How HR Tech can amplify employee voice

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The term Employee Experience (EX) is trending right now – and has been for some time.
It refers to the journey an employee takes with their company and encompasses every interaction an employee has with the business, from the initial recruitment process to the final day of working for the organisation. Along with employee engagement, and its counterpart, employee satisfaction, the focus is now squarely on how employers can maximise their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to ensure they retain and attract the best people in an increasingly competitive job market.

The trouble is many employees are not happy. A Gallup Employee Satisfaction survey has revealed that 65% of employees don’t feel engaged. The report also found that when employees are highly engaged, teams see a huge 81% reduction in absenteeism and a 14% increase in productivity compared to their disengaged counterparts. There is clearly a connection – and one thing that can help enhance the employee EX further is technology.

Tell me all about it: Digital feedback platforms

HR tech is racing ahead, thanks to the explosion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it is making strides in amplifying the voices of employees, ensuring that their concerns, ideas, and feedback are not only heard but also valued, and acted upon where needed. This new-gen HR tech can empower employees, foster a culture of open communication, and ultimately contribute to a more engaged and productive workforce. A win-win for everyone.

Although still in its infancy, one of the most powerful ways this is being utilised is through digital feedback platforms; convenient and confidential channels where workers can express their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions directly to the management teams. Essentially acting as a more nuanced version of employee surveys, other tools such as suggestion boxes, and feedback apps can be leveraged by organisations to gather real-time insights into the pulse of the workforce.

A glance at the global stats further outlines the need for organisations to look more closely at their engagement methods. Another Gallup report found that across the world, just 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. The good news is that there are ways to measure the employee sentiment – and do something to improve it.

Feedback is one tool that can provide optics on how people are feeling, and what companies can do to improve the Employee EX. There are lots of companies that provide HR tech solutions such as Culture Amp, Glint, or Officevibe which collect feedback and analyse data trends, identifying areas for improvement. By simply soliciting input from employees, data can be used to improve aspects of the culture, to shape any benefits offered, explore flexible working options and see which learning and development opportunities are most appropriate. Not only does this improve the overall EVP, but it demonstrates that the organisation is committed to improving and fostering a culture of transparency and trust.

Cultivating a culture of appreciation with Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Another incredibly powerful tool to help amplify employee voice is Peer-to-peer Recognition. Platforms like XCD Appreciation give employees the means to acknowledge and appreciate their colleagues’ contributions publicly. This simple act of appreciation can significantly boost morale and motivation while reinforcing the positive behaviours and values that are in place within the organisation.

The figures also back this up. Incentive Research Foundation found that 84% of employees felt more motivated when they received recognition for their work while a report by SHRM revealed that 68% of HR professionals believe that peer recognition has a positive impact on employee engagement. Research from Reward Gateway revealed that peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition, proving that it can impact the bottom line positively and provide that all-important return on investment (ROI). This powerful driver of engagement and retention can be harnessed by HR tech and be used to build a culture where everyone feels valued and appreciated for going the extra mile.

Using social collaboration tools to smash those silos

With dispersed teams being more commonplace in modern workplaces, social collaboration tools have become indispensable for fostering collaboration and communication among employees. Most people are familiar with platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Yammer, and these applications have quickly become essential tools for remote workers. Not only do they make communication and ideas sharing, networking and collaboration on projects easy, but they are also helping people to have engaging and meaningful discussions, wherever in the world they are located. This is fostering a sense of community where people are geographically distant, building rapport and creating a sense of belonging.

Organisations can leverage these social collaboration tools and break down silos, promoting cross-functional teamwork, and fostering a more inclusive workplace. In doing so, these platforms are giving employees a voice, so they can contribute their expertise, bring fresh, personal perspectives to discussions, and share insights on these collective efforts.

How AI-powered listening tools can help employers understand employee sentiment

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have shaken up how businesses are evolving their communications. AI is revolutionising the way companies listen to and understand employee sentiment and the use of AI-powered listening tools, such as Qualtrics, Glint, or TINYpulse is on the rise. These social listening tools allow brands to monitor, and analyse conversations, to adjust strategies in real-time to improve the experience for customers and to inform their decision-making. Vast amounts of data are collated by these tools and analysed to uncover patterns, trends, and sentiments within the organisation. By tracking key metrics like employee engagement, satisfaction, and morale, these tools provide valuable insights that enable HR leaders to make data-driven decisions.

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report, 86% of organisations believe that employee experience is a critical priority and now AI-powered listening tools can offer a proactive approach to understanding employee needs and preferences, allowing companies to address issues before they escalate. By harnessing the power of AI, organisations can create a more responsive and adaptive workplace culture that prioritises employee voice and wellbeing.

The new era of HR tech is becoming a powerful enabler of employee voice and is reshaping the way organisations engage with their workforce. It provides these innovative tools that can amplify any concerns, ideas and feedback. The next step is being proactive in using this data to better shape the employee experience for people in their workplaces, to improve the EVP, foster open communication, trust and appreciation, and to create happy, harmonious, workplaces where employees can thrive, supporting and promoting organisational success.