Digital transformation in HR departments can help increase millennial employee engagement and employee retention

Digital Transformation spending is expected to reach $1.7 trillion worldwide by the end of 2019. With the growing value of technology in future workplaces, technology-driven HR initiatives have also become a way to go ahead.

The Speakap study, ‘Technology’s Role in Managing & Retaining Employees,’ surveyed 250 HR professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom. Of the respondents, 69 % of the organizations currently are implementing technology-driven HR initiatives. Half of the surveyed HR professionals also said that 16-45 percent of the total HR budget is allotted to technology.

Demographics wise, 48% of the surveyed HR professionals said that millennials make up the majority of the non-desk workforce, followed by Gen X (25%), Gen Z (20%) and baby boomers (7%). As multiple generations of employees work at an organization, HR professionals find it challenging to understand how they can communicate across the board. While 92% of millennials are smartphone users, Gen X has 85% smartphone users, and baby boomers are at 67 %.

There are unique challenges and solutions that HR professionals face while managing this youngest generation of employees and for increasing employee engagement. Some of them are:

Adapting to employees tech skills

HR professionals are now taking the technology route to communicate better, across all age groups. One of the major usage trends the report observed was that millennials, Gen Z and baby boomers have different tech skills, mobile adoption rates, and expectations from the employee experience. 45% of baby boomers in the workforce rarely use social media/mobile apps and are likely to disconnect after working hours, compared to 56% of millennial and Gen Z who stay connected. So while using gadgets and social media for employee engagement, the HR team needs to ensure targeted communications.

Invest in enterprise social network

Forty-seven percent of the respondents said their millennial and Gen Z workers prefer to have questions answered in real-time. These employees also expect the communication software to be more like those of social media networks, with quick and short responses. For this speedy communication and to gauge the employee experience in real-time, HR teams should use an enterprise social network and survey/poll-style software. HR teams can also integrate survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics, into their employee communications platform for efficient real-time understanding of their job satisfaction and culture alignment.

This investment in the enterprise social network can also be taken beyond social media platforms. Millennials can be encouraged to share, interact and engage with content posted by their colleagues, and teams.

Further, companies can leverage data analytics to understand employees’ needs, preferences, frustrations, and recommendations. By doing so, HR professionals can apply a test-and-learn approach to employee experience and build a stronger relationship with them.

Erwin Van Der Vlist, Co-Founder & CEO of Speakap, also suggested, “I would recommend that organizations apply a buyer persona approach to their HR communications to better understand where their employees are searching for information online, what content employees are consuming most often and what content has the greatest influence in persuading them to take an action. This will prove tremendously valuable if the HR departments want to keep them engaged long-term,”

With an average attrition rate of up to 30% each year, coupled with the employee replacement cost of up to $4,000, the smart way forward for HR leadership for addressing the underlying causes for this attrition is by using technology-integrated data and analytics.