If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you’ve probably heard that employee engagement is declining. But just how bad is it?
According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace report, only 21% of employees are engaged at work. That means another 79% are checked out, living for the weekend, just trying to get a paycheck and go home.
The best way to increase employee engagement is by focusing on the morale and well-being of your team, and this is easily achieved with Employee Engagement software. Below, we’ll show you what to look for in an employee engagement tool, plus an overview of top performing apps and platforms designed specifically with engaged employees in mind.
What is an employee engagement tool?
Gallup reports that engagement dropped from 36% in 2020 to 34% in 2021 – and then again to 32% in 2022. It’s not a massive decline, but it is a steady trend – and it’s exactly the problem that employee engagement tools are designed to correct.
When employees are engaged, they’re happier. This leads to better work culture, higher productivity, more creativity, and more collaborative teams.
Thus, employee engagement tools are any kind of tool – software platforms, apps – that helps you build engagement levels.
What to look for in an employee engagement platform
Whether you’re managing a team of frontline employees, remote employees, in-office employees, or a combination, you’ll want to choose tools that benefit team members and managers alike: their workflows, preferred communication methods, and working styles.
The characteristics we outline below help ensure that you choose the most beneficial employee engagement solution for your unique organization.
Boosts employee collaboration and communication
Research finds that 56% of employees feel disconnected from their organization and colleagues due to their remote work environment.
Communication and the ability to easily collaborate are often cited as top problems among both employees and leaders – and this statistic underscores how the rise of remote work has made communication and collaboration even more challenging.
But it’s not just remote teams: frontline workers have similar struggles. Often working off shifts and constantly being on the go can leave frontline team members feeling isolated and out of the loop on company happenings.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that everyone must return to the office. But it does mean that the best employee engagement tools will offer solutions that make employee communication and collaboration easy and seamless – no matter where your workers are.
Provides a feedback loop for employees and managers
Employee engagement tools should also offer you the ability to continuously improve your employee engagement strategy. This means looking for features like survey questions, polls, pulse checks, and trackable metrics so you can gauge employee sentiment.
The idea is to gather continuous feedback from your employees that your leadership team can turn into actionable insights so you can continuously improve your employees’ experience.
Empowers and validates employees
Building engagement is about more than setting up lines of communication and collecting feedback. You can add a lot of elements to employee engagement strategies – like gamification, which can manifest as leaderboards , badges, awards or competitions, to help make workflows more fun.
But ultimately, whatever tools and strategies you choose, they should empower employees and make them feel seen and heard. Introducing peer recognition tools like shoutouts and kudos will help you make employee engagement and job satisfaction soar.
7 powerful employee engagement tools
You know what to look for in an employee engagement tool – now it’s time to look at some of the tools out there. Browse the list below to find the right tools and HR software to add to your employee engagement program.
Workvivo is an employee experience platform (EXP) that simplifies internal communication and increases engagement by empowering employees to be heard and feel included – no matter where they work.
The platform unifies employee communications, engagement, intranet, and measurement features into one modern employee app that captures the heartbeat of your organization and brings its culture to life.
Thanks to its simple design, employees can easily use Workvivo to stay informed, engaged, and connected. As a result, your company leaders gain better oversight and a direct, unfiltered channel to reach and engage with people and truly feel the company’s pulse and energy.
Want to see our platform in action? It’s easy! Sign up for a demo here.
- Creates open lines of communication between management and employees through two-way comms, surveys for real-time feedback, polls, activity feed posts and reactions, push notifications, news articles, live streaming, and more
- Includes strong analytics capabilities that provide users with the ability to track and measure employee usage metrics and insights. This makes it easier to manage performance and make informed data-driven decisions
- Recognizes and rewards employees for their contributions using badges, shoutouts, and awards
- Encourages users to connect their posts to company values to help align with your company’s vision and mission.
- Ideal for mid-size and enterprise-level companies that want to prioritize employee engagement
- Simple, consumer-grade design and familiar social experience are loved and naturally embraced by employees who use it because they want to, not because they have to
- When a centralized platform like Workvivo is used for engagement instead of fragmented tools, the company can achieve greater reach and better governance.
- While Workvivo is ideal for larger businesses, it may be more than small businesses need
- Busy feeds can lead to a lot of distractions, but Workvivo allows you to manage notifications easily.
Bonusly is an app that encourages employees to have fun – and earn rewards along the way. It’s a peer-to-peer platform that promotes employee development by getting them to recognize and reward each other – a process that adds some much-needed validation for individuals.
As time goes on, the bonuses that each team member receives add up. People can use them to get rewards like customizable company swag or gift cards from the rewards catalog.
This app amps up the fun with a social media-style feel. Users can post gifs and memes, use hashtags, and more. Meanwhile, management can track everything happening on the app with data and analytics that allow you to see everything from the amount of recognition team members earn to the number of rewards each department earns.
- Connect your company mission and values to individual contributions
- Enable a culture of recognition to build stronger teams
- Integrate with communication tools to encourage frequent recognition.
- Makes it easy to give kudos daily (or anytime) rather than only at weekly, monthly, or annual meetings
- Becomes more meaningful over time as team members find their rhythm with how they want to best spend their points.
- Lacks options for donating rewards to charities
- Employees need to generate at least $25 in rewards to redeem.
Nectar is another platform that offers rewards and employee recognition – with a couple of twists. It’s meant to help companies boost employee engagement while giving employees the ability to recognize each other for achievements and other milestones. As with Bonusly, employees can collect rewards, which they can exchange for gift cards and company swag.
The first twist is that this app is very scalable. You’ll pay per user rather than signing up for a contract.
And the second twist? This app offers a wellness challenge, which is perfect for companies who want to promote health and fitness over the course of the entire employee lifecycle.
- Scales readily from small businesses to midsize or large enterprises
- Offers a centralized dashboard where users can interact easily
- Boost engagement further and gather feedback with survey tools.
- Simple to set up and easy-to-use interface
- Offers reminders, so employees don’t lose expiring points.
- Points budget can be limiting for larger teams
- No search features to find specific people on-platform.
15Five is a platform designed to monitor employee performance and continuously improve engagement. To start, you can use this platform to conduct performance reviews – and then track performance over time based on those reviews.
This platform also features employee engagement surveys. In fact, this is the feature that the app is named for, because it takes about fifteen minutes for an employee to fill out these surveys, and about five minutes for managers to review and respond to them. As with performance reviews, you can track engagement over time to keep improving engagement levels.
The other big thing that you can do with this app is track objectives and key results. Set team priorities at the beginning of each month, then use the platform’s functions to track progress and performance metrics to help everyone stay on target throughout the project.
- Track performance and give recognition to high-performing employees
- Conduct performance reviews in a centralized platform
- Request employee feedback via simple check-ins and surveys.
- Fill out employee satisfaction surveys in just minutes
- View and track self-reported engagement metrics easily.
- Survey questions can be redundant
- It’s one more app to add to your technology stack.
5. Culture Amp
Culture Amp is less an employee engagement platform and more a performance management platform that emphasizes employee retention, employee development, and general positivity. It starts with customizable surveys that you can use to gauge employee satisfaction and engagement. HR teams can use the data collected from these surveys to refine engagement programs.
Culture Amp also lets you track performance and provide meaningful feedback to help employees develop. With benchmarking and analytics, you can track performance over time to see how projects are progressing and to track employee development.
- Use negative feedback management to keep employer feedback positive and constructive
- Self-reporting features help keep employees accountable to themselves and their teammates
- Help new employees develop skills while building high-performing teams.
- Provides an easy way to host 1-on-1 check-ins and feedback sessions
- Get on-demand feedback from peers and leaders.
- Onboarding and training on this platform can be time-consuming
- Not best suited to small or midsize businesses.
Betterworks is another performance management platform designed to help you keep employees engaged while helping them develop professionally over time. This platform revolves around surveys – both regular surveys and pulse surveys, which are designed to help you get honest, real-time feedback. Use the feedback you receive to tailor engagement initiatives and create a more positive employee experience.
As a performance management app, Betterworks also gives you tools to conduct performance reviews, check-ins, and to track employee goals and progress. These tools are all made to help employees and managers have meaningful conversations so that everyone can speak, listen, learn, and improve.
- Track goals and use analytics to measure progress and improvement
- Host 1-on-1 meetings to help employees develop
- Create meaningful conversations with positive feedback.
- Well-rounded feature set that gives you a lot of tools to work with
- User-friendly interface.
- May have more features than small to medium businesses need
- Limited integrations with other popular apps
7. Limeade Listening (formerly TINYPulse)
Limeade Listening is a great employee engagement offering for businesses that are looking for simple tools. This app sends out weekly surveys, lets you gather anonymous feedback, and gives you features for recognizing and rewarding standout employees.
With all of that, you get data and analytics features so that you can act strategically on the feedback you get. It’s designed to help managers build a better employee engagement strategy, and as such, Lemonade Listening gives you not only the tools to track engagement, but also tools to help you validate your engagement-building strategies.
- Pulse single-question check-in surveys offer quick and easy feedback
- Send out shoutouts to recognize standout employees for their efforts
- Use anonymous surveys to gather honest feedback.
- Compare your data to industry standards to see how you measure up
- Easily add custom questions to surveys.
- Pre-made questions aren’t always relevant for gathering feedback
- You can’t send out manual reminders to prompt employees to fill out surveys.
Improve your company culture today with Workvivo
As you can see, many tools will help you build employee engagement – but few offer as many features as Workvivo. Workvivo lets you collect employee feedback, increase cross-functional collaboration, and become your central communication hub. Plus, with a familiar social media feel, you’re sure to get everyone engaged and participating.
When you need to boost engagement and empower your workforce, you need Workvivo. To give Workvivo a try, sign up here for a demo.