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Employee Engagement: Hyper-Personalization for All!

01 March 2018
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To talk about how hyper-personalization of technology and management can help your company’s employee engagement, I think it’s important to define employee engagement.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that an engaged employee is one who is genuinely committed to the job and excited to go to work every morning to help the company grow.

I’m sure that you’d like every employee to be like this. Why wouldn’t you? Engaged employees work hard, care about the company, and are intensely loyal. Lucky for you this is 2018 and the ability to use technology to hyper-personalize each employee’s work experience takes the guesswork out of how to get the most employee engagement benefits possible from your team.

Allowing Employees to Choose Their Working Environments

A pillar of true employee engagement is control. If an employee feels like they have control over how they spend their day, they feel trusted and truly engaged.

I’ve written before about all the reasons I hate open offices, most of which relate to removing employees’ ability to control their environment or have any privacy. I suggest allowing employees to choose from different types of work stations ranging from totally private, soundproofed rooms to lounges where employees can meet and brainstorm.

Even if doing an expensive redesign isn’t possible, here are a few simple ways you can let employees hyper-personalize their own spaces:

  1. Listen to them! Ask whether employees want open offices, what they want in a break room, etc.
  2. Allow for privacy. Taking down walls and watching your employees like a hawk is the best way to destroy morale and erode trust.
  3. Let employees decorate and move stuff around their work stations within reason.

Use Technology to Transparently Evaluate Job Satisfaction

Technology can take the guesswork out of solving employee dissatisfaction. If your employees are able to report what they do and don’t like about the job in real time without fearing consequences, engagement will improve.

In order for this to work, however, management must respond sincerely to employee complaints. Allowing employees to tell you what’s wrong and then pretending like everything is fine will make things much worse. If it’s ever not possible to make a suggested change, at least sit down and talk with your employee about why. Don’t ignore them.

Adjust Levels of Management Involvement for Each Employee

Employee engagement is about treating your employees like the individuals they are. Different individuals need very different levels of management for work. If you micromanage someone who works best on their own or leave someone alone who likes ready feedback, you’re wasting employee potential.

Pay close attention to what works with different employees and hyper-personalize your management style for maximum results. When your employees see that you’re paying attention and care more about their results than your control over their process, employee engagement will skyrocket.

Let Employees Customize Their Work Interface and Work Methods

This is similar to letting employees choose their work desks. Let employees personalize how they get the job done and what methods to use.

There’s a hidden benefit to doing this: employees usually know the best way to do things and can figure out creative time-saving solutions management never would have thought of.

We need to reiterate that employees are smart and won’t do things that have no benefit to them. Your employees know whether telling you they’ve automated a process will get them a raise or just get them more work. If you punish innovation by piling on an employee’s workload and not rewarding it enough, don’t be surprised when employees stop bringing you their ideas and check out of the job.

Hyper-personalize the new hire onboarding process to target the right employees

Hiring an engaged employee starts with the hiring process. If you keep track of what keywords and phrases you use in your ads, who applies, and which employees work out, you can save time and get the right people the first time.

Conclusion

Employee engagement is about employees:

  1. controlling what they do and how they do it,
  2. relying on managers who listen to them, and
  3. knowing what they do matters.

If your employees feel these things when you’re hyper-personalizing their work environment, you’ll create levels of employee engagement like you’ve never seen.

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Elizabeth Woodard

Liz Woodard is an office veteran who's fascinated by office dynamics and believes that applied behavioral psychology can go far towards managing a company well. Find her at http://www.lizwoodard.com/.

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