Employees make decisions and take actions on a daily basis that can directly affect an organisation and its reputation. The way you treat your staff can impact upon how they engage and interact with each other and with your customers, and how well they perform their roles, take responsibility for your mission, and commit themselves to the success of your business. All of this is precisely why improving employee engagement has to be top of your agenda.
Join us as we explore the importance of employee engagement, and how smart building technology can make it a whole lot easier to achieve it, in more ways than one.
What is ‘employee engagement’?
Academic researchers describe employee engagement as the degree to which a member of staff:
- Feels committed to an organisation
- Identifies with an organisation
- Feels satisfied with their job
- Feels enthusiastic about their work
Engaged employees care about their work, and about how their company performs.
Why is improving employee engagement important?
Research shows that engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers, and that highly engaged workplaces experience 41% lower absenteeism. What’s more, 92% of business executives believe that engaged employees perform better, boosting the success of their teams and the outcomes of their business.
Employee engagement impacts upon pretty much every area of a business. From revenue and profitability to customer experience and brand loyalty through to staff turnover, there is little that isn’t affected by how engaged your people are in the workplace.
Organisations that value their people tend to be the ones that enjoy the benefits of a committed and passionate workforce with a strong skillset. On the other hand, those that fail to support and reward their employees will often miss out on drawing the best out of them.
Taking steps to improve employee engagement will:
- Have a direct effect on staff retention
- Help increase employee productivity
- Reduce staff absenteeism
And what employer doesn’t want all of the above?
So, the million-dollar question… how to improve employee engagement?
Despite how important improving employee engagement is, according to Gallup, only 15% of employees across the globe fall into the ‘engaged’ category.
So, how to improve employee engagement and develop a collaborative, enthusiastic and empowered workforce that’s as committed to the success of your business as you are? Let’s take a look at some practical steps that could have highly advantageous results, all of them centred on the use of smart building technology.
Boost everyday efficiencies
Inefficient processes and outdated technology serve only to frustrate workers, at all levels. If staff can’t get through their task lists efficiently, they’ll soon start to feel stressed. And stressed workers are certainly not engaged workers.
Investment in technologies such as cloud desktops that allow fast and simple access to documents and applications from any device is a must, especially for today’s hybrid, remote and activity based workforces.
Single sign on access control is another efficiency booster. Bearing in mind the average user signs in to 10 apps every day, and that within any building, there are multiple points of access that staff come across during the working day, it’s not going to be long before frustration sets in with having to provide proof of authority to enter parts of the building, or login to applications.
Role-based single sign on makes it possible for staff to securely sign in to everything with a one-time login. This is helpful at all levels, from everyday users to admin, IT and compliance managers.
And then there’s the process of automating meeting room and desk bookings. Taking away all those challenges that arise when multiple staff are looking for a place to meet or work is another way to remove those engagement killing frustrations. Such technology is part and parcel of the smart building and, when integrated with contactless access control and digital wayfinding for visitor management, even more of the workforce can find benefit.
Empower facilities managers
A smart building is one in which operating systems are controlled centrally and automatically, courtesy of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices.
Facilities managers play such a pivotal role in the success of an organisation, holding responsibility for everything from energy management and servicing and maintenance, to workplace environment, building and environmental management, and budgeting.
It goes without saying then, that an engaged facilities manager will be a true asset to any business. Smart building technology has the ability to empower facilities managers in numerous ways, firstly by automating many of the tasks they’d usually spend a huge proportion of their time on, and secondly by feeding them rich data from all corners of the premises.
Put control at worker’s fingertips
Working in conditions that don’t suit you personally, or that don’t tally with the task in hand, can lower engagement. But smart building technology allows workers to control lighting and temperature in their own personal space, all via an app on their personal smartphone.
With complete control over their own working environment, staff enjoy better satisfaction and enhanced workplace well-being, leading to greater levels of engagement.
What’s more, smart building technology app personal feedback controls allow workers to submit their views on the likes of indoor air quality, noise pollution and other important aspects of their working environment. Not only does this provide facilities managers with vital user feedback, it also gives staff a sense of value, knowing that their views and sense of comfort are important.
Create a healthy workspace
A team of experts from the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health led by Dr Joseph Allen summarised nine foundations of a healthy building. These included, amongst others, indoor air quality and ventilation, lighting and views, noise, safety and security.
Buildings that lack these foundations may be classed as having ‘sick building syndrome’. Workers spending time on such buildings may experience symptoms such as headaches, sinus problems, dry or itchy skin, sore eyes or throat, coughing or wheezing, skin rashes, tiredness, and difficulty concentrating. None of which are conducive to an engaged workforce.
Smart building technology is designed to make achieving healthy building status a simple, streamlined task. It may incorporate the likes of smart HVAC, which has the power to enhance workplace comfort by monitoring and improving indoor air quality, and smart lighting, which is able to identify optimum lighting settings and, using artificial intelligence, change the type and tone of lighting to suit current conditions.
Support flexible working
When staff are able to work flexibly and achieve an improved work-life balance, improved engagement comes naturally.
The great thing about the smart building is that it supports hybrid working courtesy of workplace automation, allowing staff to pre-book workspace for when they’ll be in the office, and stay connected to their colleagues via a community app when they’re working remotely. Smart buildings directly support the trend for activity based working in the same way.
Create a community feel
A connected workforce is an engaged workforce. Creating a sense of community at work, especially where there’s a hybrid working model in place or where staff are split across different buildings, is vital.
A sense of community creates a feeling of belonging for staff, which results in greater dedication. There are lots of ways to create a sense of community at work, from boosting communications and organising events, to creating group networks. And harnessing the power of smart building technology can really make a difference too.
Whilst smart building technologies will vary in their capabilities, there are some smart building apps that comprise smart office community features, including the likes of newsfeed style local events, special offers and community chat forums, all available at the tap of a simple-to-use smartphone app.
How does Smart Spaces help with improving employee engagement?
Smart Spaces is a cloud-based platform that makes use of internet-connected sensors to manage and automate a host of workplace activities. As well as functioning as a workplace engagement app where users can share latest news and community events, as well as stay up to date with local and workplace life. Smart Spaces has the power to place workspace environment control in the hands of individual workers, and improve workplace well-being.
To learn more about how Smart Spaces can help you with improving employee engagement, you are welcome to request a free demo or get in touch.