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Do you have the right technology to attract and retain top talent?
If you’re surprised by this question, you’re not alone. Before the pandemic, leaders typically used more traditional perks like attractive salaries or 401(k) matching to convince employees to join their ranks. Of course, it was important to equip people with the technology they needed to perform their roles. But because the vast majority of employees worked in the office, leaders didn’t have to think about technical needs beyond the confines of their four walls — or how it affected their growth strategies.
However, as more companies move to hybrid work models, leaders need to broaden their view of technology needs. Sadly, few have picked up the mantle so far.
For example, in a 2021 survey, a third of workers said their employers had not prioritized investments in better hybrid work-friendly technologies. Unsurprisingly, this affects their willingness to stay. A 2022 survey found that one-third of workers say one of the top factors driving their desire to change jobs is frustration with dealing with technical difficulties associated with hybrid work. The lesson is clear: If leaders want to retain their employees, they must not ignore or undervalue the technology needed to create a seamless hybrid work experience.
Related: Where can you leverage innovative technology to create a more agile, engaged organization?
A gap that is difficult to fill
Most of our current workplace technology is designed with the needs of both in-person and remote staff in mind. Because the hybrid approach is so new, there simply aren’t many technology tools built with this in mind (at least, not yet).
For example, your office conference room is probably built for personal participation in meetings. The attendees sat around a table while the meeting host used a monitor and projection screen to present to the group. When people were sent home during the height of the pandemic, there were no face-to-face meetings, meaning participants participated individually via a video conferencing solution. The host was able to share his screen and attendees could watch the presentation from the comfort of their home. Simple enough.
But what does a hybrid conference room look like? Some employees may join the meeting from the office, while others dial in from remote locations. Their encounter experiences will be vastly different and may cause headaches. In fact, 71 percent of respondents to that 2022 survey said hybrid meetings are stressful. They identified issues with content sharing, struggling with cables, and connecting audio and video as their top technical concerns.
Related: What’s the best way to run a highly effective hybrid meeting?
How do you bridge this gap to ensure optimal participation and engagement from everyone? We don’t have a universal answer yet, but we do know that the way companies use technology to enable hybrid work can mean the difference between employees who hang around and run for the exit. So here are strategies for meeting the technology expectations of employees in a hybrid workplace:
Related: Losing Employees to Competitors? Modern workspaces can help you keep them.
1. Don’t let people blow in the wind.
It’s a mistake to simply equip your hybrid workforce with the basic necessities (eg, a computer with a decent microphone, camera, and speaker) and then leave them to fend for themselves as they integrate those digital tools into their day-to-day work. , common. According to PwC, only slightly more than half of employees believe their employer is meeting their needs when introducing new technology. That is in stark contrast to the 90 percent of executives who say the same.
Where is the disconnect? Consider this: Most technology failures occur during rollout and deployment. That’s often because the people who select the technology, introduce it to the workforce and train people in it, aren’t the same people who use it every day. Instead, have your IT team work closely with ‘power users’: the people who will use the equipment most often.
IT team members need to be physically present and observe how power users use new technical tools throughout the day. This allows IT to proactively identify any annoying technical issues that arise, no matter how insignificant they seem. (Add all those minor inconveniences together and it’s a lot of wasted time.) Then IT can come up with solutions to solve problems that probably wouldn’t have been reported otherwise, because most people just report it. called ‘big’ problems.
2. Conduct employee surveys regularly.
It’s not realistic to have IT among the power users every day for the foreseeable future, so you can fill in the gaps with regular company-wide surveys. When was the last time you checked in with your employees about their technical needs? This is one of the best ways to proactively improve the employee experience, which in turn will prevent voluntary employee turnover.
For example, Intel conducts a twice-yearly employee survey to give managers a better idea of how satisfied employees are. It’s no coincidence that Intel is one of the top 10 companies that both men and women enjoy working for, according to a joint study by Fortune and SurveyMonkey.
After your initial tech setup and rollout is complete, send out company-wide surveys every few months to measure the effectiveness of your current tech stack and allow employees to easily report any issues. Surveys not only help you identify and solve insidious technical issues, but they also show employees that you value their opinions and want to make sure that the technology actually meet their needs.
3. Even the playing field.
When everyone was working under one roof, you were probably able to maintain a consistent company-wide technology lineup. Everyone was connected to the same Wi-Fi network, equipped with the same computer, had similar desk setups, etc. However, when employees are spread across multiple locations, maintaining that consistency becomes more complex.
For example, suppose you employ two salespeople. Each needs a strong technology setup to make effective sales calls — good lighting, a professional background, solid internet connection, a good quality camera and microphone, etc. Salesperson A works from the office, where the lighting is great, the Wi – Fi connection is rock solid and they can sit in a professional-looking conference room while connecting to the company’s high-quality audio conferencing system. However, Seller B works from home in a darkroom using his medium quality laptop’s camera and microphone and a cheap internet connection shared with a partner who also telecommutes.
While the costs can add up to provide a work-from-home environment for everyone, you should also consider the cost of not making those investments, especially for customer-facing team members you’ve asked to work mostly in a remote work environment. A 2020 report found that only about a quarter of businesses that year paid for or at least shared the cost of work-from-home equipment and the Internet. As we venture further into the hybrid work model, you need to be more aware of your employees’ home office settings, which means investing company funds in work-from-home technology kits that are accessible to all staff.
The ability to work effectively from anywhere is critical. To make sure your hybrid workforce is as productive and happy as possible — and your business, in turn, retains that talent — you need to implement the right technology solutions and make them available to everyone.
Related: Employee Attrition Is Emptying Your Business
This post Do you want to limit turnover? The right technology can help. was original published at “https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/424053”