CourageousWorkplaces | Ways Digital Tools Improve Engagement
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The list of digital tools a team can use is continually growing. Automated tools help you keep ahead of all the goings on in your supply chain and reduce errors. But you can also use automation to help boost company morale and keep your staff engaged.

The aim is to create a platform that’s easy to use, accessible from anywhere, from any device, and encourages creativity and productivity within your operations. This post will discuss six ways that digital tools can help improve employee engagement.

Help Staff Gather Data In The Field

If you are all set up with centralized communications, you can allow workers to telecommute or work remotely. Use this method to help employees who need extra flexibility in their roles, such as those with young children.

For sales staff, having them ‘out in the field’ on more occasions will help them get to know customers and pick up extra skills and intel for your company. As well as selling, your sales team should also be investigating markets, customer attitudes, competitors, etc.

With a centralized ideas sharing platform like Trello, you can gather these insights into sections and analyze them later. Staff can access the platform from their mobiles. Be sure to regularly update your CRM systems with this valuable data. 

We’re Trained To Spot Notifications

With the advent of social media, most of us are used to logging in and immediately looking at the top of the screen for the latest notifications.

Picking up our phones to check for messages is one of the very first things we do every morning. Use this to your advantage in the workplace by setting up a collaborative work system like Basecamp. These programs alert your employees when they get a new message.

Quite often, the number of emails we get in a day can seem overwhelming. However, there is something subtle yet compelling about seeing a little red dot or bell symbol at the top of a page, or on your mobile. If you want to gather quick responses in a way that seems less intrusive than an email or call, message functions can work well and help boost productivity.

Setting Up Collaborative Spaces

If you are running several creative projects at the same time, your staff will need a space where they can change screens and keep all of their notes gathered coherently. Thanks to the internet and social media, most of us are also very used to reading threads, where disparate ideas are formed in one place. Many of us are also trained to summarise crucial points in the thread’s narrative. With a tool like Slack, this process becomes easy.

You can categorize discussions and ideas via hashtag-themed sections, share files, use messenger and even create shared whiteboards. Signing off work and keeping everyone up-to-date is an essential.

Using Gamification To Boost Engagement

Employees like to know that their work is appreciated. If they feel rewarded in some way, they will be incentivized to give more.

With gamification elements or enhanced with digital tools, you can build a ‘points’ system of sorts. Or even send out an ‘applause’ when a task is completed well. For example, you could offer product discounts for high performing employees. Alternatively, you can also use gamification elements within your HR on-boarding or employee learning programs.

People like to feel that they are progressing. Programs like Duolingo – a language app – do this beautifully. There is something about the uplifting bell sound on a correct answer that compels the user to seek the reward again and again. People also like seeing progress bars that increase with more interaction. Consider how you can bring these elements into your operations.  Incentivize your staff to learn new skills quickly in a fun, less pressured way.

Using Personal Devices

Allowing staff to use their devices to interact with working life is also vital. If you can get messages across via text quicker, utilize SMS. Or use a well-known site like Dropbox, as this will allow your staff to download the app on their smartphones and work from anywhere. Creating a working space on Google Drive will also allow your team to contribute at any time of the day.

Mobile bans in the office only seek to demotivate staff in 2017. The Millennial influence has crept into mainstream places of work. Nowadays, young people can actually be put off from working with a company that doesn’t allow personal phone use during working hours. In fact, studies have found that 72% of younger workers think that access to devices is more important than office design when it comes to building a positive working environment.

Practical Learning Applications

If you’re a company that deals with online sales, giving your staff the incentive to make their own online store can give them some essential pointers in running a business.

Ecommerce subscription hosts can set up your employees with their own store for a low monthly cost. You can use this as an incentive scheme, as well as to promote learning. Online store builders can provide your staff with all the automated tools they need to run a smooth-sailing ship that won’t eat up lots of their spare time. They can also generate a profit and pick up a multitude of skills across industries like branding, marketing, PR, recordkeeping and more.

Make no mistake, digital tools are here to stay, and you cannot afford to miss out by sticking rigorously to outdated office rules. Flexibility is the key advantage of using automated tools to help centralize communications and improve productivity. Invest in programs that can be accessed from multiple devices if you want to keep Millennials and Gen Ys engaged as employees.

Author Bio:
Victoria Greene is a writer and brand expert. She runs the Victoria Ecommerce blog. Here, she regularly offers help to businesses looking to automate their workflow.