A subset of HR software, employee engagement software uses a combination of survey, task management, gamification, and data analytics tools to give managers insight into how they can improve employee engagement. Some HRIS systems include employee engagement features, but employers can also purchase employee engagement systems as stand-alone solutions.
According to a 2017 Gallup report, companies with a high employee engagement rate are 21 percent more profitable than their competitors. But employee engagement means different things for different organizations. Some companies value its potential for increasing sales, while others see employee engagement as a means of decreasing turnover or increasing the efficiency of training.
Understanding the best practices involved in employee engagement can help you take advantage of gamification and data in your workplace to improve employee morale, performance, and retention.
Features of employee engagement software
Using an employee engagement platform, employers can request feedback from employees at specified frequencies, analyze results, and set goals for improving employee engagement. Employee engagement software equips managers to do this through the following features.
The number one way employee engagement software helps managers measure employee satisfaction is through pulse surveys. These are surveys that managers and HR professionals can send to employees at regularly scheduled intervals to keep tabs on important metrics, like employee engagement.
Example: In Culture Amp, users can send weekly pulse surveys to see how employees are feeling. Culture Amp offers a library of survey templates for users to choose from, or users can create their own pulse surveys.
Survey customization and segmentation
Most employee engagement systems let managers write their own survey questions in addition to a few free response questions. Employees can either answer survey questions by selecting a choice from a Likert scale or by typing in custom responses. Managers can send pulse surveys to the entire organization or segment surveys by department.
Example: In Qualtrics Employee Experience, managers can create custom surveys to send out to employees for feedback. These surveys can be targeted at specific groups or individuals, and the answers can be anonymized and filtered into different groups for analysis.
When completing pulse surveys, some employee engagement platforms let employees set goals for the upcoming period. When survey time rolls around again, employees can mark goals as complete or incomplete. Some systems allow employees to comment on goals if complications arise or priorities shift.
Recognition and gratitude
People love being recognized for good work, and research shows that setting aside time to practice gratitude makes people happy. Employee engagement features capitalize on these facts through recognition and gratitude features. This feature may go by different names depending on the platform you choose.
Example: In Kudos, users can show appreciation to fellow employees by selecting from a variety of statements such as “Thank You,” “Good Job,” and “Impressive.” You can also give awards, badges, and certificates, recognize birthdays and work anniversaries, and send a video recognition.
Ask anyone who spends a significant amount of time writing surveys and they’ll tell you: writing surveys is hard. It can be challenging to come up with original questions, to word questions in a way that doesn’t skew results, and to write questions that get to the heart of what you want to know. This is why so many employee engagement systems offer libraries of survey templates, often written by psychologists and data scientists.
Benefits of employee engagement software
Employee engagement software measures how committed employees are to their jobs, which is also an important metric for forecasting business success. According to a Gallup report, the US loses between $483 billion and $605 billion every year from low productivity caused by poor employee engagement. Improving employee engagement translates to real dollars and cents in the form of lower turnover, improved customer experience, and less wasted time.
Major user types
While businesses of all sizes benefit from using employee engagement software, medium to large sized businesses might realize better results than small businesses. Employees at small businesses often interact closely with co-workers and managers throughout the week, but in medium to large businesses, staying in regular contact with stakeholders becomes harder by several orders of magnitude. Employee engagement software helps bridge the gaps spanning departments and larger teams.
Companies with distributed workforces also reap benefits from employee engagement systems. Remote workers can feel isolated from the rest of the company, which leads to poor engagement rates and even mental health problems, in some cases. A good employee engagement platform in conjunction with regularly check-in meetings can boost engagement among remote workers.