Earlier this month the exploratory session was held for the Transformational Technologies TAG group. A warm, lively, and insightful discussion took place. The supporting slides can be found here – https://view.genial.ly/60cb0e593e58ec0dc9924943
Advantages vs. disadvantages
We asked ourselves, ‘What have been the advantages and disadvantages of digital transformations to employee experiences in the past 15 months?’ Listening to the events of those on the call, it was often less about ‘disadvantages,’ but more about ‘things that we’ve missed’ because of remote working.
Adoption of tech tools
When it comes to communication, there have been some huge benefits to the widespread use of video conferencing. The adoption in the UK has grown from 35% pre-Covid, to 90% of all companies using a type of video conferencing by September 2020.
People on our call commented, that for some, communicating in this way has broken down geographical, hierarchical, and departmental boundaries. Many of us have opened the virtual office door – wide open. Video calls have opened-up access to leaders, colleagues, and sped up building rapport. Brilliant stories of how virtual town hall type meetings, using online polling and other digital tools, have enhanced employees’ voices making such events more interactive, open to all and transparent.
So much time and money has been saved, by simply not travelling to meetings. Yet at the same time, people commented that some of the more personal, emotional, and intuitive type of interactions are so much harder to experience via a screen. We heard a lovely example of two colleagues meeting up outside, with the sea as a backdrop, and joining a call with others – an impossibility without the high-quality technology we can now readily access.
The question, moving forward, is what can we do with technology to increase social interactions and to connect on an emotional level, and how will hybrid working help moving forward to fill the gap of things we have missed?
So much choice!
As part of the session, we also agreed that there are so many digital tools available to support employee engagement; employee survey software, project management software, employee review tools, communication platforms, and employee recognition software – to name but a few! And not to mention social media! Great tech enables, yet availability of so many different tools can create frustration through lack of understanding what these tools can do, lack of training and agreement about what they will be used for. There’s just so much choice!
Despite the challenges that adoption, attitudes and experience digital tools brings, it does not appear to be putting us off. 90% of those asked in the session see the adoption of technology and digital tools to support employee engagement in their organisations over the next 18 months increasing slightly, or increasing a lot. The role of technology in employee engagement is a growing one and as such volunteers have stepped forward to start to further explore and build resources to help us all navigate the opportunities it brings. The TAG will:
- Build and share a survey looking at the adoption, attitudes, experiences, and future plans within the Engage for Success community for digital employee engagement. The output will be to share insights from a report and agree focus for further Transformational Technologies TAG sessions.
- Future TAG sessions will be used to inspire and share knowledge about what we can do with technology to increase social interactions to connect on an emotional level. We will also aim to share best practice within hybrid working models about the adoption and employee experience of digital employee engagement tools.
We’d love to hear your experiences of the adoption, attitudes and approaches you have taken with technology and employee engagement. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author bio: Sallie Allen, Director – LearnwithVR