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Table of contents
- What is employee engagement software?
- Features of employee engagement software
- Benefits of employee engagement software
- Major user types
- Top employee engagement vendors
- How to choose the best employee engagement software
What is employee engagement software?
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.
Long term progress
Managers use pulse surveys to conduct regular temperature checks on the organization, but this doesn’t mean they can only focus on short term objectives with employees. Managers can also use employee engagement software to define long term goals with employees and track employee progress toward those goals. HR professionals and managers often use this feature to help employees with professional development.
Example: In 15Five, managers can fill out quarterly performance reports to help employees reach their long term goals. Team leaders or department heads can also set team-wide and department-wide goals to keep everyone on the same page and to increase transparency within the company.
Reports and dashboards
While employees won’t usually have access to them, most employee engagement systems let managers and HR staff analyze company wide trends through reports and dashboards. Managers can use this feature to view employee engagement rates, pulse survey completion rates, engagement rates by department, and even employee net promoter scores (eNPS) in some cases.
Many employee engagement platforms include automatic notifications after users reach a goal. Users of gamification software understand the value of such instant feedback. Instant gratification via feedback reinforces positive behavior, making employees more likely to improve over time as they use the employee engagement system. Some systems also use notifications to remind people to complete pulse surveys and to notify them when they’re recognized by co-workers.
Though not a feature of the software itself, most employee engagement platforms now offer mobile applications. After downloading the mobile app, employees can complete pulse surveys on the go, a particularly attractive option for companies that manage large numbers of remote employees or employees who travel often.
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.
Top employee engagement vendors
Culture Amp is a top-rated employee engagement platform that lets managers send pulse surveys to employees, analyze results through analytics and action planning, and conduct performance evaluations, 360 reviews, and more.
Trakstar is a cloud-based electronic performance appraisal solution with a bevy of features to support your HR department and help your managers provide feedback to their direct reports. Learn more
15Five is a continuous performance management solution that helps employees grow and develop, in just 15 minutes each week. Learn more
Kudos has created an employee recognition system and corporate social network that empowers managers and employees to give meaningful recognition in real time. Learn more
Fortay is a data-driven “culture scaling” solution that helps leaders keep their organizational culture intact as they scale for growth. Learn more
To help company leaders understand how to make their employees feel engaged, inspired, and committed, TINYpulse provides a communication platform for workers to share their anonymous feedback. Learn more
Officevibe offers a continual feedback system to help promote better employee morale, increase productivity, and reduce turnover. Learn more
Qualtrics Employee Experience
Qualtrics Employee Experience gives managers real time insights into employee experience to help them identify opportunities for improvement and productivity drivers.
How to choose the best employee engagement software
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