Are you master or slave to your technology?
Part two of a three-part article published on Medium.
Hold your hands out in front of you, palms facing each other, about shoulder width apart. The space between them is the gap between your employees and the level of engagement you either want to have or think you already have. Now move your hands together about two inches each. That’s all the closer you are likely to get, if you’re lacking any one of these three things:
- Great content.
- Comfortable, effective technology.
- Leadership commitment.
Read about how using the wrong technology can stifle employee engagement.
Let’s say you’re better than the worldwide average at engaging your employees (13 percent of employees are engaged). Some other measures of employee engagement, presented by such disparate entities as Dale Carnegie, Forbes, Tlnt.com and the Washington Post, put American employee engagement at or around 30 percent. That falls more in line with my experience as a business communicator. And I’ve logged more time than I care to remember at companies that cannot get out of their own way when it comes to communicating with their own people. I’d like to wag my finger at them right now and say, “You know who you are,” but they probably don’t.
If you’re like me, you consider 30 percent engagement to be alarmingly poor. You probably think you do better than that. I dare you to find out.
There are a number of technology platforms that can help create the optimal delivery methods for your employee communications messages. I won’t go into detail here because nobody’s paying me to shill for their products. Just know that your technology solution means a lot: choose wisely and you have a shot. Choose poorly and you chain yourself to an ineffective platform that will inhibit your ability to connect with your employees every minute of every day.
There is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right technology. Whatever solution you arrive at, it must mimic as closely as possible your audience’s other social and information consumption methods: social media platforms, news publishers, shopping sites, video sites, image sharing sites, etc. Make it as familiar and seamless as possible (mobile!) or the two hands you were holding out in front of you will never get any closer.
Do not make the mistake of using or sticking with a sub-standard platform. If you want to engage employees, you must meet them where they are comfortable.
Read the full article on Medium.
Julian Rogers is a freelance writer, communications consultant and owner of Juju Eye Communications. Follow him on Twitter (@mrturophile), or connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+.