Most employees think that being valued and recognized by their employer is critical, and technology is an important part of showing that appreciation.
1,700 hours–that’s how long the average Canadian spends working every year. Over a working lifetime, that’s almost 75,000 hours. How many of those hours do you think your employees feel like they’re truly appreciated?
When we spoke to 3,500 workers across the Canada, the US and the UK about what really drives them at work, 66% said that they saw being valued and recognized as the most important thing to them. They want their employer to say: ‘great job’. They want to feel that their company values the contribution that they’re making to the business.
Friday March 2 is Employee Appreciation Day. Considering most employees spend more time in their waking working life at work with fellow employees than they do their loved ones, is it time to show your employees some love? Ultimately, great experiences at work drive engagement, which in turn increases performance and boosts productivity. It isn’t just the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense too.
It’s a subject close to our heart we’ve spoken about often. Flexible working, empowering employees, supporting wellbeing and personalized experiences are just some of the ways companies can show employees they care and create great workforce experiences for them. There is, however, one thing that brings this all together that is often overlooked: the role of technology.
Here’s why technology is vital to showing employees you appreciate them.
Employees expect you to get the basics right
Employees can book cinema tickets, research flight prices for their next holiday, and transfer money to a friend, all before they even get into the office. Today they’re so used to being able to do virtually anything directly from their smartphones we all know that they now expect the same at work.
We’ve all experienced the frustrations of using outdated technology in the workplace; not being able to book and approve holiday easily, get a copy of your last three payslips to renew your mortgage, or to change your personal details. If a company can’t get the basics right then you’re not only going to have a lack of appreciation issue, but you’re going to have a retention issue too.
Companies need technology that helps, not hinders, employees. If workers feel tech is hindering their work, they’re not going to feel particularly happy, or that you value them in the business. Trust us on this one.
Technology makes flexible and remote working easier
81% of employees we polled placed importance and value on flexible working. It’s no surprise considering how the world of work has evolved. If employees can access key information at any time or anywhere, thanks to technology, they can work from home, overseas, or when out of the office for the day. Responding to requests and making decisions is easier to do in real-time. Furthermore, technology brings disparate team closer together to work even more collaboratively than before.
Ultimately, giving your employees the ability to manage their own work remotely gives them flexibility and empowers them. Show your employees that you trust them to work in the way that’s best for them, and they’ll feel appreciated.
Better tech means better–and more tailored–communications
More than 70% of employees want their companies to improve how they communicate to them.
By creating tailored targeted communication for your workforce, thanks to technology, you can give every employee the information they need, when they need it, in a personalized fashion. You can deliver information which can be consumed quickly, and on the go like employees have come to expect in their daily lives, including in the workplace.
Technology also means better ways to communicate recognition across the business–something that always goes a long way in making workers feel appreciated. For example, at Sage we give company or department wide virtual peer nominated ‘shout outs’ for colleagues who have helped others or gone the extra mile to show the impact of what they did.
Better tech means better data, which means better insights
How many high-potential future leaders do you have in your organization? What teams are your top performers, and why? Do you have an engagement issue? Without data, companies can’t answer these questions and get the best from their business. And it goes without saying, they can’t get this data without technology.
Companies which bring all their HR and People data into one place, so they have a single source of truth, can begin to use approaches in data science to understand more about their workforce and what drives them. At Sage Business Cloud People, we call this People Science.
Why will this make your employees feel appreciated? Well, if you know Priti’s a high performer but been passed over for the last two promotions–you can do something about it. If you can see why John’s team’s engagement has dipped, then you’re a step closer to knowing how to fix it.
Ultimately, if you can use People Science in your organization to understand your people and what drives them better, then you can make better business decisions about them as a result.
Tech enables better, more continuous feedback
Just 12% of employees we spoke to are asked on a regular basis what would improve their experiences at work. Almost half (47%) had never been asked at all. Want to know how to show employees you appreciate them and care? Simply ask them. Technology makes this easy, through things like pulse surveys.
You might be surprised at what your employees say. Furthermore, the simple fact of asking your workforce for feedback will show you value their input. Just make sure that you demonstrate you’re listening by communicating what and how you’re changing–and the rationale if some things are not able to be changed right now.
Tech frees up time to concentrate on the important things
Technology helps us do our jobs better by freeing up our time.
Take HR technology, for example. By automating administrative tasks in an integrated cloud HR system, such as booking time off and managing a team, HR and People teams can concentrate on the more important things–like building a great experience at work for employees, attracting great candidates and building an employer brand. In this instance, technology is directly helping HR and People teams to be more strategic and deliver better business value.
The importance of showing employees you appreciate them every day of the year
Ultimately, a good employee experience is important to a staggering 92% of workers; feeling appreciated is a vital part of that, but it’s not just a nice thing to do. Better experiences at work directly boost productivity–that’s vital when you consider that over a third of employees we spoke to admitted they’re productive for less than 30 hours a week.
The companies that get this right don’t just show their employees they value them on Employee Appreciation Day, though–they do this all year round. They put their people first, and they know that great experiences at work mean better performance. At Sage, we call companies which do this ‘People Companies’.
People Companies are organizations where people are the most valuable asset, and where company success is dependent on their workforce being successful. The leaders of People Companies know that nurturing their people is critical to growth. They let their employees know how valued and important they are to success–in actions as well as in words. This is reflected in how their employees feel about the company, and the output of their work.
Their employees feel appreciated all year round.
Sage spoke to 3,500 workers across Canada, the US and the UK about what drives them at work; click here to download the research they compiled for free today.