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5 Resources That Will Take Your Employee Engagement to the Next Level

How engaged are your employees?

Employee turnover is costly—human resources departments and the companies they serve know this. Yet, seeing the estimated number really makes the problem hit home. According to the Work Institute, turnover costs American companies $325 billion annually.

Yikes.

The Work Institute arrived at this incredible statistic by first establishing that replacing a single employee requires one-third of that person’s annual salary. When you apply this to your own departed employees, you see the dollars add up—maybe not into the billions, but enough to take action to reduce turnover.

Increased employee engagement is a terrific way to inspire workers to stay put rather than leave for another job.  An IBM report found that 40 percent of employees leave their jobs because they are unhappy. Engagement as a philosophy can stave off much of this unhappiness before it ever reaches a critical stage at which the employee leaves, and it can also lead to added productivity that ultimately helps your organization’s bottom line.

That said, engagement must be more than just a philosophy—it must include the tools and resources to connect and develop employees. Here are five of those resource areas that will take your employee engagement to the next level:

Project Management

A 2014 report from the Project Management Institute revealed that 89 percent of high-performing organizations successfully complete their projects, versus 36 for low-performing organizations. Employees who see no light at the end of the tunnel can easily become disengaged, and often, disorganization stems from a lack of an adequate project management platform. Workers might not know what to do next, lose any sense of urgency, and, subsequently, fail to engage and reach their productivity potential. Task management systems such as Trello, Teamwork, and Zoho provide structure, clarity, and a sense of purpose to employees’ everyday duties. Productivity improves, and workers feel as if they are working toward a goal rather than just punching a clock.

Employee Communication

Communicating with employees once was a simple as walking to another cubicle or shouting across the office. Those days are long gone, particularly with the proliferation of the remote workplace that has employees being productive from home, on the road, from coffee shops—wherever they can get a Wi-Fi or cell phone signal. With this evolution has come the need for better ways to communicate; even basic email and texting don’t cut it in 2018. Slack and Google Hangouts are popular solutions that engage employees through chats, video conferencing, instant messaging, and more.

Applications such as Igloo take this concept one step further by integrating file sharing, forums, wikis, and calendars into the communication process. Well-informed employees who are encouraged to offer opinions and be part of the conversation are more likely to stay engaged.

Employee Alignment and Visibility

Nothing is more discouraging for an enthusiastic, productive employee than discovering there is no plan or direction for him or her to advance in the company. Often, this occurs simply because this worker’s superiors aren’t attuned to—or even aware of—the employees they supervise and the projects those employees are working on. Live org charts can help cut through this fog. The best solutions not only clearly delineate who is working where, on what project, and for whom, but also deliver visibility into goal alignment and growth opportunities. Managers won’t be saying “Who is this person?” anymore, but rather, “Let’s see what this person can accomplish!”

Employee Feedback

A survey by Ultimate Software reported found that 43 percent of millennial employees want weekly feedback. This statistic is just another indicator how important engagement is to today’s workforce. Do you know what your employees want from their workplace experience? There’s a novel way to find out: Ask! Feedback is a two-way street, and platforms such as 15Five, IDoneThis, and TinyPulse provide a place for honest surveys and candid feedback from your employees. Soliciting your employees’ feedback makes them feel part of the process and engages them in improving their jobs, the organizations they work for, and the experience they impart to customers.

Learning and Development

Sticking with the subject of millennials in the workplace, 87 percent say development opportunities are important to them, according to Gallup. Providing such opportunities is therefore essential to maintaining and increasing employee engagement. Learning management systems (LMSs) give organizations the chance to train and develop employees within a streamlined, measurable platform. The LMS and eLearning market is huge (two of our preferred solutions are ilos and Docebo), with a variety options available to match scope, goals, technological specifications, and budget. The key is finding something that employees will look forward to learning on, and then focusing development opportunities on the knowledge they are gaining.

Bring all these five resources together, and the results can be impressive. Consider this scenario: A live org chart gives you insight into precisely who would be perfect for a certain project. Dynamic communication tools allow you to thoroughly discuss the project with the employee. An effective project management system keeps the project on point. An LMS provides extra training the employee may need to knock the task out of the park. And feedback software allows the employee to share opinions on the experience and shape further projects. The process oozes engagement from start to finish—and, ideally, encourages your valued employee to look forward to the next project.

What resources have helped your organization increase employee engagement?

by Bill Boebel
Founder and CEO of Pingboard.