One of the top workforce management challenges HR professionals face is turnover and retention, according to this 2018 Society for Human Resource Management survey. So how are these professionals increasing retention? SHRM gave a major clue — 68% of survey respondents said employee recognition has a positive effect on retention.

While it’s great to recognize employees for their work, the question remains: What is the best way to do so? How can a manager effectively praise an employee without unintentionally discouraging others? The answer lies within the tools at a company’s disposal.

Core HR technology is one of the tools many HR departments use, but they might fail to realize its full potential. These platforms have evolved to handle more than just employee record-keeping; they are now an important part of HR programs and employee engagement.

The relationship between core HR and employee retention

Technologies like core HR are designed to help streamline end users’ daily tasks and assist them in reaching their long-term goals. The HR department tracks and assesses the well-being of the company’s employees through the technology — why not use what’s already available to create an employee recognition plan?

On the surface, it might seem that a core HR platform would have very little impact on any sort of employee recognition program. However, a company can use its HR software to develop strategies designed to keep employees from looking elsewhere for their dream jobs.

Here are three ways a core HR system can help employers draft an employee engagement program that meets their company’s needs and improves retention:

1. Find a starting point

Core HR technology can store and report ‘people analytics’ for a company. From this collected information, HR professionals can analyze and target where employees feel undervalued and why they feel that way. More importantly, they can identify the areas in which employees need to feel empowered.

One of the biggest complaints from HR is that creating and maintaining an employee recognition program is too challenging: Team members don’t know where to start. However, using the information available in a core HR system can help your HR team identify your organization’s natural first step in improving retention.

2. Increase communication throughout the corporate hierarchy

Any communication between employer and employee is an opportunity for engagement — something that 44% of employees are craving from their superiors, according to an Achievers survey. In order to increase retention and develop a successful employee recognition program, leaders must start by finding an efficient way to communicate their teams’ accomplishments.

One of the major advancements in core HR technology is internal messaging and posting, which makes it easier than ever to enable open communication among all classes of the organization. Managers should use the built-in communication features to share employee accomplishments with their teams and with the company’s other departments.

3. Create accountability for managers

Here’s a riddle for you: If 80% of HR professionals in the SHRM survey say their organizations have employee recognition programs, but 44% of workers claim they want more recognition from their current employers, where is the disconnect? The answer lies in the execution of the recognition program.

HR must hold managers responsible for staying up-to-date with the program’s engagement criteria. HR managers can assign tasks to management staff and then measure the completeness of these tasks all in one centralized, usable core HR solution. From there, managers can keep up with their teams’ participation in activities like performance reviews and goal-setting.

At the end of the day

Employee satisfaction is more important than ever, as 55% of employees in the Achievers survey said their 2018 plans include switching jobs because their employers don’t engage with them or recognize them. People are no longer fulfilled in positions that simply boast high salaries; they want validation that they play integral roles within their companies.

Employers can use their core HR platform to implement many strategies to increase their employee retention. The technology is there to provide transparency between the company and its employees — don’t underestimate it. Deploy it wisely, and you’ll experience the benefit of a loyal workforce. If employers use their companies’ core HR technology strategically, they can give employees the recognition they covet and deserve.