Technology's workforce engagement potential remains untapped

Three-quarters (76%) of HR professionals still use annual employee surveys to measure workforce engagement, according to real-time audience engagement app Vevox

With annual surveys being criticised as 'outdated', Vevox's survey highlighted technology as an area of untapped potential for measuring employee engagement.

It found that software platforms were used for just 12% of employee engagement methods.

The biggest barrier to implementing new HR technology was budgetary restrictions for 69% of HR leaders, lack of solutions knowledge was cited by 23%, and 8% blamed a lack of management support.

Pete Eyre, managing director at Vevox, said: "With all the technology available [an annual survey] is such an outdated method of measuring engagement. Having a touchpoint once a year is simply not enough and feedback should be collected at various points throughout the year.

Still, 55% of HR professionals noted that workforce engagement now features either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ in their boardroom.

Eyre added: "To keep a workforce engaged they should be encouraged to contribute on a regular basis, which can then shape the direction of the business, rather than a one-off token gesture. This is also critical when it comes to trying to retain employees; leaving it until the end of the year is often too little too late."

The research also found improving internal comms is a major focus in 2020, with 44% of respondents set to increase spending on internal comms and 21% planning to introduce employee engagement apps.

Carol Brown, colleague communications and engagement lead at Studio Rental, told HR magazine: “Annual surveys are attractive to HR and management teams as they support the performance management review cycle and provide data to feed into appraisals. There are merits to having an annual snapshot and a cycle by which things can be done. However, there is now a wider expectation that colleagues should have a voice and that means creating the opportunities to open up the conversation with all colleagues much more regularly.

“There are some great disruptive technology tools that really help colleagues voice ideas, concerns and most importantly how they are feeling 24/7. These are providing real-time data on people matters that is immensely valuable for engagement planning, performance management and benchmarking,” she added.