28 April 2021

Enhancing worker engagement with technology

To improve people’s lives, access not only to a job, but to a good quality job, is vital. It’s also fundamental to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8, Decent work and economic growth.

At CDC, we invest to create inclusive, sustainable and productive employment and decent work for all. One of the ways we do this is by helping employers to create a more motivated workforce by identifying, for example, opportunities to improve employee relations. We know that businesses can establish a thriving workforce by engaging with and listening to their workers. This allows businesses to understand directly from workers what challenges they face, and helps businesses support workers to overcome these barriers.

Effective workforce communications can, in turn, lead to business growth. Research shows that engaging with workers, and starting to address their concerns, drives business performance in terms of increased productivity as well as reduced staff turnover and absenteeism. For businesses and investors, listening to workers’ perspectives also enables potential issues to be uncovered early; so that labour issues can be addressed in a timely way.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in workforce communications, as it facilitates engagement at greater scale and speed with workforces that may be remote and hard to reach with in-person surveys. It is cost effective, and the anonymity offered by technology-enabled communication can also give people the confidence to share concerns that might otherwise remain hidden due to fear of retribution.

COVID-19 has only accelerated uptake and reliance on technology, as normal channels of communication have been cut off or restricted due to shifts to remote and flexible working. For deskless workers, remote working is often not an option, but COVID required rapid changes to working arrangements. This included measures to protect health and safety, which needed to be communicated accurately and at scale.

In response to this shift, we’ve made worker engagement and protection a core part of the support we’re offering to investees during the pandemic. Our new discussion paper, Enhancing workforce engagement with technology aims to help investors and companies explore the benefits of listening to workers directly using technology. On Thursday 13 May, we’re co-hosting a webinar with IRIS+, where we’ll discuss insights from the paper as well as from pilot worker and community surveys conducted by CDC and FinnFund. Find out more about the event and register your interest here, or email iris@thegiin.org.

 

 

 

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