In my last post I described The Lamberhurst Employee Engagement Wheel which recognises that the question ‘are your employees engaged?’ is somewhat meaningless unless you also ask ‘engaged with what?’ The wheel identifies 11 facets of the business and poses the key employee engagement question for each one. The segment titled ‘IT – intranet, work support systems’ asks ‘do you have effective IT systems that staff can use to the full?’ Whilst IT is now a critical component of nearly all businesses, how can we use IT to help keep out employees engaged? I believe there are several essential elements to this:
When employees can easily access the information they need to carry out their job they are more likely to remain engaged. A well designed intranet portal can be a very effective mechanism for achieving this. However, a poorly designed and out of date intranet will do the opposite. How many of us have worked in organisations where the company intranet acts solely as the homepage, but is largely ignored apart, maybe, from accessing the internal phone list? A modern intranet, based on Web 2.0 technologies, will not only act as a portal to other business systems, but will provide a number of tools to share company information in an intuitive manner. Knowledge management systems often integrate the storage and search tools of an electronic document management system with the presentation and usability of a website. An intuitive interface, with the ability to allow users to post their own knowledge items, add comments and edit items, creates an internal online ‘wiki’, which is a great way to enable knowledge sharing and keep procedures up to date. This is a far cry from outdated procedure manuals gathering dust on a shelf, which can be demoralising to the person who spent time writing them as well as to the user with a problem who finds the process has been changed since the manual was written! The deployment of a content rich intranet is just one area where technology can help with employee engagement. I’ll be continuing this theme with other areas of IT supporting an employee engagement strategy in my next couple of posts. In the meantime drop me a line if you want to discuss further or have a look at my thoughts on how technology can be used to drive change.