Remote working situations, team restructures, shifting responsibilities, and an undercurrent of uncertainty has changed work as we know it. As a result, our peoples’ needs, preferences and expectations have shifted.
Employee engagement remains an ongoing challenge for leaders around the world. 42% of HR leaders say improving employee experience is their top challenge today. And while employee engagement rates are on the rise, a global pandemic has thrown a whole new set of challenges our way when it comes to engaging our workforce.
There is a changing set of expectations from employees about how, where and when they work, with flexibility, remote work and hybrid work models becoming increasingly prevalent. In many cases, these are huge drivers for attracting and retaining the best talent, and enabling them to do their best work.
Josh Bersin calls this “The Big Reset”.
“There are hundreds of reinventions going on. Companies are dramatically changing how they hire and move people internally. They’re radically upskilling and reskilling leaders. They’re pouring money into learning and development. And they’re totally rethinking their diversity, inclusion, and citizenship programs,” Bersin says in his latest report.
Amid these changes, it’s clear that delivering an exceptional employee experience, underpinned by reliable and intuitive technology, is more important than ever. And it’s not just about employee well-being; it's about productivity as well. According to Gallup, employees in highly engaged business units realise a 17% increase in productivity, 24% less turnover, and a 41% reduction in absenteeism.
Employee engagement is an area that is on top of HR leaders’ agendas, with 48% of HR and IT Leaders planning on investing in technology to help improve the employee experience. And for many firms, making the switch to SaaS-based platforms is the ideal way to gain efficiencies while enhancing employee engagement.
4 ways effective SaaS integration influences employee engagement
As challenging as this pandemic has been, it’s presented HR leaders with a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate ways of working. Many are looking at new ways to use SaaS and cloud-based systems to redesign the employee experience.
Here are 4 key areas in which a well-designed SaaS environment can create a strong positive impact on employee engagement.
1. Supporting employee wellbeing
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on people’s financial, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Research among 1,600 workers shows wellbeing is a key priority for workers, with 83% saying it is up to the employer to facilitate wellbeing in the workplace.
SaaS-based systems can give managers a holistic view of their team’s performance, along with historical data to benchmark it against. What’s more, the data points are live, enabling a real-time view into team resourcing, workloads and availability. With new tools and strategies to identify signs of struggle, managers can identify and step in to address any wellbeing issues before they grow into something more serious.
Broadly speaking, wellbeing is about creating conditions that inspire and enable people to invest their talent and ideas in your company’s future success. It is also about transparency that empowers managers to make objective, well-informed decisions about employee wellbeing, based on facts and data.
What makes people go above and beyond in their work? It starts with great leadership equipped with the right tools, and is influenced daily by how well you reward, recognise and develop your team members.
2. Enabling remote access to work
The modern workforce is operating in a time of uncertainty. Right now, many organisations are preparing for a return back to work or implementing hybrid working models to support a mix of in-person and remote working arrangements.
Employees need secure remote access to critical software applications and data, and they need to be able to access the systems they need, across any device, at a time that suits them. SaaS-based systems, when properly integrated with company workflows and systems, offer tremendous flexibility in how, where and when your people work, while removing bottlenecks related to syncing or manual processes.
And it’s not just employees. Modern organisations rely on a variety of freelancers, contractors, consultants and temporary workers who may work between various sites, even across various time zones. Having a system that can support this new age of remote work while providing a consistent, reliable and intuitive employee experience can make a world of difference to their productivity.
For example, choosing a modern HR solution that is built with easy-to-use collaboration and communication features will help you equip your managers with the tools they need to stay connected, wherever your team may be.
3. Providing personalised learning and development opportunities
Faced with more free time due to lockdown rules, many people have thrown themselves into learning about digital tools, professional topics, and new languages. According to data from LinkedIn Learning, users watched over 1.7 million hours of courses in April 2020, double the amount watched in March and three-times the amount watched in February.
Many organisations have noted this growing enthusiasm and are taking advantage of the increase in virtual learning technologies to reskill and up-skill their workforce.
A SaaS-based HR platform that integrates training with performance management allows you to use key data insights to align training programs with employees’ goals, giving them a personalised and engaging employee experience.
4. Giving employees the tools to make work easier
As if working from home while juggling home school responsibilities and sticky-handed toddlers weren’t hard enough, many of us also battle with slow, onerous and unreliable legacy systems.
Not having access to the right tools and technology adds to the frustration and inertia many employees already feel. It makes it harder to get tasks done, which detracts from an employee’s sense of progress and achievement.
A unified SaaS environment that enables employee self-service makes more flexible and efficient workflows possible. Your team can see and manage their own tasks, leaves, training, and career development information, and easily find important documents, forms or pay details.
Giving your employees access to cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions also enhances employee experience through user-friendly interfaces, mobility, and seamless integrations with essentials like Office 365. Employees can work from anywhere with an internet connection and maintain a sense of belonging and enthusiasm.
Creating a unified approach to employee experience
If there’s been any positive to come out of the pandemic, it’s the sense of unity that has been created. Unity not just among our workforce, but also among customers and across all corporate functions.
As Josh Bersin puts it, “In many ways, the pandemic forced us to tear down our functional silos and work more closely together than ever before. People are inspired and energised by the sense of purpose, togetherness, and urgency in this time of change.”
Leaders can build on this sense of unity through an integrated technology solution that provides an exceptional employee experience across the entire employee lifecycle. Backed by modern technology, you can build a great culture that supports your people to deliver their best, wherever they are located.