HR Tech Update: Software tools to help engage and inspire

Updated: Aug 31

HR TECHNOLOGY: Free lunches for staff? Movie hangouts on Slack? Or maybe even the occassional afternoon at the driving range? For too many managers in this part of the world, these one-off, self-contained activities are seen as the key strategy to boost employee engagement.

The reality is, however, that employees aren't looking for entertainment. They crave feeling valued over and above anything else. This gap might be why 18% of management in Singapore think their employees feel recognised, but only a dismal 9% of staff would agree.

If that isn’t convincing, then think about how employee engagement cost the world US$7.8 trillion from absenteeism, lack of productivity, staff turnover, medical leave, and all sorts of other factors last year alone.

Bridging this gap between perception and reality requires both hard work and a well thought-out strategy. And specialist employee engagement software can be a valuable asset in any employer's tool kit to make that happen.

There are a wide range of software solutions that can be used to streamline bureaucratic processes, and generally improve an organisation's employee engagement metrics. And they typically leverage off of employees' individual career and wellbeing goals to make their mark.

Everything from anonymous pulse surveys to personalised employee development paths are out there for higher management to discover growth opportunities and other insights on both individuals and the aggregate workforce.

Blasts can be sent out to the whole team praising employees and teams that went above and beyond. Rewards can come from both praise and literal rewards that can be redeemed based on points collected.

Text analysis on employee feedback and even demographic slicing can help employers understand the issues that matter to the workers, allowing them to keep their corporate goals alligned with those of staff and other stakeholders.

One-on-one meetings can even be streamlined by providing the ability to take notes, look at past conversations and check whether goals are being met in one convenient place for each team member.

However, there are catches.

Even the most powerful employee engagement softwares won’t solve all of an organisation's disengagement problems.

If, for example, an unhealthy or even toxic company culture exists, that negativity will likely to bleed over into any leaderboards or rewards functions.

Likewise, pulse surveys that aren’t well thought out might not capture any meaningful observations from employees. Typical employee engagement surveys tend to be bottom-up, ignoring the fact that relationships with peers from other departments also affect employee engagement.

Most employee engagement softwares offer an powerful way to get a bird’s-eye view of the situation. It’s a good idea to use them in conjunction with also thinking more proactively about the prevailing workplace culture, based on the insights generated.

Empuls for example, will recommend action plans for areas that need improvement and integrates with platforms such as Slack and other HR management systems. Employees can even redeem rewards based on points collected based on excellent performance.

Appreiz is another employee engagement software that utilises smart analytics to draw relevant correlations between all of its functions. Like Empuls, it also provides integrations with other platforms and a rewards system.

And EngageRocket is a Singapore-based provider and platform that has expanded to offer a full suite of tailored solutions to help HR make strategic people decisions on both a longer-term and daily basis.

For HR teams that are serious about wanting healthier, engaged employees, these platforms offer a strong base to build from. Choosing the platform is just Step One. The rest relies on HR's ability to draw the right insights, and its willingness to then make the necessary changes.

HR Tech Update, by Chief of Staff Asia's Technology Editor Ellia Pikri, appears every Thursday from 6:00am.

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