Today’s workforce has more options than ever before. Social media makes it easy to find new opportunities, and those who are active in professional organizations regularly receive unsolicited messages from recruiters. Low unemployment and a general trend towards shorter job tenure means many organizations spend time and money back filling critical positions — and the cost is astonishing. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that replacing an employee can cost between six and nine months’ pay. Another study by Dale Carnegie Training demonstrated that employee turnover costs American companies $11 billion per year.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
There are many reasons that employees resign their positions, and most can be grouped under a single heading: employee engagement. Engagement levels influence everything from company productivity and profitability to rates of turnover. Research shows that engaged workers are 87 percent less likely to leave the company, however just 30 percent of American workers are fully engaged in their jobs. Improving engagement levels — and related Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) — can transform a business from average performer to industry-leader.
While the reasons for disengagement vary, there are several recurring themes:
- Unmet job expectations due to recruiting errors or organizational change
- Inferior technology and resources
- Underutilization or overutilization of talent
- Lack of recognition
- Limited development and advancement opportunities
- Poor management
- Dysfunctional team or company culture
- Incomplete communication
- Inadequate compensation
While no individual solution can address all of these issues at once, advanced technology has made it possible to improve engagement and eNPS on multiple levels.
New Solutions for Employee Engagement and eNPS
Traditional company directories are often difficult to navigate. They lack the search functions necessary to locate colleagues without complete and properly spelled first and last names. As a result, employees cannot easily find a contact person in another department, and it is impossible to guess at the spelling of unusual names. In addition, these directories have limited information about the individuals listed, and the systems typically do not offer any additional features like company news, staff recognition, and helpful tools and resources.
New employee directory platforms have incorporated advanced technology to expand the capabilities of directory services. Today’s employee directories are specifically designed to impact the root causes of employee frustrations. Popular features include:
- News and information tools that push communications out to staff members, ensuring all employees are up to date on important corporate data
- Comprehensive corporate calendars that list team gatherings, volunteer opportunities, company events, upcoming holidays, and similar
- Dynamic search functions that make it possible to locate colleagues across the organization, offering insight into who they have worked with and where
- Data aggregation features that consolidate critical employee information into a single profile, noting talents, skills and abilities, as well as participation in special projects
- Group message and discussion boards that permit employees to network with each other on topics of mutual interest
- Advanced tools that offer employees the opportunity to examine what-if scenarios for corporate planning and resource management
- Access to gamification and rewards for knowledge sharing, health and wellness activities, participation in the creation of a positive company culture, and recognition of exceptional performance
These platforms centralize the information and resources employees need, and they also make it make it possible for managers to create more meaningful opportunities for team members. For example, managers can use the data to improve development offerings, utilize talent appropriately in current roles, implement recognition programs and source candidates for internal promotion.
With all of these features working together, engagement and eNPS scores go up. Colleagues can find each other for networking purposes, as well as to enlist assistance in managing job responsibilities. Communication between individuals and departments improves, and silos come down, leading to a healthier, more collaborative company culture. The combined result is better eNPS, improved engagement and drastically reduced turnover.