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The digital engagement uprising

 Hospitality is centered on experience with staff being the number one driver to creating those memorable moments for customers. The age-old challenge is how to better connect with transient employees to engage, empower and inspire.

With the world moving to the cloud and the increase of mobile apps that promise to ‘make work easy’ has opened a new world of possibilities for both employers and employees.

Software companies that compete in the HR space have been racing to extend their offers to include engagement ‘portals’. This can include training specialists looking to blended learning, talent specialists seeking to attract and develop people, workforce specialists wanting employees to see shifts, reward specialists incorporating recognition, and core HR / Payroll providers extending their self-service offering. On top of this, there are many established content providers and social media agencies who are bringing in new ways to connect with front line teams.

The Challenge

The reality of this digital engagement revolution has been a disappointment thus far, with few exceptions, the promise of high team engagement and employee retention has not yet been met. For front line teams, 2/3rds of employees are overwhelmed by ‘digital life’, with a multitude of apps and websites to meet different needs. For Managers, communication remains a challenge, trapped between corporate systems and emails on one side, and a ‘wild west’ approach for communicating with front line teams on the other – uncontrolled use of social media has entered the workplace with associated risks. For Head Office, low uptake of digital initiatives for all but mandatory use has resulted in too many failing to meet their goals.

Like any new era, the landscape is littered with innovative ideas that missed the mark. The good news is that a new breed of off-the-shelf, unifying team engagement and corporate intranet portals has arrived. These take advantage of technology shifts that enable seamless integration with corporate systems, whilst solving the problem of how to better connect with front line teams.

The Power of One

Perhaps the greatest insight to date is that success is a direct consequence of employee uptake. This in turn enables social collaboration, better content and communication. By having a single unifying portal for all communication, collaboration and access to self-service, true digital engagement can be realised. By definition, engagement initiatives focus on the front line teams – yet it is leaders and managers that will ultimately drive success – technology is merely an enabler for the cultural change required.

The Case for Change

The best portals enable measurement of usage and adoption, both for front line teams and leaders and can join this up with employee Net Promoter Scores and the People Profit Chain to pinpoint areas for continuous improvement. The employee engagement scorecard will become the next big management tool for year on year profit growth. Results can also be realised in:

  • Better retention – Companies with dissatisfied workers experience staff turnover that is 51% higher
  • Improved productivity – Engaged workers exceed performance targets and take 20% fewer sick days
  • Higher customer satisfaction – Companies with top quartile engagement scores have an average 12% higher customer advocacy rating
  • Boost to profit – Research by Kenexa proved a 0.25% rise in engagement correlates to a 1.2% increase in growth. Gallup proved top quartile engagement delivers EPS that is 2.6 times higher.


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