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The Employee Experience: 4 Tech Tools That Bring Back the Fun

Erin Ollila
October 29, 2019

3 minute read

Day in and day out, work can feel monotonous for many employees. The routine is the same. The tasks are the same. The hours are the same. It’s all a bit, well, underwhelming.

Is there an opportunity for technology to improve the employee experience and make showing up for work every day a bit more…fun? We think so! Here are 4 ways tech can transform how employees communicate at work.

Chatbots: the non-human resource for human resources

Employees are beginning to expect the same “smart” experience they have at home in their careers. What a better way to deliver on that than to “hire” chatbots as your HR front line? Doing so immediately engages employees when they need assistance, allowing businesses to improve employee experience and retain their top talent.

And, there are multiple use cases for using bots to communicate with employees, especially on behalf of HR.

“For recruits and new hires, chatbots can address organizational questions, automate interview and background-check processes, and make onboarding easy to understand and access,” says Michael Gretczko, Principal, in an article for Deloitte. He continues, “These automated, immediate workflows do not require human intervention, allowing HR representatives to refocus their efforts on strategic and relationship-building initiatives like coaching, leadership development, and HR transformation projects.”

GIFs: a way to express feelings without any words

gif from giphy

Gif source

GIFs, what are often described as an animated photo or a minuscule video clip, are ripe with possibility for making workplace communications fun while improving the employee experience. Often used as a way to share a reaction to something, GIFs can sometimes get a point across better than any words could.

“GIPHY’s platform enables brands to be at the center of cultural moments,” said Alexis Berger, vice president of revenue for GIPHY, in a press release discussing the integration of GIPHY and Oracle Data Cloud. By encouraging GIF usage in the workplace, businesses are giving their employees a tool to express themselves in a new — and dare we say fun — way.

Personalized emojis: shine a light on each valuable employee

One reason employee engagement declines is because workers feel as if they’re insignificant. What a better way to make everyone feel valued than to give each employee their own emoji used to communicate both internally and externally.

Call me vain, but a personalized emoji is fun, fun, fun. Email inboxes, messaging platforms, and well, just about any workplace tech tool that tracks employee use often comes along with a static, boring icon near the user’s name. Quite often it could be their first and last initial, or worse — the same graphic avatar drawing everyone else in the company uses. By creating personalized emojis, each employee has their own opportunity to stand out with either a cartoon or actual picture of themselves as their avatar-like icons.

Gamification: how fun competitions encourage employee interactions

Looking for a way to engage your staff? Introduce gamification into your workplace. While most of the time gamification is discussed in regard to employment, it’s used as a way to bolster staff productivity and encourage employees to work harder to meet company goals. However, there are more uses, such as rapport building.

According to Staffbase, “Gamification and opportunities for having fun are great for making people feel welcome and allowing them to express their individuality. Such efforts can also help them get to know their colleagues, and they have the power to establish feelings of belonging that boost employee engagement and improve retention.”

In the article, Staffbase mentions an airline that hosts an employee “cutest pet” contest every month, but there are many other ways to gamify your employee experience. Host cookoffs between teams. Pick a theme for the day and invite staff to dress in that theme. Then, let the rest of the employees choose a winner.

Work doesn’t have to be boring. With help from CX tech, employees gain new ways to access valuable information and express themselves at work.

Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. After a 12+ year career in human resources, she's jumped headfirst into digital strategy. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media.
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