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Employee engagement and retention continue to be top challenges for business. In dealing with these issues, organizations need to recognize that the two issues are related. Organizations can’t engage employees who don’t stay and employees won’t stay if they’re not engaged. As HR professionals, we have to look for tools and solutions that will help us accomplish both.
Technology is one of those things.
Many organizations use technology to recruit. Even if all you’re doing is posting jobs on LinkedIn, you’re using technology. If employees find the job opening using technology, then they will have a level of expectation that they can use technology at work. It could be in onboarding paperwork, employee self-service, or performance management.
This doesn’t mean that technology is a replacement for human interaction. We still need face-to-face conversation. For example, it might send a mixed message to do a stay interview online. The goal is to find out how to keep an employee engaged so you can retain them. A conversation, whether it’s in person of over the phone could come across better.
But organizations could use technology to keep track of who has conducted stay interviews or record notes of the interview to possibly spot trends that need to be addressed. Technology solutions don’t have to be the entire process. They can be a very effective step in the process.
Technology also allows organizations to be in multiple places at the same time. Many organizations are realizing that engagement (and ultimately retention) start with the hiring process and the candidate experience. But the days of “spray and pray recruiting” are over. We must be more strategic in our approach. That’s where technology comes in.
Career portals, talent networks, social sharing and recruitment marketing are all technology solutions and tools that allow companies to tailor their message and direct candidates to the right information. Technology allows us to control the message so the candidate knows exactly what to expect before they ever apply.
Getting our arms around what technology can do for our business isn’t easy. There are many technology solutions available. We have to understand what we are trying to accomplish, so we choose the solution that meets our needs. This really came into focus for me a few months ago when I was having some challenges with my internet browser, Google Chrome. I was getting increasingly frustrated with it so I decided I was going to switch to Internet Explorer. I know, I know – Internet Explorer?! …but I was really frustrated. So I spent days moving all my bookmarks, etc.
As soon as I did it, I immediately regretted it. I missed my Chrome extensions, etc. That was when I realized, I didn’t have to choose. I was getting frustrated because I made the assumption there was only one way to do things. The reality is that I can have a primary and secondary browser. Voila! Problem fixed.
It’s the same with other forms of technology. We don’t have to choose one program or platform. That’s what makes technology so great. If we let it, we can increase our effectiveness by letting technology be a part of our strategy. There’s no one way to engage employees. We need to let technology help us. Just be smart about the role it plays.
Let technology do what it does best. So you can do what you do best.
This piece was originally published on the SHRM blog here. Its author, Sharlyn Lauby, is the president of president of ITM Group Inc. and writes at the HR Bartender.