As employees grapple with alternative ways of working in the wake of the pandemic, they’re leaning on and learning from new technologies more than ever before. And they expect their workplaces to do the same. To keep employees engaged and happy, company leaders must prioritize implementing new technologies aimed at bettering employees’ time at work. In turn, they can improve their employee retention and engagement levels and have more satisfied workforces.
The trend was happening before the pandemic struck, but it’s even more salient now: Employees are craving new technology. Tech can open up opportunities for workers to be more productive at tasks, gain more flexibility between their work and personal lives, and form better working relationships.
As such, employees now essentially demand better technologies in their workplaces. In fact, 25% of employees report that they would consider switching to companies that met their technology needs more successfully.
Adopting new technology isn’t just about keeping employees from leaving; it’s about making them happier and giving them more satisfying work lives. As the Great Resignation grinds on, do you have the technology to retain your workforce and keep them happy?
Why Is Technology the New Frontier for Employee Happiness in the Workplace?
With the right tools, employees can handle their jobs better. They can automate tasks they hate, for example, and have more time to work on creative projects. They can communicate more efficiently, stay on top of their inboxes, and send more effective and authentic messages, thereby improving their relationships with clients and colleagues.
The increased productivity that technology brings can also positively impact employees’ home lives. They can spend more time with loved ones and don’t have to feel like they’re giving everything to the success of their companies but the detriment of other parts of their lives.
What’s more, engaged employees often experience less frustration at work (a common problem that can erode motivation over time). Disappointingly, 44% of employees state that their companies’ tech does nothing for their sense of happiness and even makes their jobs more difficult. By keeping technology up to date and aligned with employees’ goals, company leaders can zap areas of tech-related frustration.
All of these factors can increase employee happiness, and increased employee happiness in the workplace can lead to improved retention and other favorable business outcomes. Driven by motivated, engaged people, your business can earn more wins, make smarter decisions, and close gaps between the C-suite and frontline team. This is especially important considering 90% of execs believe they pay attention to employees’ needs when introducing new tech, but only 53% of employees actually agree. Prioritizing needs-based technologies can prevent this disconnect.
We have seen this in action at my company, billy. Since implementing a 30-day check-in, in which we chat to new hires about their use of technology in the workplace, we’ve seen our customers become happier. They prefer to buy from employees who are engaged and excited to talk to them.
Being aware of these points and addressing both the unspoken and spoken needs of your employees can help boost your company’s employee retention and make the whole workplace more content.
What Are the Challenges of Giving Employees New Technologies?
Despite the many benefits, there will be challenges in implementing new technology in your workplace, including:
Education and training. Upgrading technology means training and retraining employees. If you are dedicated to adopting the latest tools, this could involve continuous training, which will require an investment of time and resources. Problems and inefficiencies with training can cause friction and have implications for the success or failure of the technology implementation.
Internal change management. Internal change management presents challenges to leaders looking to adopt new technologies. Internal changes, such as moving a particular business function from one system to another, require a lot of communication to keep employees in the loop. People need a long notice period (I recommend at least 30 days), so they can adapt.
External change management. External parties need to know about changes early on, too. Send a welcome email informing stakeholders about the technology or process change, including why you chose the new technology and when you will implement the new technology. This will give people a chance to digest, ask questions, and feel involved rather than lost or frustrated.
Resource distribution. You’ll need to furnish employees and external stakeholders with plenty of materials to educate them on using the technology in their daily lives. Establish a training plan, focusing on the most commonly used workflows first and following up with more specific training. Further resources, such as videos and demos, will be necessary as people get settled with the technology.
How Can Executives Adopt New Technologies to Help Their Workforces Thrive?
We know that staying up to date with technology and introducing new technologies that improve employees’ time at work are great employee retention and engagement strategies. So, how should CEOs and other leaders institute these changes to boost their workers’ satisfaction levels?
- Invest in integrated technologies.
The most beneficial technologies for employees are ones that can integrate into other tools and technologies they use every day. That way, their workflows aren’t hindered or disrupted. Integrated technology can connect to other technologies via an API (known as an application programming interface) to bridge the data and learning between one process and another.
- Listen to your employees.
It’s important to consider everyone’s opinion on new technology. In large companies, managers and executives sometimes decide on technologies without much input from the employees who will use the tech most often. Employee insights will be vital to maximizing engagement with new tools and reducing implementation problems.
- Provide continuous training.
Initial training isn’t enough to create a culture where new technology is a seamless part of work. Training should be continuous and a regular part of the workday, including introductory training for new features and updates and advanced training to help people get the most out of their tools.
- Determine how employees use new technologies.
You can increase the effectiveness of new technologies by periodically checking in with users. How are people adapting to technology in the workplace? Are the tools helping them perform their jobs better? Are they finding themselves with more time on their hands? Another way to test technologies is to look at the utilization data and investigate the trends. Who is using the software the most? How and when are they using it?
As employees grapple with alternative ways of working in the wake of the pandemic, they’re leaning on and learning from new technologies more than ever. They want to feel that their companies care about their tech stacks and are invested in helping them become more productive. Company leaders can help people become more engaged and happier at work simply by prioritizing new technologies.
Written by Nyasha Gutsa.
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The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the CEOWORLD magazine.