February 11, 2015


The global issue of employee engagement

Business leaders are gradually becoming more knowledgeable of in-office management tactics in the age of the digital workplace. They are beginning to communicate more openly with marketing departments, human resource workers and even employees themselves. They understand that satisfied workers are happy workers. And as more and more technologies become a central part of a company’s operations, chief executives are working on ways to further blend these innovations with their employee engagement strategy.

The proliferation of cloud computing has made it much easier for companies to store, access and back up important company data. It has also streamlined the process of data sharing, which has in turn promoted greater collaboration among employees. These are just a few of the wide range of benefits affiliated with the cloud, such as a globalized workforce and a reduced carbon footprint.

Internal social networks are also quite popular in digital workplaces these days. They provide employees with an engaging device that can be used for both content related to work and content that is simply funny or worth sharing. A number of chief executives have expressed a certain level of resistance to this tool. However, research has shown that most employee engagement tactics that do absorb some time each work day may diminish immediate productivity, but will ultimately lead to greater workplace performance quality in the long run.

No matter the employee engagement strategy, business leaders would be wise to find a way to implement video content into their plans. Whether it’s through traditional workplace messaging, event live streams, training tutorials or other forms of content delivery, video can be an effective and immersive way of conducting business.

The difference between going to work and thriving at work
A recent Gallup survey found that 63 percent of workers in the U.S. are not engaged at the workplace, according to CIO. The survey also noted that approximately 24 percent of respondents are “actively disengaged.”

Workers who fall into these two categories will either seek other kinds of work or will have a detrimental effect on a company’s productivity. The survey noted that disengaged workers throughout the country amount to about $450-$550 billion in lost productivity over the course of a year.

A great way to counter this widespread disengagement is by implementing a variety of inclusive strategies, such as cloud computing, an internal social network and a significant upswing in video usage.

“Employee engagement is important because a well-engaged employee means the difference between just showing up or excelling at what they do,” Gabe Zicherman, the CEO and founder of Dopamine and the author of The Gamification Revolution, told the news outlet. “With today’s increased competition for top-notch talent, and the huge costs to retrain new staff, engagement becomes more important than ever.”

The corporate decisions involved with employee engagement don’t need to completely shake up a company’s infrastructure. They can be minor so long as they are also effective. However, this only works when chief executives understand that engagement strategies must be at the core of their business model.

“Moving the retention and engagement needles aren’t that difficult once an organization understands that employee engagement needs to be a strategic function,” Zicherman told the news outlet. “What we’ve discovered in the process of designing employee engagement systems with gamification is that small changes can have a big effect.”

Starting with the people
It seems quite evident that employee engagement is a global issue. A recent study by Steelcase, a workplace solutions company, found that approximately 83 percent of employees in the United Kingdom are not engaged or actively disengaged at work, according to the Chartered Management Institute.

“The impact of employee engagement, or the lack of it, can not be underestimated,” Catherine Gall, the director of design alliances for Steelcase, told the news outlet. “It is a global issue and is affecting a wide range of companies, including leading organizations with teams of employees distributed around the world.”

Gall told the news outlet that the positives of a fully engaged business are undeniable. This kind of corporation typically experiences greater productivity and revenues, tops the market competition and sees less turnover and absenteeism.

“Of course, any organization trying to put flexible working in place has to make sure its managers have the right skills, or it will fall down,” Patrick Woodman, the head of external affairs for the Chartered Management Institute, told the news outlet. “Like any change management program, it’s about the people. Whether it’s through short courses, management qualifications or coaching and mentoring, employers need to ensure managers across the business have the skills to make the most of new ways of working.”

Employee engagement is a challenging goal for any business, even those with a wide range of general benefits and perks. However, with greater and more consistent implementation of video and other technologies throughout the workday, chief executives will gradually see the benefits of a more engaged workforce.