In September 2017, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.2 percent, which is the lowest it has been since 2001. Even without looking at the official numbers, many companies can tell you that finding, hiring, and retaining top talent is especially challenging right now.
Successfully meeting these challenges requires approaching the issue from multiple directions. From a recruiting standpoint, you ask if your hiring criteria are too rigid and perhaps learn ways to reach out to passive job candidates. Your social media manager can work on burnishing the employer brand and raising its profile online.
A strategic approach to hiring would not be complete without attention to retaining the talent you already have, and doing what you can to make sure new hires stick with you. Employee engagement is far more than just a buzzword. Gallup research showed that organizations with higher employee engagement levels had 10 percent higher customer ratings, 22 percent better profitability, and 21 percent better productivity, plus lower employee turnover. Therefore, attention to employee engagement is paramount.
Why Valued Employees Leave
It is not necessarily competitors luring your top talent away with huge salaries and lavish perks. Mostly, people leave because they simply do not like where they are. Business consultant Bernard Marr tells CNBC that there are several common reasons people leave what appear on the surface to be good jobs:
- They do not feel respected.
- They think the company has no clear vision for the future.
- They perceive inequality due to gender, race, age, or other factors.
- Employee morale is low.
- The work is not challenging.
- They feel as if they have no autonomy.
Think about it. Why would an employee feel engaged with and dedicated to an employer that demonstrated those types of problems? Now that the employment rate is down and it is easier than it has been in a while for employees to find alternatives, there is not a lot of reason to stay with an employer where there is no sense of mutual commitment and engagement. It does not have to be that way, however.
Introducing the Chief Employee Experience Officer (CEEO)
The Chief Employee Experience Officer (CEEO), “Head of Employee Experience,” or “Chief People Officer” is responsible for ensuring employee needs are met and that employees have a compelling employee experience. Such an executive works across departments, with those who work in HR, marketing, IT, and other critical areas too, putting it succinctly, ensure a great employee experience. Their main goal is ensuring that new hires stay and are engaged in their work.
A great CEEO ultimately creates a strong emotional connection between the employees and the brand. They want employees to be proud to say who their employer is and to be informal ambassadors of the brand. Not only does this help raise the brand’s perception by the general public, but it also helps attract better employment candidates when it is time to hire.
Additional Power Behind the Employee Engagement App
The combination of a dedicated CEEO and a well-designed employee engagement app can be immensely powerful. Not only can a CEEO be involved in designing an employee engagement app, he or she can also be involved in gathering and interpreting the data that comes from the app and keeping a finger on the pulse of employee sentiment.
An astute CEEO can identify trends in employee engagement early, when they can be reckoned with without major upheaval or hurt feelings, and he or she can keep up with industry standards to always know what is standard in terms of employee perks and employee experiences. With the capable direction of a talented CEEO, the employee engagement app can work wonders.
What if Hiring a CEEO Is Not Possible?
Of course, not every company can simply create a new executive position. Smaller businesses often have leaders holding down multiple roles. At best, several leaders may assume joint responsibility for ensuring that employees are engaged, productive, and happy.
Developing and deploying an employee engagement app, however, is not the Herculean task it might have been a few years ago. Even small startups can deploy employee engagement apps that help strengthen connections between employees and employer, and that gather critical information that helps leaders gauge employee connectedness, dedication, and morale.
The beauty of the employee engagement app is that it can be customized to suit the needs of employees in any industry, from food services to manufacturing to law. The simple fact of an employer caring enough to develop an employee engagement app says a lot, and when an app performs in the ways needed by a particular employee base, the results can be impressive.
What Should Your Employee Engagement App Do?
At their most basic, employee engagement apps can be used for instant communications (“A flood at our City West location is forcing us to close that branch for cleanup. Contact your supervisor for further instruction.”). It can also be used to inform employees of opportunities, like training opportunities or opportunities for advancement. One reason employees do not feel engaged with their employers is that they do not feel like they know what opportunities they have, and they are not sure how to find out. An employee engagement app can address this need wonderfully.
Employee engagement apps may also include generally helpful information, such as weather forecasts, or known road or transportation closures. Employee polls, feedback requests, and fun announcements (like birthdays or work anniversaries) can also be delivered through an app.
Listen to What the App Data Tells You
Simply having an app is not enough, however. If you do not take in and understand the data that apps automatically collect, like how many people are opening the app on a given day, what they use it for most, and what solicited feedback indicates, then there is not much point in having one.
Employee engagement apps excel at collecting and delivering detailed information that can help employers understand employee sentiment on a “big picture” or a granular level. Whether or not a company has a CEEO, that is tremendously valuable data that can help ensure employees are engaged, productive, and less likely to leave for greener pastures.
Employers who use hubEngage develop customized employee engagement apps with ease, deploy them to appreciative users and collect valuable information that helps them understand what employees are thinking and what their attitudes are.
With hubEngage, employers can deliver custom-branded content, training, polls, games, and even location-based triggers to target employees in a particular location. Data-driven communications analytics make it simple to see the positive effects of increased employee engagement. Best of all, you can try the HubEngage app for free and see for yourself how powerful learning about and measuring the employee experience can be. We encourage you to give it a try!