Boosting face-to-face collaboration and employee engagement is a growing challenge for employers in today’s increasingly all-virtual and hybrid work environments.
Gallup’s annual employee engagement surveys show that as recently as 2021, global employee engagement hovered around just 21%. Even more telling, the figure for “actively disengaged” workers around the globe holds steady at 19%.
A company’s level of employee collaboration is an important factor in workers feeling engaged in their work and workplace.
But simultaneously, the level of employee engagement influences effective collaboration. After all, disengaged or poorly engaged employees have little motivation to invest time and effort in collaborating.
Companies and organizations are increasingly looking to technology to enhance engagement and collaboration. This is a viable pathway if they also invest in a culture and workplace practices that strongly promote employee engagement.
This article reviews what generates a company culture where employees thrive, followed by 10 strategies for how to maximize employee collaboration and engagement through technology.
When employee engagement levels drop, the quality of collaboration tends to decrease as well. After all, it takes extra effort and skills to collaborate well with others. Why make that effort when you’re not feeling engaged in your work due to an unideal company culture or work environment?
In short, company culture influences engagement. Engagement influences collaboration. And how well employees collaborate has a big impact on their productivity and satisfaction. In turn, all that helps any business grow.
With this in mind, let’s look at how to maximize employee collaboration and engagement through technology.
The good news is new developments in workplace technologies make it easier than ever to engage employees and enhance collaboration on tasks and projects. Plus, that even helps them build more valuable work relationships.
In this section, you’ll find an overview of 10 key technologies that can make a big difference in how employees engage in their work in the modern workplace. Technology is also at the core of a successful digital transformation strategy.
Human resources departments have increasingly had to adjust to workers who expect to be able to do a good deal of HR interactions online.
From hiring new employees and walking them through the onboarding process to giving them job-related training, HR management software can streamline these procedures while keeping everything related to individual employees in one place.
HR software can also improve internal communications. Lack of regular, meaningful communication from a company’s leadership is one of the biggest employee complaints: 86% say that poor communication negatively impacts how they perceive leadership.
So, investing in software that facilitates better communication is well worth the cost.
Examples of HR management software include ADP Workforce Now, Gusto, BambooHR, Zenefits, and Deputy. And here you can take a look at some digital transformation examples and see how companies implement various technologies to make their workplaces more efficient.
Projects are becoming increasingly multifaceted, especially when they involve employees working from home in different time zones.
For employers, project management software can be a great help in organizing and allocating tasks and tracking progress in real-time.
Employees can also more easily stay on track and engaged by using the software’s built-in calendars and timelines, color-coded task assignments, and due date alerts. Messaging options round out the ease of collaborating on projects.
Project management software comes in many shapes and sizes and is designed for different audiences, including large vs small businesses and onsite vs hybrid companies. So make sure the program you select matches your company’s structure and needs.
In a post-pandemic world, one of the biggest struggles that managers face is promoting face-to-face collaboration between their employees.
So, how do you entice employees to come to the office?
Luckily, there’s software that has the answer.
Watch the video below to see the platform in action:
It helps office managers and admins determine the right sizes for their offices and utility resources, and it provides managers with the right scheduling and connectivity tools to maximize their team’s productivity.
Lastly, OfficeRnD Hybrid enables employees to be highly collaborative by connecting with their coworkers and supervisors at the right times and in the right physical spaces.
In companies in which the workforce is becoming increasingly virtual, the water cooler is going the way of the dodo bird. But the need for employees to connect informally remains alive and well.
Just like formal collaboration, informal interactions benefit employees by giving them the opportunity to just “hang out.”
Employees will feel more engaged, and employers will benefit from the increased sense of employee well-being that comes from having virtual chat options that help employees stay connected.
Whether employers like it or not, “bring your own device” (BYOD) is becoming increasingly popular. Tablets, smartphones, desktops, and laptops are all fair game.
According to Zippia, 75% of employees use their personal cell phones at work. While most do so with company permission, over 17% use their personal mobile devices for work without telling their company’s IT department.
In addition to the convenience of using personal devices, 75% of employees say it makes them more productive. In fact, 69% of companies see an increase in productivity and collaboration when they allow BYOD.
On the downside, BYOD raises cybersecurity concerns. Confidentiality breaches and infecting the company network with malware via personal devices are real threats.
But given the upside of increased employee productivity and engagement, looking into technology to safely implement BYOD may benefit both your business and workforce.
One of the most annoying hurdles employees have to jump over when collaborating on online projects is the maze of passwords they must navigate for different software programs.
Online password vaults are an easy solution to this issue. They securely store your company’s passwords and give you the option to share them with employees who need them for their work. As a result, employees experience far fewer login hassles and frustrations.
And it’s not just passwords. You can also give your employees secure access to protected documents and even credit card numbers. Plus, these technologies track data breaches and send you alerts for unauthorized use so that you can quickly update compromised passwords.
Employee time-tracking is a must for payroll and labor cost calculations, but it’s not everyone’s favorite office routine. Many employees see it as stressful, especially if they have to do it manually.
That’s why time-tracking software is becoming increasingly popular. For employees, it can take the tediousness out of the daily time entries. And for supervisors, it facilitates accurate, on-time reporting on how their workers spend their time.
The marketplace now offers different time-tracking programs that may suit your company’s needs.
Pay attention to features such as whether the program is meant for small or large businesses or for companies that mainly employ remote workers — and whether they are stand-alone programs or integrated into comprehensive HR software.
In addition, check out our article on mastering workplace occupancy.
HR departments are depositories of all kinds of organizational forms, whether it’s PTO policies, time off request forms, complaint forms, or resolution procedures.
That’s where file-sharing software comes in handy. Employees appreciate being able to find these forms online rather than having to make a trip to HR every time they need something.
Better access to organizational forms also benefits HR. Your HR staff will be grateful for not having to email individual forms out every time someone asks. They’ll also like the ability to easily update their forms and avoid using outdated versions.
Recognition for work well done is one of those critical factors that influence employee engagement.
Management used to be primarily or solely responsible for keeping track of employee accomplishments and taking care of recognitions. But that’s changing with the coming of a new concept: P2P, or peer-to-peer recognition. And new software is paving the way.
Many employees enjoy giving shoutouts to colleagues for special accomplishments. This creates a positive atmosphere of appreciation and comradery. What’s not to like about having a coworker’s praise pop up on your computer screen when you least expect it?
As the workplace evolves, employees expect to work in an environment that is optimized for modern technology. Companies can do this by equipping themselves with the latest computers and a fast wireless network.
Smart technology is key for an intelligent workplace as well. For instance, flipcharts can be useful in a conference room, but a SmartScreen — an interactive digital whiteboard that allows for remote collaboration and document saving — is superior in its ability to channel a team’s creative flow.
Desk-sharing software is becoming popular since more and more employees are working remotely, leaving many offices sitting empty.
For example, OfficeRnD Hybrid offers hybrid work management software that improves the modern workplace experience and contributes a great deal to employee engagement and collaboration.
Check out the short video below that shows how OfficeRnD Hybrid helps in enabling and managing a hybrid workplace.
In today’s quickly evolving workplace landscape, leveraging technology to boost employee collaboration and engagement is a must if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
At OfficeRnD, we help our customers enable and manage the hybrid work model by creating an easy-to-use, well-integrated, and reliable software solution that positively impacts their employees and boosts collaboration — all in a cost-efficient way.
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