Why HR and IT Partner for Employee Engagement

Employee engagement isn't just HR's responsibility. Here's why (and how) your IT department can contribute to happier employees.

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Just as eCommerce companies continually seek to enhance the customer journey, businesses are also seeking to enhance the experience of their internal customers, their employees. To make the most of employee engagement and retention efforts, human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) are partnering to create and implement effective incentives.

It makes sense. Employee engagement is a win-win for employees and the companies they work for. Happy employees are more productive, motivated and feel more engaged. In addition, companies that foster employee engagement tend to thrive in their market and outperform their competition by 20%. 

HR has long been the torchbearer for creating happy, healthy workplace cultures. But that task has gotten harder with pandemic-related, full-time work-from-home policies still in effect for most companies. As remote employees feel increasingly detached from the workplace, HR departments have been challenged to keep employees engaged and connected.

To overcome these challenges and stem the rising tide of the “Great Resignation”, HR departments can no longer go it alone. 

New Partnerships Form

HR and IT departments historically have worked together on projects related to security like new employee onboarding and SSO for benefit portals. When most organizations sent employees home in March 2020, HR and IT worked closely to make sure employees could do their work.

Now that the urgency of work-from-home logistics has largely passed, the importance of employee engagement is top of mind. To successfully implement employee-centric retention and engagement  strategies, many HR departments are partnering with IT to deliver enhanced employee journeys and experiences. Whether through process, technology or perks like employee stores, IT and HR departments are developing programs and perks that put the employee experience first. 

IT and HR are both essential departments and much of what they do directly impacts a company’s bottom line. If HR can deliver digitally-driven, next-generation HR, they can ensure a more motivated, engaged and productive workforce. But they need IT to supply the right tools, technology and knowledge to make that happen. Together, they can implement processes that increase the success of employee experience programs, improve the employee journey and address employee expectations.

Today’s Employees Have High Expectations

Today’s workforce, especially Gen Z and Millennials, have heightened expectations of their employers and workplaces. Working for a company that makes them feel fulfilled and appreciated is often more important than the money they earn. Employees are more likely to be loyal to a company that lives up to their expectations. Some of the common areas where HR and IT can ensure that employee expectations are being met include:

  • Opportunities to use skills and talents
  • Recognition for achievements
  • Regular feedback
  • Transparency among leadership
  • Ongoing training and education
  • Positive work cultures
  • Upward mobility within the company
  • Highly digital and tech-savvy working environments
  • Social and environmental responsibility 

In addition, employees want perks that make them feel appreciated and valued. Surveys show that authentic employee perk programs have a powerful impact on employee retention, motivation and company culture. These include benefits like wellness programs, home office allowances, professional development plans and flexible work schedules.

Dedicated eCommerce employee and specialty stores are also a popular employee perk. Stores are especially advantageous for DTC eCommerce brands who can offer employees deep discounts on products they sell. Offering employees (and their families) special deals is a great way for companies to make employees feel cared for. Making an investment into specialty stores can pay off, as 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt appreciated.

HR and IT can devise digitally-driven programs that can deliver on everything that keeps employees happy and engaged.

How Digital Workplaces Can Improve Employee Engagement and Happiness

The digital workplace culture is an important part of the employee experience. 

Employees expect effortless and seamless digital environments that match the digital experiences of their personal lives. In today’s remote work scenarios, they want and need tech tools that keep them connected. Zoom, Slack, Google Meet and other communication tools need to be seamless and hassle free. 

To fully address these needs, HR and IT must implement technologies that improve every step of the employee journey. The best way for HR to find out what employees value is to simply ask through online polls and surveys and data analysis. Once HR determines employee wants and needs, IT’s job is to find and streamline the technology to make it all happen. By utilizing digitally-driven employee experience programs, a business can better understand and empathize with the needs and desires of the workforce.

The productivity and efficiency technology brings are undeniable. Regardless of industry or business sector, the correct tech tools, solutions and programs can help companies build meaningful relationships with employees. While each workplace will have different solutions to improving employee experiences, the positive results make collaboration worth it. 

HR and IT Must Be on the Same Page

Companies can no longer view HR and IT as two separate entities. When it comes to improving the employee experience through HR and IT collaboration and digital transformation, the future is now. 

If you’ve considered an employee store for your DTC business, talk to an eCommerce expert at Scalefast and find out how easy it is to add perks to your HR retention strategy.

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