Employee engagement through crowdsourcing

Harnessing the brilliance of today’s diverse workforce


When was the last time you completed a thrilling employee survey? Probably not recently…

We need to wake up to a new way of measuring engagement – one where we can harness the power of technology to engage employees. One where we can engage in dialogue to explore the root cause of problems and one where we move the conversation up a notch and start exploring solutions.

Why is this suddenly becoming so important? Most of us are familiar with the changing make-up of our workforces – baby boomers, currently the largest generation of active workers, will retire over the next 20 years, and digital natives (aka Generation Y, or millennials) will lead the businesses of tomorrow.

The new kids on the block will bring about radical changes in the workplace. They are used to being connected at every turn, documenting their life in transparent digital form and receiving instantaneous replies to Tweets, posts and the like. When they want something, they want it now. This also stands true for their careers.

With the advent of digital native domination in the workplace, it’s imperative that employee engagement caters to their key characteristics. Online employee surveys will no longer cut it; neither will focus groups.

Current methods are often static, unengaging and hierarchical. That’s where crowdsourcing comes in. It is a recent addition to employee surveying techniques and facilitates dialogue on a digital platform more suited to the 21st century. Today, few platforms provide a real-time, thoughtful and collaborative way to engage employees better than a tailored crowdsourcing platform.

The social media and gamification elements of a crowdsourcing platform practically guarantee a high level of engagement. Workers more comfortable conversing online will find interactive digital communities less intrusive and more rewarding. Crowdsourcing platforms are also more cost-efficient, have a greater geographic reach and outputs can be turned around more quickly than traditional employee engagement methods.

Margaret Thatcher once said: “I love argument, I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.” Crowdsourcing allows employees to do that. It gives them a voice to engage in debate and share their views truthfully and honestly. With the rise of digital workplace domination, the fear is that firms which don’t learn how to engage with employees in a collaborative way will lose out.

Just as we’re seeing a generational shift in the workplace, we’re also about to witness a dramatic change in what employee engagement looks like. Through crowdsourcing, employers and their leaders will be released from the slog of engagement surveys and collaborate to develop engaging solutions – and perhaps even have fun in the process.

For further information, contact Klaus Woeste, who leads KPMG’s People & Change team for the Financial Services sector and our Crowdsourcing team



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