- Information professionals who frequently work from home are more likely to be engaged in their duties, according to recent research. Forrester’s EX index, released March 4, provides an analysis on how technology plays a significant role in employee experience and engagement. The flexibility to work from home with good conditions for staying focused provides a retreat for professionals from the distractions of an office environment, according to Forrester.
- There’s a relationship between technology satisfaction and engagement, according to the report. Employees surveyed who scored in the top 20% of engagement were likely to be satisfied with their technology environment, while those in the lowest 50% were the most dissatisfied. Employees in a work environment conducive to productivity, including access to the proper tools and spaces, are far more likely to be engaged.
- Businesses with two to 19 employees had the highest engagement score (71.2), compared to businesses with 1,000 employees or more (68.8). Recent opportunities to advance at work was the top predictor of employee engagement. Other predictors included sufficient autonomy; recent recognition or praise from a manager; and a productive company environment.
As technology remains a staple in the workplace, it's perhaps no surprise that satisfaction with such tools would boost engagement. And HR professionals can apply that finding in their work.
Modernizing HR with technology will require leaders to make agility a priority; infuse HR technology into daily work; and move to enabling technologies like portal, knowledge-base and case management tools, according to a March 2019 Information Services Group (ISG) report. The report found that artificial intelligence, machine learning and HR chatbots are "flourishing" and new automation is being used to improve employee experience.
However, this could be challenging for large companies, which typically have gaps in ensuring employees’ favorable experiences with technology. Nexthink, a digital experience vendor, launched its first data analysis in October 2019 measuring the quality of digital experiences employers provide. Companies with more than 50,000 employees fared worse than companies with fewer than 20,000 employees, according to the firm’s analysis.
For instance, on a 10-point scale, companies with fewer than 20,000 employees had an average Nexthink's Digital Experience Score between 6.7 and 7 points, while companies with more than 50,000 employees scored a 5.8 on average and scored the lowest across four of the five measured categories, Nexthink said. The analysis measured several categories that affect employees' digital experiences including: collaboration, productivity tools, workplace devices and business services and applications.
According to Forrester’s report, small companies don’t have the layers of bureaucracy found in larger organizations; "from a technology perspective, that bureaucracy shows up as less freedom of choice and agility when it comes to employee-facing technology, so larger organizations need to work harder to offset this discrepancy," the report stated.
Employers who do not place an emphasis on engagement and experience could risk losing workers. Achievers' third annual Employee Engagement & Retention report, released Jan. 29, stated that up to two-thirds of respondents said they may leave their jobs in 2020. The data indicated that a sense of detachment was common.
About 35% said they were somewhat engaged and said they believed their employer could do more to improve the employee experience. Employees age 18-29 were the least engaged, however, as 50% indicated they will pursue a new job. Employees that perceive a lack of commitment from senior leadership on company culture can also create disengagement, according to the report.