I recently came back from HR Tech Summit in Toronto which was an amazing experience. It was my first time in Toronto and my first true HR tech conference.
This year, the technology was focused on employee retention and engagement. In prior years, HR Tech was heavily focused on sourcing technology and applicant tracking systems.
We found the “purple squirrels” and now we are worried they may run away when they find a better offer. Companies are starting to understand the true meaning of having a culture that appreciates its employees because attrition is expensive. The US unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2000. If you combine that data with the growing gig economy, candidates have a lot of options and really don’t need to race to find a job.
In last several years, we’ve focused on creating a good candidate experience. The shift is now to also focus on the employee experience. There are several reasons why providing a good employee experience is good business:
- Referrals are the lowest recruitment source cost. Employees are less likely to refer their friends if they hate where they work. They would also be more likely to ask their friends to refer them if they didn’t like where they work or didn’t have a good relationship with their management.
- Low productivity due to employee disengagement is also very expensive. It is estimated that US companies are losing anywhere from $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity due to employee disengagement.
While there are ton of other HR technology companies focusing on employee disengagement and retention, here are the five that were featured at HR Tech Summit in Toronto and how they are helping companies:
Kudos: This employee recognition system gives your organization a branded, online environment that becomes your central hub for celebrating employee achievements. There is also an open API and integrations like Slack, Yammer, and Gmail. The idea behind Kudos is that through recognition, you can promote positive and productive behavior within organizations.
Vacation Fund: Vacation Fund won the tech startup competition at HR Tech Summit. With this service and software, employers can match vacation funds as an added benefit. Employees set up a fund and employers can match it. This would be done separately from payroll deductions. The platform also allows employees to plan and book their vacations. They can receive discounts through the platform as well. The message that employers are sending to employees through programs such as vacation fund is that they care and they want their employees to take their much-needed breaks away from work.
Office Vibe: This is an employee engagement platform that gives a real-time and anonymous voice to employees, providing management with powerful insights to help them unlock the potential of their employees. Office Vibe currently work with thousands of customers globally.
Applauz: A free employee recognition software, Applauz allows employers to send gifts and acknowledge employee milestones such as anniversaries and birthdays. It is a great product for medium and small business. Optionally, employees can earn points based on activities which they can use to pick gifts of their choosing from a ton of different vendors such as Amazon or Samsung. It beats giving an employee a t-shirt or backpack with the company logo.
Guusto: The employee recognition software is free to use and is tailored for businesses of all sizes. This software allows you to set up budgets for employees for their engagement program. The only costs a company using the software would have is for buying the gifts you give employees. The most interesting part of this program is that for every gift card purchased Guusto donates to a clear water fund.
Overall, while there is a huge emphasis on artificial intelligence and machine learning taking over the world of work, people will always be our most valuable resource. There is a huge cost to not investing in employees and engagement. These programs may cost you a little, but can help you save a lot in the long run.