a group of colleagues enjoying each other company
Hybrid work
Multigenerational workforce

HR technology and employee engagement: 7 tips for going digital


April 22, 2024


April 26, 2024

The connection between technology and employee engagement might not be immediately obvious. But when you think about it, it makes sense.

After all, a recent study from the Harvard Business Review found that people who worked in organizations with high-quality digital tools in place were 25% more likely to agree that their company has strong employee engagement.

Having great HR tools that improve workflows and communication is an integral part of ensuring that all your employees can work efficiently, access the information they need, and share their feedback. 

This article explores the important role technology plays in boosting employee engagement and suggests a few tips.

The role of technology in driving higher employee engagement

Highly engaged employees make an enormous contribution to the success of your business. That’s because they feel invested. And when individual staff members go the extra mile, it results in all sorts of positives, such as:

  • Excellent customer experience
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Effective employee collaboration
  • High customer ratings
  • Enriched capacity for innovation

But high levels of employee engagement don’t come about by accident. You have to encourage them actively, and that means fostering a culture of trust.

Now, you obviously can’t simply turn trust on and off like a switch. Even so, digital tools have an important role to play in creating an environment where employees feel valued. They can help business owners mold a company culture in such a way that the employee experience is a good one.

And that’s important. According to Gallup, employee engagement at US companies languished at an average of just 32% in 2022. But in the best-performing organizations worldwide, the figure was as high as 72%. Putting the right tools in place can help make all the difference.

Source: Gallup

7 Ways to use HR technology to enhance employee engagement

Now, let's look at seven ways you can use technology to improve employee engagement levels. This list focuses on practical tools that encourage engagement from a wide range of perspectives, all of which can help you achieve that most elevated of goals: a truly engaged workforce.

Implement easily accessible cloud-based tools

The advent of widely available cloud-based tools has had a huge impact on how we work today. As well as being a great driver of productivity improvements in general, cloud platforms enable remote employees to be as connected to the job as on-site staff. This has empowered many companies to take advantage of the benefits of a hybrid or remote work environment.

Of course, this presents a new kind of challenge regarding team engagement. How do you ensure that you get the most out of your staff’s talents and that they all feel genuinely engaged?

This is where the concept of enterprise resource planning (ERP) comes in. It’s all about maximizing the efficiency of your resources and making sure they all work together to deliver optimal results. Today, there are plenty of cloud ERP solutions available, so you can centralize all your business data, update it in real time and access it wherever you are.  

ERP combines HR and project management operations, among other things. This provides the insights required for workplace improvements, such as monitoring labor time and mitigating overworking. It also improves engagement by streamlining project and operation assignments, helping staff feel empowered and productive, and ensuring they have the necessary resources. 

Utilize performance management tech for feedback and recognition

Traditional performance reviews are often one-sided, with a line manager reviewing an employee’s work face-to-face and giving them some action points to work on. Although that kind of process has some merit, it does represent something of a missed opportunity.

2 women working in a hybrid office

For one thing, it’s hardly a paragon of objectivity. It’s easy for bias to slip into the kinds of subjective assessments made by human managers, and this can have a detrimental impact on engagement levels. A much more effective approach is to analyze employee performance using digital platforms that compare real-world activity against preset KPIs.

Even better, modern performance management software often has employee recognition tools built in. You can use these to reward employees who achieve outstanding results and, in so doing, encourage their colleagues to do likewise.

Just make sure the rewards you give out are genuinely desirable. While a digital badge may be well received, it’s likely a gift card or extra day’s paid vacation will be appreciated substantially more.

Offer flexible scheduling tools to foster employee work-life balance

Your employees are more than just a human resource. They’re individuals with their own personal lives, and respecting that is important. Scheduling can help here by facilitating a good work/life balance that meets both the needs of your company and the employees themselves.

This is particularly true for remote or partially remote teams. When not all employees are regularly on-site, it’s crucial to establish a fair hybrid work schedule that works for everyone.

You’re not short of options when it comes to scheduling software. Platforms such as Asana and Homebase have become increasingly popular as ever-more companies have moved to a hybrid model. The key is to put a core company focus on employee productivity rather than make inflexible demands about precise work hours.

If you're used to a traditional top-down model of rota creation, doing things this way can seem intimidating. But you might be surprised how well a more flexible approach works in practice and how much it can boost frontline employee engagement.

weekly, white calendar

Use collaboration platforms for communication and engagement

In a similar vein, you can streamline workflows and remove frustrating bottlenecks through the use of collaboration platforms. This simplifies workforce communications and make sure you can track task progress in real time.

The great thing about collaboration tools is that everyone in the team can see at a glance what needs to be done, when, and by whom. This prevents any potential problems with messages going missing or projects coming screeching to a halt because the right person wasn’t around to approve moving on to the next stage.

As a result, task management is no longer the headache it can sometimes be when you use a more manual approach.

In addition, the fact that collaboration platforms regularly bring people together means they function as a de facto employee engagement tool. When all your team members interact efficiently and smoothly, they tend to feel more positive about their work environment as a whole.

Implement e-learning systems for up-skilling and growth

It’s not all about the monthly pay-check. Experienced business leaders know that to attract top performers and keep them engaged, you need to offer them more than hard cash.

This means providing opportunities for advancement, and a crucial aspect of that process is employee training and upskilling. Foster a culture of continuous learning by using e-learning systems. These are ideal because they let employees learn at their own pace and at a time of their choosing.

An added bonus to implementing this kind of self-service program is that it also keeps training costs manageable because you don’t need to pay dedicated trainers to deliver seminars.

Offer personalized career development plans using HR tech

A critical element when considering technology and employee engagement should be a commitment to career development. You can use HR tech to create personalized career paths for each individual employee, tailored to their skill level and career objectives.

This shows your employees that you value their contribution to the company and encourages employee retention since you’re willing to invest in their future.

Use the information in your HR records to set structured goals for each team member. This should be challenging but realistic. Additionally, each employee must be involved in developing their own plan. This is the best way to ensure they fully engage with the process.

man working at his laptop

Leverage HR analytics to identify trends and areas for improvement

You can’t improve employee satisfaction if you don’t track it. It’s crucial to keep an eye on employee morale and identify areas that may need a little fine-tuning.

You can use performance management tools to monitor key metrics and KPIs such as:

  • Time management
  • Output (e.g., number of sales closed)
  • Work quality
  • Engagement in teamwork

Looking closely at the trends in employee engagement will alert you to any gaps in support you may need to fill.

Time management and time-tracking tools can be great for gaining a top-level understanding of your employees' work and for spotting issues such as overworking. Whereas, ERP business management software integrates with other business functions, which allows HR data to be accessed and used across the organization.

This type of tool brings together every aspect of your business, including sales, marketing, finance, HR, and customer service. This makes it much more straightforward to generate analytics at a strategic level and determine how changes in engagement rates are impacting metrics such as revenue per employee.

Key takeaways

Improving employee engagement in the workplace is a multifaceted challenge. It encompasses a wide range of elements from maintaining effective communication channels to increasing staff motivation via offering employee rewards and top-tier development opportunities.

So, it’s not something you can achieve in a day or a week; it’s an ongoing process. Digital platforms have a large supporting role to play. With the right tools to hand, you can encourage higher levels of engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle. And that’s great news for the long-term success of your business.