Technology has a huge effect on a company’s culture due to the many ways it impacts your employee’s work on a day-to-day basis. They are taking notice and forming opinions on the technology your company has in place, and believe us, it plays a huge role in your employee’s engagement now and in the future.
If you’re lacking tools and tech upgrades that will help your workforce perform their job more efficiently, they’ll soon take notice of other companies who have realized technology’s value in these areas. If the systems you do have in place don’t work properly and break on a regular basis, your team will begin to lose confidence with the company and wonder if they can really rely on leadership to fix issues. This sets a poor precedent and employees will soon become disengaged. It’s hard to trust a company that doesn’t have reliable tools in place.
It’s important to give your employees the opportunity to thrive and do the job they were hired to do, instead of requiring them to spend most of their time jumping over hurdles before they can focus on their work. This will wear them down and push them out of your company. But there are ways to boost your workplace culture with technology, leading your employees to trust your processes and leadership ability, and keep them engaged and performing at their highest level.
1. Create Processes and Procedures for Technology
There should be processes and procedures around technological aspects of your operations, such as document sharing and communication. These processes need to be clearly communicated so your team knows what is expected of them. For instance, if you implement a document collaboration tool like SharePoint, make it known that this is where your team should save files that need to be collaborated on. When sharing the file, employees email a link to the document in SharePoint. That way, everyone sees the same document and can review and make changes in real time, and they will be able to track where other team members have made changes as well. This eliminates confusion and helps keep unnecessary work to a minimum.
When you establish processes and procedures, you provide clarity as well as establishing a clear link between work activities and business objectives. Employees can then see how their actions are related to business advancement, and they feel empowered to improve upon those processes and procedures to better drive business results.
2. Implement Productivity and Collaboration Tools
Offering tools that enhance your team’s overall performance not only boosts their morale and gives them confidence that they are providing value to the organization, it benefits your business by boosting profits and the ability to accomplish business goals. There is no shortage of these tools – SharePoint, as mentioned above, is just one example of a great collaboration and productivity tool, but there are countless others that work well. Microsoft Teams allows you to share documents, schedule and hold virtual meetings, has a chat function, and has the capability to work alongside other applications. Zoom is perfect for large-scale virtual meetings or webinars. Skype is another good option. Whatever you choose, make sure you are creating procedures around the tool and offering proper training so that employees know exactly how and when to use the technology. See this short video on IT Training to learn more.
A good way to look at employee productivity is to create a baseline KPI like Profit Per Employee. As you invest in productivity tools, your profit per employee has the ability to increase. Of course, that assumes you are growing the business. If revenue is consistent then you would be looking at productivity solutions that allow you to reduce costs, overhead, or waste.
3. Offer Flexibility Through Mobility
Do you have the systems in place to allow team members to work remotely? If not, you are behind, especially given the current challenges we are facing due to the pandemic. Today’s workforce has no problem getting the job done, they just like flexibility in how they do it. This is not a bad thing. If your concern is that you “don’t know if they’re working or not” — well, that is an internal issue, not a personnel one. It means you do not have a system of accountability in place to monitor performance. Focus on getting that in place for the benefit of everyone in the company. Don’t universally restrict mobility because of lacking corporate governance. In addition, all of the tools listed under tip number two will help your team work remotely by offering solutions for sharing documents and holding meetings virtually.
2020 will go down as the year that businesses realized there is no choice – they must implement mobility solutions. Many companies were caught off guard and lost a tremendous amount of business and employees over the fact that they could not provide a safe, remote work environment and tools. Employees will not be fooled again, and they will absolutely look for companies that have the right tech in place when searching for new opportunities.
4. Employee Recognition
Whether manually or with a business tool, employee recognition is very important to the new generation. They don’t need a trophy for everything, but they need to know they are going in the right direction and that they are important and add value. This will drive them to perform even better and have pride for their work and the company.
Everyone will benefit from visibility into his or her performance, so take a serious look at how you can roll something like this out company wide. Consider utilizing social media, your website, and other tools like Wooboard, which is an employee recognition platform, to give shout outs to high-performing employees. Encourage others to recognize their teammates for a job well done – accolades shouldn’t only be given by leadership.
5. Have Solid IT Infrastructure
Perhaps it seems easier said than done, but today’s workforce expects technology to “just work”. Recent advances like the smart phone revolution have created an expectation that technology should never malfunction, and this has trickled into the workplace. The workforce of today will not tolerate broken or malfunctioning technology, having been exposed to it from such an early age and having experienced tools that work well frequently. Whereas in the past, people expected technology to be overly complicated and hard to understand, so it was given more leeway because problems seemed inevitable.
As stated in sections above, if team members are constantly struggling with IT and internal systems, they will not stay. Productivity is important across the board, but the new generation is hypersensitive, as they were born into a mobile generation. If they’re constantly having to submit tickets or find ways around broken technology, they’ll get fed up quickly and look for other opportunities. They’ll begin to view management as the problem because they cannot, or are unwilling, to fix the issues. So, forming processes and procedures around tech tools and creating a tech strategy with functionality, productivity, and business objectives in mind is of upmost importance.
Enhance your company’s culture by implementing these suggestions and you’ll be sure to retain your top talent. It’s one thing to show off your tech savviness during the hiring process, which will help you attract top talent, but it’s another step entirely to follow through and display it in all aspects of your operations. Keep this in mind when building your IT strategy.
Watch this short video to learn more about how technology helps your company’s culture.