Today, more than ever, employee engagement is one of the most important factors to contribute to success. In years gone by, the very idea of ‘work’ was to earn money and put food on the table for the family. Now, we recognize our opportunity to enjoy our careers and this has led to a shift in focus. Instead of valuing money as the most important aspect in a job, people are far happier to work for less where there are appreciation and value every day.
For businesses, this has led to improved benefits systems, rewards programs, clear opportunities to grow within the business, and employee engagement software. In case you didn’t know, the latter is one of the most in-demand features in businesses around the world because it allows them to recognize employee achievements, promote positive activity, and track all feedback.
If you haven’t considered employee engagement software before, now could be the time to do so because it allows the employee to have an input with ideas and feedback. Furthermore, it shows all achievements in a clear forum and we all know what happens when employees feel valued in their job; they work even harder and are more willing to go the extra mile.
With this in mind, you can see the benefits of having an employee engagement system installed…but this leads to a problem. With several software options available, how are you supposed to know which is best for your business? Today, we have seven considerations to keep in mind so you can make the right decision for both your business and your employees!
#1: Installed v Web-Based Software – First and foremost, there are two main options for employee engagement software. With one, the software will need to be installed onto the central system to then become available. Essentially, this means all updates need to be done manually and the program can only be accessed when in the office.
On the other hand, we have web-based or cloud-based solutions which remove the physical download and have everything accessible over the internet. With this second option, it means the software can be accessed from anywhere in the world so long as you have the login information. If you have sales teams always out of the office, multiple offices around the area, or members of staff working from home/on frequent business trips, web-based software will be the better solution.
No matter where your employees are in the world, they can share their achievements, provide feedback, and help the business. This being said, an installed program can still work if you’re a small business with just a handful of employees.
#2: Financial Budget – Depending on your size and the importance you place on this software, you’re likely to have a budget in place. When looking for the right employee engagement software, this budget is important because you don’t want to be wasting time researching programs you can’t afford. While some charge a certain amount per month for each employee using the software, others charge a fixed amount per year regardless of the number of employees.
#3: Ease of Use – Remember, this software is a great step forward for your employees. Suddenly, they have a forum where they can provide feedback while receiving the praise of others after achieving something special. If you choose software that’s notoriously hard to use, it’s actually going to have the opposite impact and leave employees feeling frustrated.
Just because a program has millions of customers and the best reviews of any company, this doesn’t mean the interface has been designed with simplicity in mind. Luckily, the majority of software developers today offer a free trial and we can’t express how useful it can be to utilize these when shopping the market. With each program, you can sit down with a couple of employees and try it out with no obligation to purchase at the end. After receiving feedback, the right software is chosen and the software will work.
#4: Your Needs – Ecommerce experts Comalytics said that at first, this sounds incredibly simple but we still see people making the same mistake year after year. For example, some businesses choose software just because the biggest brands in the market are using it. Elsewhere, there are others who talk to friends and select software based on what they were recommended. Of course, getting recommendations is certainly useful but the software you choose needs to adhere to YOUR needs.
If you’re looking for a simple option with employee pulse surveys, wellness assessments, challenge creation, and peer recognition, you should be choosing software with these key features. For other people, they have completely different needs so base your decision on your own needs and you won’t end up paying for features you just don’t need. Ultimately, the smartest decision will lead to the best return on your investment.
#5: Software Management – For your next consideration, do you want all updates to be completed automatically or are you happy to do them yourself? When you choose to go for physical software, you’re in control and will need to do any updates that the developers release. With web-based programs, the developers retain control and you won’t have to do anything. After releasing an update, you’ll instantly benefit after logging in the next time.
Furthermore, software management also covers how easy your job is going to be in managing all feedback, communication with employees, and other features. If you have a large team and several offices, you’re going to need the software to be easy to manage. For example, you’ll need it to be easy when flicking through your employees’ requests and achievements.
#6: Your Future Needs – Earlier, we covered the importance of your current needs but what about your future needs? Finding a program that does everything you need is always good news, but what if you’re expecting to grow within the next two years? What if you’re planning to open a second and even third office over the next five years? If possible, look for employee engagement software that grows with you. This way, you won’t have the upheaval of changing programs somewhere down the line.
#7: Customer Support – Finally, we also value customer support and think you should too. At times, you might have some issues with the software so how easy will it be to 1) get in touch with the customer support team and 2) have the problem fixed.
With physical software downloaded onto the individual systems, there’s a question of whether you receive customer support at all. For the most part, web-based employee engagement tools will be easier in this regard because the developers are always looking to improve their service. This being said, you still need a service who offer support via email and phone in addition to the newer (and quicker!) live chat and social media.
Summary – If you keep these seven considerations in mind when purchasing employee engagement software, your employees will be rewarded with a superb tool. Not only will they be grateful for the many features, you could also benefit from improved communication if your tool offers this ability!