What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement has been gaining much traction within the HR community in recent years. In fact, the first question that comes to mind for most senior leaders in terms of driving productivity is – how can I keep my employees engaged in the workplace? Perhaps using the correct HR tools can help.
It seems that most of us are aware of how crucial employee engagement is, but have we really grasped the concept of employee engagement?
According to the definition by Investopedia, employee engagement is defined as a HR concept that “describes the level of enthusiasm and dedication an employee feels toward their job”. An engaged employee is passionate about their work and how it affects the overall performance of the company. They are often in it for more than the paycheck and may consider their efforts to be instrumental to the success of their organisation.
Why is it important to ensure employees are engaged?
While an engaged workforce is instrumental to the success of an organisation, there are more benefits to that. Here are some other benefits associated with an engaged workforce:
- Higher employee satisfaction levels
- Lower turnover rates and higher retention levels
- Increased productivity levels
- Increased business profitability
- Fewer cases of employee absenteeism
Key HR tools to implement to drive employee engagement within the HR function?
Now that we have understood what employee engagement means and the significance of it, how can HR drive employee engagement within the workplace? Does it mean implementing certain HR initiatives or leveraging on specific HR tools?
The answer is fairly simple – a combination of both! Technology today has worked wonders for modern businesses. And there is no better way to drive employee engagement than to leverage on these technological tools.
Human Resource Information System (HRIS) / Human Resource Management System (HRMS)
HR professionals are likely to be all too familiar with handling large amounts of employee and payroll data. Given the massive database of employee and payroll data to input, store and track, the most common method of organising this information is to utilise a comprehensive HRIS or HRMS.
An HRIS or HRMS eliminates the administrative paperwork in HR processes, such as filing, leave applications, or employee p-files. At the same time, a HRIS system can be integrated with other HR functions such as payroll, leave management and even recruitment. Having a streamlined process allows HR to align the work of their function to the organisation’s goals. Being equipped with tools to streamline internal HR processes also allows the HR function to focus on more strategic aspects of their work.
When it comes to recruiting candidates, time is of the essence. If you were to get back to a potential candidate with a job offer after a period of silence, chances are they may have accepted another job offer with a competitor company. Similarly, lack of responsiveness may signal to a potential candidate that the organisation is not interested or that there are poor internal recruitment processes.
Having a recruitment software can enhance internal recruitment processes by facilitating smooth communications within the recruitment team and with potential candidates. At the same time, it also helps to quickly fill up talent gaps when certain business functions require a vacant position to be filled urgently. Recruitment software also helps to gather critical data such as candidate response rate, the number of candidates that have applied for the role, and even doing the preliminary shortlisting of candidates based on their profile.
Payroll Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Most HR professionals may be familiar with the arduous task of payroll processing. It is a repetitive yet critical business function that requires precise accuracy and timeliness. While most businesses tend to start off with leveraging on-premise payroll software for their payroll operations, Software-as-a-Service (Saas) payroll is an affordable and efficient alternative to payroll processing.
SaaS eliminates the need for manual HR processes as the data and information is stored virtually on the cloud. This means that HR can simply use any device with an internet connection such as a laptop or even mobile phone to run and process payroll. As payroll data is stored virtually, this means that larger amounts of data can be stored and can be used for analysis such as tracking of tax filings and employee work hours. Some SaaS payroll solutions also allow employees to view their own payroll information and download their payslips, saving HR time from having to address these HR queries. This again helps to take off the mundane and administrative tasks of payroll and allows HR to focus on driving strategic HR initiatives to enhance internal processes to drive operational efficiency.
Leave management system
Tracking employees’ leave applications can be tricky particularly when you are overseeing hundreds of employees. The correct type of leave is also important as it may in turn affect payroll and tax filing, such as no-pay leave or maternity leave. A leave management system helps to take away the hassle of manually tracking leave applications and easily consolidate employees’ leave applications for monitoring. This allows HR to track productivity and understand if employees are under or over-utilising their leave entitlements.
Performance management system
Regular feedback and continuous performance reviews are critical to understand employees’ pain points and their workload. It is the perfect channel for direct line managers to understand if employees are feeling burned out or if there are any professional development and opportunities that they seek. Being in tune with your employees’ career aspirations is essential to provide a platform for employees to grow, in turn allowing employees to feel as if the organisation is invested in them and their skills.
Gone are the days whereby face-to-face performance reviews are conducted with employees, some productive, others awkward. Technology today has completely revamped the performance management process, introducing performance management software which offers HR managers greater control and flexibility over the entire process. A performance management software allows employees to log in at any point in time to update their career aspirations or any other learning that they wish to take up. From a manager’s point of view, this allows them to view employees’ career aspirations and progress regardless of the time or geography. This is particularly helpful if managers are overseeing regional teams or remote workers.