What, Exactly, is “Employee Engagement Software?”

One definition or ten definitions: What’s most important is what’s in it for YOU.

According to Capterra and G2 , employee engagement software is broken down into several categories including Cultural Alignment, Feedback Management, Surveys, Peer Recognition, Goal Creation, and Wellness Assessments.

No wonder people are confused.

Engaging employees is a profoundly human topic. It’s difficult to extract predictive, behavioral data about people that ensures employees will stay with their company and perform their best. Employee engagement and performance software companies take different technological approaches to solving this tricky problem.

Having worked in the HR Technology Industry for 20+ years — for startups like ProBusiness, Inc. and for Fortune 250 companies like ADP — I’ve heard a mind-boggling number of ways to gather employee feedback and implement solutions to motivate employees. Some of the greatest minds in HR and People Analytics have tried to solve this problem; many have only partially succeeded.

But why? And what can we do about it, if anything?

You’ll notice that most engagement software companies rely on surveys for employee feedback. Many sit at the intersection of employee feedback and employee performance; clearly there are benefits of having data around both. Some have specialized surveys for specific industries. A few include conversational interfaces (AI chatbots or assistants) and many do not. Most work primarily on behalf of the employer, not the employer and the employee.

Why all the confusion and different approaches? Problems that are hard to solve almost always require experimentation and a number of creative approaches.

According to Gallup, the percent of workers who are “engaged” has been improving. In 2018, Gallup indicated 34% of workers in the United States are engaged — tying the highest percentage recorded since Gallup started measuring engagement. They also reported a decrease in the percent of workers “actively disengaged.” (Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx)

This sounds good, but why is it important?

Organizations are losing thousands to millions of dollars per year on employee turnover and disengagement. It’s getting better, but this problem is nowhere near solved. We need to determine what combination of factors will have the most impact on these numbers.

I’ll be attempting to help frame and answer these questions in a series of forthcoming articles. Thank you for reading!

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