Why Technology and Engagement Aren’t on the Same Page

The world of work has changed dramatically.

The first decade of the 20th century saw a flourishing of HR software aimed at solving HR problems. Organizations made great strides in automation and process efficiency for many practices, such as recruiting, training and development, and compensation. During this period, employee engagement was often only discussed in the context of the annual engagement survey. The day-to-day systems of HR were mainly silent on that matter. They simply weren’t designed with employee engagement as an intended outcome.

Meanwhile, the structuring of organizations changed. It became flatter, more global and ever-more knowledge-driven. In response to the increasing speed of business and the demands of being customer-centric in orientation, organizations pushed more and more decision-making across the organization. For instance, it was pushed to those directly engaged with clients and customers, eliminating the context and the need for multiple layers of management. Top-down management no longer produced results. The corporate ladder began to break apart. HR systems built for the era of annual reviews and cascading goals lost relevance.

Three Ways Companies Are Responding to the New World of Work*

  1. Placing more urgency on “softer” areas — culture and engagement, leadership, and development
  2. Taking a more sophisticated approach to managing all aspects of the workforce — including hourly, contingent and contract employees
  3. Replacing traditional performance management with innovative performance solutions

Pockets of technological innovation emerged to help organizations adapt.

In response to the changing world of work, and the necessity for employee engagement as a condition for achieving business outcomes, a wave of industries offered new approaches. Early adoption of these approaches by many has prompted the need for an integrated approach. At this moment in time, we can ask more from our technology in the following ways:

  • Bring rewards and recognition, learning, performance, health and wellness, and financial well-being together in one place.
  • Enable HR and business leaders to measure engagement frequently enough to be a genuine operational metric.
  • Be as mobile as our employees are.
  • Be comprehensive, accounting for the whole range of necessary touch points and methods that can engage employees.