04 OCT, 2016

5 HR Technology Tools to Better Understand Employees

As we adjust to an ever-increasing speed of doing business, we rely heavily on technology to get our work done. But in the world of HR, we also rely on technology to communicate with, and better understand, the needs of our employees. Today’s innovative software and mobile apps offer many HR tools to foster employee engagement. These include technology-enabled satisfaction surveys, collaboration tools, and innovative ways to deliver employee recognition.

We’ve gathered five examples of current HR software that provides a way to connect with workers while gaining additional insight into what makes them tick.

Feedback apps: Research shows that humans thrive on feedback. If people aren’t receiving feedback more than once per year, it can negatively impact their productivity and development. Regular feedback allows employees to learn what they may be doing wrong, make it right, and become better in the process. Apps and software make it easy to provide quick, insightful feedback that employees can immediately put to use without having a formal discussion every time.

Examples: Emplify and 15five

Employee and culture surveys: Just as you want to provide feedback for employees, it’s also important to ask them for their input and insight about your organization. Rather than holding formal meetings or sending out large annual surveys, management can check in with employees regularly using software tools to gain insight into the employee’s experience, regardless of their location.

Examples: Cultureamp and Slack Polls

Collaboration software: With an increasing number of employees working remotely, collaboration software helps establish a sense of community and connection with real-time exchanges that can include informal chats, file exchange, and video conferences. Productivity apps also help with collaboration by providing a dashboard of an employee’s tasks, their weekly progress, and accomplishments so it’s easy for colleagues and managers to understand and track progress against goals.

Examples: Slack and Weekdone

Recognition software: A website or app makes it easy for anyone—managers and colleagues alike—to express appreciation by recognizing other employees for their efforts. And if there are social elements within the software, it’s easy for other employees to comment on and “like” the accomplishments of their co-workers, creating a positive message that inspires others. What’s more, managers and executives can track the recognition that’s happening to see which of the company’s values are being put into action and which need further reinforcement.

Example: WorkStride

Sentiment analysis: A newer method for gathering insights that some companies are exploring involves using text analytics software that tracks data to analyze employee sentiments. These systems were originally created to track customer sentiments online, but some employers have started using them to review employee sentiment—although many are hesitant to discuss this publicly. Of course if you consider this type of analysis, it’s important to respect privacy laws and review data on a cumulative basis.

Examples: Lexalytics and Clarabridge

As your organization grows, relying on informal methods to understand and communicate with employees isn’t as effective. What do you do if these tools highlight areas for improvement in your organization’s approach to engaging employees?


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