your business and tools in one place. Less is more.
4 Use technology to increase employee effectiveness
Over 90% of employees surveyed said their job satisfaction (a vital aspect of engagement) was negatively affected if they didn’t have the technology needed to do their job efficiently6.
1 in 3 went as far as saying they’d quit their job if their employer used outdated software7.
This shows without a doubt that the way you use technology has a huge effect on how your employees engage with you.
By making modern technology an integral part of the role, you actively engage workers because having access to the latest technology makes them feel a part of a forward-thinking company.
This can be as simple as empowering employees to use their own mobile devices to access role relevant applications such as booking holidays, submitting timesheets or ordering equipment.
Or it could be more complex, with robotics in particular now being used to perform many of the laborious and manual tasks.
Hint: Bench test the User Experience (UX). Shadow them and do what they do in the real world, and if you find it cumbersome or unintuitive, get it changed so it works for them.
The one question all FM employers need to ask themselves
How can you leverage technology and innovation in your company to better engage your remote working employees?
You might find some interesting answers if you extend the discussion to involve everyone in the business.
Innovise Software Ltd is a leading technology provider to the support services and facilities management sector. Our core platforms help businesses deliver significant reductions in the cost of operations.
By leveraging Servicetrac and its sister product Timegate, we can help FMs to achieve more with the staff they have and to deliver to a higher standard by working with new technologies. Learn more about Timegate & Servicetrac.
- Natural HR – 16 Ways to re-engage disenfranchised employees
- SHRM 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement
- Exec Search Group – Hiring Outlook 2017