HR TechnologyTalent Retention

Staying Connected

In the wake of The Great Resignation, collaboration and engagement tools help retain talent and boost employee happiness.

By Kristina Johnson

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought along numerous changes to daily life, however, none saw as significant a shift as the workforce. The Great Resignation saw burnt out employees leaving their jobs in pursuit of deeper purpose, stronger connections, and better work-life balance. In fact, the U.S. had 4.4 million employees quit their job in September 2021 -more than any other month -all while companies were still working to pivot to new remote technologies and virtual business models that engaged employees.

While some quick decisions were critical to ensure businesses could stay afloat throughout the pandemic, companies and HR teams are now focusing on retaining talent and boosting employee happiness.

Okta’s 8th annual Businesses at Work report highlights the tools companies are using to communicate, boost productivity and employee engagement, and enhance security. This year’s report contains data from 14,000 global customers, including FedEx, Allbirds, Spotify, Lyft and others, and provides insights into the fast-growing tools HR teams and companies are adopting to help manage change.

One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report is that due to the increase in virtual workspaces and remote work, employee engagement and collaboration apps were the most popular, seeing a 28% year-over-year growth. This is particularly impressive considering these tools have been almost completely absent from the fastest growing list since 2017.

This year, people management platform Lattice grew 109% and was ranked 6th overall, while employee experience platform Culture Amp grew 75%. Collaboration tools also experienced upshots: Miro with 301% year-over-year growth; Figma with 236% year-over-year growth; and with 149% year-over-year growth. Each of these tech platforms shot to the top of the list, along with Amazon Business. Lastly, large, end-to-end HR tools like Workday and BambooHR continue to rank well with 23% and 38% growth, respectively.

As remote work becomes more abundant and the focus on retaining talent grows, HR teams need the right collaboration and engagement tools to help businesses and employees thrive, particularly through building and maintaining culture and experience from afar. A recent Gallup poll even showed that companies that focus on culture achieve up to 29% higher profit, 19% higher sales, and a 72% lower attrition rate. It’s clear that when HR teams provide employees with the tools to engage and collaborate with one another, a stronger workforce and ultimately, a more successful company is the result.

In order to keep teams connected and maintain company culture, the tools and apps HR teams deploy must be diverse, robust, and accessible. In fact, 49% of U.S. workers said they would leave a company if they are frustrated by the technology they use at work. Especially as remote work continues to be the norm, companies not only need to find tools that help productivity and collaboration, but that their employees also enjoy using.

In light of this, best-of-breed apps had an incredibly strong showing and demand continues to grow among enterprises. Businesses at Work found that many organizations still commit to the classics like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, but are now deploying additional apps such as Zoom, Slack, and Box for add-on advanced functionality and support, and to connect employees. Of Okta’s Microsoft 365 customers, nearly 10% deploy six or more best-of-breed apps with 42% deploying Zoom, 32% deploying Slack, and 26% deploying Box.

As companies navigate The Great Resignation and strive to retain talent and boost employee engagement, HR teams must continue to find solutions for employees -both remote and in-office -in order to work efficiently and stay connected. It is said that employees are companies’ most important assets and it’s imperative that they not only have equitable access to information and leadership, but that they’re also able to collaborate and engage with each other. This will help drive a productive and supportive company culture. These tools and apps are likely to shape our post-pandemic workforce and HR teams can tap into these resources in order to ensure that employees are the focus moving forward.

Kristina Johnson is chief people and places officer for Okta.

Tags: HR Technology, January February 2022, Talent Retention

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