January 07, 2014
Increase Employee Engagement by Making Video Conferencing Part of Workplace Culture
By Jacqueline Lee
Greg Oldham and Nancy da Silva, writing for the November 2013 issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, listed three workplace conditions vital to producing creative work in any organization.
Employees, said Oldham and da Silva, need access to new and diverse information. They also need full engagement in their work roles and an experience of socioemotional support. Video conferencing, by providing both instant communication and collaboration, can be a vital tool for supporting employee engagement and creativity.
Video conferencing, according to Fuze, makes 87 percent of remote users feel more connected to their teams and to workplace processes. Earlier this year, Polycom (News - Alert) reported that 90 percent of business decision makers say that video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity between teams.
Gallup's chief scientist of workplace management and well-being, Dr. Jim Harter, says that engagement delivers more positive consequences for both teams and for employees than any sort of added privileges or workplace incentives.
"If you're engaged, you know what's expected of you at work, you feel connected to people you work with and you want to be there," said Harter. "You feel a part of something significant, so you're more likely to want to be part of a solution, to be part of a bigger tribe."
Andrew Davis, a senior partner and analyst for Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research, says that simplifying technology isn't enough. Companies have to make video conferencing a part of their culture.
"Video adoption will be helped along by the existing workforce being exposed to more visual communications, and the incoming workforce expecting it," Davis told TechTarget.
The incoming workforce expects video conferencing because they're already using it in their personal lives. According to Polycom's survey, 90 percent of employees in their 20s and 30s use consumer video conferencing solutions at home. Half of them use video conferencing at home at least once per week.
Although cloud-based video services have made video conferencing easier to deploy and more accessible to businesses of all sizes, but it may not be easy to incorporate into every company's culture.
One solution may be to deploy video conferencing within one department or for one function. When those employees realize that video collaboration increases their engagement, other employees may be more open to trying something new.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker