Employee disengagement has escalated from a disconcerting trend to a full-blown epidemic. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, nearly 70% of U.S. employees admit they don’t feel engaged at work. Every business, regardless of size or industry, should be worried about employee disengagement. Employee engagement has a direct impact on turnover, productivity, and your company’s bottom line. There are many reasons employees might disengage from their work. Many of them center around an employee’s sense of value they get from their job—does my work have an impact? Do I feel recognized? Do I have the freedom and trust to own my projects? Do I feel connected to my peers? Do the company and my manager have my best interests at heart? Because of this, employee engagement happens slowly, with employees coming in with ample excitement for the role, and slowly over time, that eagerness is replaced with a sense of boredom or languishing.

Who owns employee engagement?

Employee disengagement can be especially troubling and difficult to spot when employees are working remotely. While employee engagement has traditionally been the responsibility of the HR department, today the answer is not so simple. Teams today tend to be more distributed, with more employees working entirely from home or coming into the office only a couple of times per week. Therefore, HR increasingly has to rely on managers to spot signs of disengagement and find solutions to turn the tide around. In the new world of work, the responsibility of worker engagement is shared by managers and HR, and both need to think about how to motivate employees and connect their roles to the bigger picture. 

HR tech to the rescue

This is where HR tech comes in. Streamlined communication between employees at all levels helps everyone feel connected and aligned—something especially important for those working from home, who are at increased risk of disconnection and disengagement. Employees want to feel productive. Nobody wants to clock into work and feel like they’re wasting their time or getting nothing accomplished. Tapping into the power of HR tech gives employees an easy way to connect, recognize colleagues for their hard work and effort, and reach out to HR, managers, or leadership for extra assistance. 

The relationship between HR tech and employee engagement

At Hibob, we conducted research to find out which tech tools workers found most helpful while WFH. On average among US employees, a tech stack including HR tech received a 3.7 average score in helpfulness to the WFH experience; the same work tech stack without HR tech received only a 3.4 average score. Among UK employees, a tech stack including HR tech received a 3.7 average score in helpfulness to the WFH experience; and the same tech stack without HR tech received a 3.2 average score.

Our research also showed that employees who engaged with HR tech felt more productive than those who didn’t (3.8 vs 3.7 US and 3.7 vs 3.5 UK).

HR tech helps people do their best work, wherever they are

Facebook, Twitter, and Square announced early on in the pandemic that they’re allowing employees to work remotely in perpetuity. Companies that were work-from-home-averse have become fully remote—some, for now, some forever. There are also hybrid models emerging to allow flexibility of both time and location. HR tech leverages AI, intuitive design, and productivity-inducing insights to help make employees more engaged and productive (and happier) at work. A robust HR tech platform can help create a positive work experience by making it easier for employees to get their job done and communicate with each other. Also, investing in HR tech and in creative solutions to combat disengagement will send a strong message to employees that you care and that you’re here to support them in any way possible.

Annie Lubin

From Annie Lubin

Annie grew up in Brooklyn, New York. On a Saturday afternoon, you'll likely find her curled up with her cats reading a magazine profile about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.