Wooden blocks with a person outline on each one. They are connected by lines like spokes on a wheel, showing employee engagement.
Image: © Monster Ztudio/Stock.adobe.com

How technology can enhance employee engagement

26 Aug 2022

Workhuman’s David Burke and Deloitte’s Lisa McGrath discuss how they are using technology to ensure employees stay motivated.

Click here to view the full Future of Work Week series.

Throughout Future of Work Week, we have found technology to be a critical element of the workplace going forward.

Profusion’s Natalie Cramp spoke about the importance of trust when it comes to using monitoring technology. ActiveCampaign’s Tony Newcome and John Lamphiere discussed the rise of VPNs and the security challenges of remote working. And our reporter Blathnaid O’Dea highlighted some of the tech tools that are paving the way for the future of HR.

One major area where technology can be used – especially given the current challenges around talent retention – is employee engagement.

To find out more about this, we heard from Workhuman’s David Burke. As the senior director of global talent acquisition and employer brand at the workplace software business, he said his team are “super users” of the company’s own tech.

“Our SaaS platform is an ecosystem of products that help us build and nurture a culture of appreciation and recognition, which we know has a positive effect on retention, engagement and productivity,” he added.

“Cultures based on recognition help to make work less transactional – and more human. Doubling down on connection, community and belonging helps to mitigate turnover and boost job satisfaction but, crucially, it is also what employees expect in today’s new world of work.”

Workhuman’s recognition platform enables employees to thank each other for different positive interactions and support. “You can’t overstate the impact of feeling appreciated has on employee experience,” said Burke.

“In addition, this presents regular and consistent touch points so that we can ensure we are caring for the human experience of our employees and an opportunity to be mindful of their personal wellbeing, particularly important for our hybrid and fully remote employees.”

Professional services firm Deloitte is also using technology to help its staff, starting with making sure they have the tools they need to work effectively from anywhere.

‘We’re leveraging our existing platforms to digitise the employee experience’
– LISA MCGRATH

“We are re-configuring our space to support better in-person collaboration and improving technology in meeting spaces to enable hybrid working,” said Lisa McGrath, chief transformation officer at Deloitte.

“For those who are in the office to do focused work, we’ve upgraded our desk set-up and have adopted technology to make it easier to book space for confidential calls or meetings.

“We’re leveraging our existing platforms to digitise the employee experience – everything from prospective employees booking an interview slot, new hires completing onboarding activities, project teams working in virtual meeting rooms and virtual delivery of technical training.”

She added that the company has also invested in new platforms to support the company’s culture with apps that allow people to identify colleagues living near them to meet in-person away from the office.

“For remote and hybrid working I’m a huge fan of video calls and can’t imagine ever reverting to traditional phone calls or conference calls. I have all our collaboration apps on my phone and really appreciate the flexibility that gives me to join a call from anywhere when I’m juggling home and work commitments,” she said.

“I’m conscious that we’re in the middle of reimagining the workplace. The technologies to support it are evolving quickly. We have a diverse team with a wide range of preferences and requirements for how they work together to serve our clients.

“We’ve adopted an agile approach, piloting different tools and getting feedback from our teams before investing in those which are making the greatest impact – and I hope in the long run this will allow us to provide the best experience to all our employees.”

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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