A quick YouTube and Google search shows numerous examples of employees exiting their job and leaving a lasting impression. One of the more famous exits is former JetBlue flight attendant, Steve Slater. After an incident with a female passenger he grabbed a few beers and slid down the plane’s emergency slide, but not before using the plane’s in-flight PA system to comment on the passenger. The 2010 incident was captured on a security camera and Slater was fined for his memorable exit. Today such an exit would be captured by numerous amateur videographers and posted online for the world to see. The incident was a result of Slater reaching a breaking point due to caring for ill parents, work and dealing with his own demons. He said he felt exhausted, demoralized and angry with this personal situation and work life.
The Slater incident has forced companies to examine how to support employees at work and home. Fortunately, focus on technology has progressed in the last few years with an emphasis on innovation to enhance the employee experience and manage the workforce; the attention is on employee retention and overall happiness with their job.
Employees are an employer’s most valuable resource. A happy workforce translates into positive output. Just think…happy nurses equals happy patients or happy factory workers equals an efficient factory line. All this discussion about employee engagement is not just talk. Statistics show that organizations with highly engaged employees experience greater productivity, which translates into increased profits compared to companies with the lowest levels of engagement.
So what does an engaged employee mean? In a nutshell, an engaged employee is one who is interested in and enthusiastic about their work and takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests. An engaged employee will come across as such. Engagement correlates to decreases in absenteeism, turnover and accidents. These are measureable items that correlate to increased job satisfaction, customer service, productivity, sales and profits.
Humans are critical in the workforce regardless of how quickly or efficiently technology advances, but how can technology help? The automation of critical workforce processes such as timekeeping, scheduling and absence reporting are still at the core of effective workforce management solutions. Think of a healthcare organization that has numerous shits to fill or a busy manufacturing plant that requires absence reporting for the assembly line. Software that addresses these issues increases efficiencies.
All this convenient automation, when created and implemented properly, provides employees with some control by creating a two-way communication between employer and employee and gives employees access at their fingertips. Additionally, automation works in real time and reduces manual data collection. In the long run, time and money are saved. The focus is to manage staff, making the organization run better, faster and cheaper. All these efficiencies translate into happier employees.
The current workforce is a mix of millennials to baby boomers, working in a multifaceted mix of roles with various comfort levels when it comes to technology. Some employees are slow to adapt to technological advancements, which is why any automation needs to provide options and that are easy to use, interactive and predictive and don’t drain the employee’s time, data plan and patience. Due to today’s diverse workforce, organizations need to build and support a culture that fosters employee engagement and keeps the organization’s reputation in good standing while keeping employees engaged and interested in the bottom line.
What automation has your company implemented that has helped with employee engagement?