Shankar Krishnamoorthy is the co-founder and CEO of Synergita (www.synergita.com), innovative performance management and employee engagement SaaS product company. He is the director of Aspire Systems, a global technology services firm which he co-founded before Synergita. Shankar is passionate about empowering the workforce and building a thriving, high-performing ecosystem for employees. He is actively spearheading innovative employee practices in his organization and bringing the successful initiatives mainstream through Synergita Engage and Synergita Perform. His leadership has made Synergita the leading HR Tech product in enterprise and SMB segments.
Employee engagement ends up being a mythical pursuit for companies that don’t follow a precise, realistic, and measurable approach. Some mistake it for office perks or ‘fun at work’ activities, which are microcosms of what it takes to engage people meaningfully. It’s also common to assume that employee engagement is the sole responsibility of the HR team, whether handling learning and coaching, implementing a rewards and recognition system, or collecting survey feedback.
In reality, employee engagement is a shared responsibility of C-suite executives, functional heads, managers, and teams. Unfortunately, it also means that synchronizing the journey has traditionally been viewed as an arduous task, given the data-intensive workflows, multiple process owners, and strict approval protocols.
However, the cloud ecosystem has emerged as a powerful catalyst to ignite memorable experiences. Companies can leverage easy-to-use cloud solutions to streamline their employee engagement journeys, making them people-centric and growth-focused.
Cloud-led employee experiences can no longer be ignored
Cloud computing has been leading the digital transformation charge. It has helped break down barriers for companies looking to be adaptable, scalable, and open to new technology adoption. These days, with the advancements in cloud security, there’s more confidence about keeping data protected. Furthermore, cloud ecosystems make it effortless to turn unstructured data into actionable business intelligence. It’s why the need for cloud-first customer experiences is perennially on the rise.
And it’s also why employee experiences shouldn’t be viewed any differently.
The key to their engagement lies in how quickly, conveniently, and consistently they can experience the journey. Especially in light of the pandemic-influenced rise of remote working models, employees are open to using cloud-based tools to increase their ‘work from anywhere’ resilience. Going forward, it could even become a moment of truth for getting the attention of right-fit candidates.
So, let’s look at three crucial milestones that companies can cross when fueled by a cloud-enabled employee engagement strategy.
Advocate collaboration and transparency
Collaboration is an intricate part of any employee workflow – connecting different people in different teams to achieve a shared goal. Cloud solutions offer a real-time platform that brings individuals together, irrespective of department, designation, or location. In addition, it promotes transparency and accountability to eliminate any process discrepancies. In a nutshell, these solutions accelerate and simplify the day-to-day workplace experiences.
Employees can rapidly interact and collaborate with their peers while completing tasks, getting approvals, marking attendance, etc. – all on one platform. They can also track their progress – putting them in the driver’s seat of improving their performance and productivity.
Incubating feedback, appreciation, and guidance
According to a survey by HubSpot, “69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated.” However, nurturing a feedback-driven culture is easier said than done because it requires a company-wide change in behavior. While collaborating with other teams or filling out surveys depend on the user’s affinity to use new tools, implementing a pragmatic feedback system needs several individuals to get onboard.
Cloud solutions come to the rescue by delivering a continuous feedback and recognition platform. It allows managers, team leaders, and supervisors to provide constructive feedback, give instant appreciation, or regularly share guidance. In turn, employees feel more valued and motivated to maximize their potential.
Encourage two-way conversations
One-way conversations create distance between the employee and the company. Even if there exists a well-oiled internal communication plan in place, remember that employees don’t have the option to respond. They can only react, which means there’s no way of drawing insights about how they feel or what they think while communicating the next time.
With cloud solutions, HR teams can gain full control of email workflows. For instance, with Synergita E-communication, they get access to an intuitive dashboard to track vital KPIs like ‘open rate’ to understand what works and doesn’t – thereby maximizing the reach of one-off messages or drip campaigns. Companies can also get valuable insights on new product launches, application/infrastructure changes, or workflow improvements by conducting cloud-based employee engagement surveys.
Other ways cloud solutions can impact employee engagement:
Less paperwork – Empower employees to avoid dealing with time-consuming, repetitive, and mundane paperwork.
24/7 access to critical resources – Give a 360-degree view of data relating to current and historic payroll, appraisal, performance, etc., as well as company/function resources for easy referencing.
Fast deployment – Equip employees with easy-to-deploy cloud solutions that won’t have them waiting for the IT team to solve integration complexities.
Despite these cutting-edge cloud solutions and their proven benefits, the current reality is that many are yet to understand the role technology plays in employee engagement. As per a recent report by Gallup, “only 36% of employees are engaged in the workplace” since “51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, while 13% are actively disengaged.” One of the reasons could be that companies assume that cloud software is expensive, which is a misconception – considering the availability of world-class yet cost-effective cloud-based employee engagement solutions.
Another could be that they lack the confidence in their employees to systematically use digital tools. In 2022, though, this has also proved to be a myth – as evidenced by remote working conditions and a younger and more digital-savvy workforce. Their expectations are evolving too.
With a cloud-based strategy, companies can influence employee engagement journeys, quickly adapt, and keep pace with their expectations.