Original Post by ANNEMARIE WALKLING
Could your technology be driving people out of your business? With employees expecting more from their working lives and decreasing levels of employee satisfaction even in tech-savvy silicon valley it’s time that you discovered the warning signs that your technology could be the reason for your employee churn.
In a recent survey of 5,000 tech workers, just 17% said they felt valued by their employer, and if that’s the figure in Silicon Valley, the percentage for your business may be even worse.
One of the highest costs to a business is employee attrition. In today’s competitive employment market, churn is probably among your biggest problems. And one area contributing to it may be your technology.
Of course, tech can ruin anyone’s day. (Who hasn’t screamed in frustration at a printer or internet outage?) But, as always, the problem for HR professionals is more fundamental.
Could unsatisfactory technology be driving people out of your business, never to return?
Being valued is all about fulfillment. It’s about human fulfillment. The need to feel useful; maintaining positive relationships; ending each day with the sense they did something good. (And were recognized for it.) None of these, strictly speaking, are about technology. But technology can hamper them.
That app that takes more hassle to use than it returns in value. That software choice that isn’t quite right for your sector. That fourth update in six months that puts people back on the learning curve. If the tech is slowing your people down, it may be more than a contributing factor at the exit interview; it may be the entire reason they head for the door.
Here are four warning signs to look out for… with tips for solving them.
1. Does your business have too many tools?
A lot of work today is knowledge based – people working together to innovate, solve problems and respond to clients. Having a centralized set of tools and intuitive technology to support your people and enable them to be an agile and responsive part of the knowledge workforce is key to employee retention.
Of course,organisations need processes (as well as people and technology) but they also need to be flexible and dynamic in order to stay competitive. Check whether your processes are flexible enough to match people’s job roles. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing a better way to do your job… then being stopped from doing it.
TIP: Check that your technology lets you communicate and collaborate easily…not command and control. Clamping down on motivated people sends them running for the exit.
2. Is automation killing off personal useful interactions?
The employee’s idea of a great working day may differ from their employers. It’s not just selling services or making profits; it’s about their place in society. It’s in all those coffee chats, email lists, meetings updates and corridor conversations – social collaboration as well as work collaboration.
60% of UK workers are not happy in their jobs..
Make sure your technology platform is helping your teams share information and help each other. Every day there is a huge amount of under the radar collaboration, also known as the black market of ideas, which helps people do their job and keeps them motivated. So check whether your technology is hindering those bits and pieces of communication that confirm to your worker that they are valued. Recognition is a lot more than an Employee-of-the-Month Award; it’s in those dozens of little interactions every day that provide subtle social cues. Policies outlawing personal emails at work, or use of social media, may be doing more harm than good.
TIP: When people see their role included in your vision of a digital workplace, where collaboration and communication empower your people, they have a reason to go the extra mile they feel part of something bigger.
3. Is the learning curve is steeper than the value curve?
User adoption of new technology is a huge challenge for many companies, this was demonstrated The Missing U in UC’ which found that employee resistance was named as the biggest barrier to technology adoption by 41% of employers.
So ideally, you want technology solutions which are intuitive and easy to adopt. Very often, those solutions may be those your employees are using already informally. Chat applications,document sharing, white boarding software… you can guide your technology strategy by finding out what’s already popular.
TIP: Make ease-of-use a factor in your technology buying decisions. When people feel comfortable with technology, they have a greater incentive
4. Does technology fail to facilitate meaningful feedback?
A common complaint from employees is that the information they add to your systems disappears like a sock in the wash – there’s no “feedback” telling them their contribution was valued or useful. This makes them feel they’re wasting time working for you – a surefire sign that CVs are being polished.
Only 2% of employers provide ongoing performance reviews
Yet many collaborative technologies are capable of offering great feedback – even without HR’s direct involvement! Applications like chat, that can give instant moments of feedback which are very powerful and can make your team feel valued.
TIP: Keep your communication two-way. Use video not just the phone, collaborate on-line instead of emailing.
Take note of these warning signs, and there’s a bonus – highly motivated and loyal employees. In short, great technology can facilitate work/life balance which is key in attracting and keeping the best people.
Those requests from employees you’ve been mulling, like working from home or attending meetings remotely? The right technologies make them possible – putting you in that small percentage of companies with a real grip on churn.
How do you have a real impact on churn? Easy, HR and I.T need to work together and become the power couple of their organisation, after all, both have employee engagement on their agenda.
- The right technology can facilitate positive feedback to employees
- Technology is welcomed when you keep it personal
- Don’t use tech to command and control; use it to communicate and collaborate!
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