Employee Engagement: Getting a Complete Picture of the Employee Experience

December 1, 2020

By Kelley Briggs
Many companies in HR technology claim to affect engagement — and many of them do! But most only touch one or two pieces of the engagement puzzle, and it’s tough to get a complete picture of how you’re affecting the entire employee experience.

Many companies in HR technology claim to affect engagement — and many of them do! But most only touch one or two pieces of the engagement puzzle, and it’s tough to get a complete picture of how you’re affecting the entire employee experience.

Think about the highlights of your work experiences for a moment. Maybe you won employee of the month. Maybe you hit a big goal and your team had a party to celebrate. Or maybe your team threw a baby shower or took a moment to appreciate the 10 years you spent growing with your company. You might consider those moments as you think about your work experiences, but you probably consider a number of other moments as well.

The employee experience isn’t just one thing — it’s the sum of many different experiences across our relationships, our work, our personalities, and our lives. Making the connection to the individual is critical for success.

When we look at how we make an impact on employee engagement, we can’t just look at one or two things; we have to consider everything that engages people and affects culture for the better.

Understanding the Breadth of Engagement

Employee recognition is an incredibly important piece of engagement and it definitely enhances the employee experience, but it’s part of a larger ecosystem that works in collaboration with different activities, milestones, and events that increase satisfaction and performance.

For example, learning in a casual and familiar way can foster professional development. Nurturing your own well-being improves your focus, productivity and happiness. Getting involved in a community helps you grow as a person by providing a sense of greater purpose or connecting you to others. Creating relationships with your fellow co-workers cultivates trust.

Willis Towers Watson talks about engagement as a state of recognition, self-development and trust. The exact way each employee is inspired is unique to that individual.

That makes the value of an engagement strategy that caters to your employees’ preferences incredibly important. Not just on a program basis, but in the ways they access these programs through mobile devices, create a community of peers and give real-time feedback to their employers.

A truly personalized strategy can be the difference between an uninspiring program and one that delights and engages employees. And if delighting employees isn’t as important to your organization, certainly increasing employee innovation, retention and productivity will speak to those concerned with the bottom line.

Technology is Part of the Answer

Today, a personal and comprehensive engagement strategy is difficult to achieve with existing technology. Right now, organizations try to manage engagement across different technologies or programs siloed across the enterprise.

For example, you might encourage recognition in one system but foster peer-to-peer employee communication and recognition in another technology. Learning might not live in the same department as the rest of your engagement efforts, and wellness is often disparate from everything else.

Sound familiar? You can probably see why it’s tough to get a complete picture of your engagement strategy and deliver a truly personal experience for each employee — and delight them in the process.

It might be time to consider technology that supports the idea that engagement isn’t one or two things. Because it’s many things — recognition, rewards, well-being, relationships, community involvement, learning and more. It’s not about just bringing all of those programs together comprehensively, but also making it personal and engaging for each individual employee.

A system that incorporates all of these different components simplifies program management, breaks down silos, makes it easier for employees to use and increases engagement to facilitate real change.

Make Your Engagement Programs Personal and Comprehensive

Everyone’s understanding and focus on engagement has evolved over the last decade. It’s now at the top of a CEO’s to-do list, and more solutions are speaking to the role that company leadership plays in defining employee engagement strategy.

There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to the employee experience, and where you and your organization start your journey will be unique. It’s more than just a flashy new technology; it should speak to the hearts and minds of each employee on a personal level and align with the vision of your organization. Most important, it should take a fresh approach and foster the complete employee experience.