Technology is intended to make employees feel more connected and productive in their organizations. So why do so many employees feel distanced from their teams and distracted from the goals of the organization?

Is the technology that is supposed to bring us closer together and make us more collaborative inadvertently alienating the people you depend on to make your business thrive?

Virtually any organization is susceptible to this phenomenon, but 24/7 operations — in industries like manufacturing and healthcare — represent a particularly challenging environment. Communication style and timeliness can vary widely from shift to shift, and access to technology often varies by role, leading to islands of information where some employees are tuned in to what’s happening in the business while others feel out of the loop.

Effectively motivating the workforce — as individuals and as teams — requires establishing and maintaining a connection with each and every employee. Helping workers understand how their efforts contribute to the success of the organization is essential. Providing them with timely and constructive feedback and training designed to build connections is a catalyst for a productive work environment, one that is the genesis of a winning culture.

How can technology help in this incredibly important aspect of your business strategy? How do you ensure your talent management investments enrich the employee experience? How can you avoid doing all the right things in designing your programs only to see the plan compromised, one eager but uninformed manager at a time?

Ideally, you start at the evaluation stage. Here’s how.

Three Key Questions to Ask When Evaluating a New Talent Management Solution

Does It Enrich Employees Beyond Their Current Role?

Successful organizations recognize that each employee has unique aspirations. A strong development program helps employees align those aspirations to the goals of the business, and complement their existing skills with new skills that will help both the employee and the business grow. A good development framework supported by technology lets employees to grow beyond their current role.

To truly enrich employees, embrace modern learning principles and create a culture of openness and inclusion. Look for rich learning content like video, and build collaborative spaces that foster partnership both within and outside traditional organizational hierarchy.

Does It Live Within the Flow of Work or Is It a Distraction?

Employees are bomboarded with information over the course of a work day. We’re all tuned into our email inboxes and smartphone notifications all day long. If you’re giving employees more information, consider the platform. How can you make sure you’re helping employees, instead of distracting them?

Imagine this scenario: You have a relatively new manager who’s about to begin the performance review process for the first time and has to deliver some potentially unpleasant feedback to one of his employees. Showing a brief video of the “Top Five Ways to Deliver Constructive Criticism” — directly within the same screen that manager will use to write the review — reinforces your corporate culture and trains him to become a better manager and a more effective coach.
Bite-sized, just-in-time learning opportunities dramatically elevate the performance and engagement of a team.

Does HR Control the Content?

If HR doesn’t create, share and own the content that helps managers and employees complete talent management tasks — such as recruiting, onboarding, performance reviews, and compensation planning — its mission is compromised from the start. Video learning, just-in-time coaching, and role-based alerts help transform HR’s strategy and mission into a reality. If these capabilities are part of your talent management suite, HR teams can add critical context — the how and the why — that transform tasks from an administrative burden to a vital connection between individuals and the success of your organization.

Technology Your Team Can Embrace

In order for any piece of technology to be embraced by your workforce, it must be both simple and useful. This is particularly true of HR software.

Keeping these questions in mind — and ensuring vendors can demonstrate the answers in the product, not just in PowerPoint — will empower employees, facilitate communication, and most importantly, help your workforce feel connected and cohesive.

If you are interested in best practices for “always on” cultures, check out Meghan M. Biro’s on-demand webinar: 24 x 7 Talent Management: Best Practices for “Always On” Cultures

This post is sponsored by PeopleFluent.

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