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Employee Engagement Breaks Out of the Silo

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Image: Westend61 GmbH - Alamy Stock Photo
Companies looking at ways to create a fully engaged and collaborative workplace need to be able to gather and analyze behavioral and sentiment data from employees across different touchpoints and — this is critically important — follow up with guidance based on what that data shows.
Metrigy classifies the products that enable the ability to do all this data gathering, measurement, and delivery of actionable advice as “employee engagement insight,” and we highly encourage companies to make these tools a central component of their employee experience strategies. This is a purchase decision that increasingly benefits from a cross-disciplinary approach, one that involves not only HR, but also IT, operations, and, potentially, line-of-business decision makers — and vendors are stepping up.
The ability to deliver employee engagement insights has become a core function of HR-oriented employee experience platforms from providers such as Lattice and Limeade, as well as for companies that correlate employee engagement and customer experience. Medallia and Qualtrics are examples that fall in this latter category.
IT providers, particularly those with collaboration, communications, and productivity applications, have lots of value to deliver here, too –– in helping to inform not only individual employees, but also providing a view of employee engagement in aggregate (using de-personalized data) for team, departmental, and organizational leaders.
This is especially the case in their ability to surface employee behavior data that can help guide changes that will tamp down on video meeting fatigue, which remains a challenge for 44% of the nearly 400 organizations that participated in a fall 2021 Metrigy study.
For example, Microsoft tackles video meeting fatigue and the overall experience associated with using Microsoft Teams via Viva Insights, one of four components of its full-scale employee experience platform, Viva. Among many other features, Viva Insights offers personalized suggestions and feedback on improving the meeting experience. Cisco company Webex provides similar guidance, but it has added its collaboration insights offering at the application level rather than as part of a platform. Meantime, we have providers such as ActivTrak that pull together all sorts of digital activity data, including from collaboration and productivity apps, and Vyopta, which is layering user insights from meeting tools into its multivendor collaboration management platform.
With all these tools at hand, here are four ways HR and IT leaders, or a cross-disciplinary employee experience team, can gather and use employee engagement insight data:
  1. Understand employee sentiment in the moment, by taking pulse pools during a company townhall, group meeting, or training session, for example
  2. Assess how engaged employees feel over time, via annual or quarterly engagement surveys
  3. Empower employees to self-improve on engagement, productivity, and well-being, by surfacing behavioral data, such as how many meetings they’ve started late, haven’t turned on their video for, or haven’t participated in actively, along with best practices guidance on how to change behavior for improved productivity, engagement, and well-being
  4. Learn how employees engage in collaborative activities throughout the day, by surfacing aggregated behavioral data and looking for trends to share among departments or across the organization for positive improvement
As you might surmise, one and two listed above are traditional HR mechanisms, while three and four take advantage of newer offerings focused on collaboration data. But hopefully what’s also clear is that a siloed view on employee engagement is no longer necessary, nor is it advisable.