When we talk about employee expectations for business tech, it’s often in the context of improving your working processes, establishing a more efficient supply chain, or getting a more structured communication structure throughout the whole organization.
What’s less often talked about is the role that technology and digitization projects can play in attracting and keeping top talent at your company.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to business owners and decision-makers that employees want to work in modern work environments that are flexible, engaging, and productive—but what does this actually mean?
The answer is actually simpler than you might imagine. Join us as we take a look at what keeps a modern workforce happy and what makes a business an attractive proposition for candidates.
See how Impact implemented these concepts internally to build an intranet that is intuitive, engaging, helpful, and responsive to our staff’s needs in this detailed case study.
According to studies of global engagement, the US ranks as one of the most engaged workforces in the world, along with France, the Middle East, and countries in the Anglosphere.
The key drivers for this engagement are confidence in senior leadership’s decision-making; opportunities for learning and development; a clear link between the employee’s work and the business’ objectives; recognition for good work; and proactive managers who help their employees with career development.
Related: 5 Strategies to Retain Employees
These drivers are largely personality-driven—are decision-makers, executives, and managers instilling confidence in employees?
The most common reason employees quit their job is because of the lack of growth opportunities at work.
When it comes to learning and career development, however, the emphasis is less on personalities and more on whether the working environment that employees find themselves in is conducive to their development.
What is an Engaged Employee?
Though heard all the time, what exactly is an ‘engaged employee?’ Though there’s no dividing line between an engaged employee and an unengaged one, the difference is seen in their day-to-day work and demeanor. Are they excited to come to work? Are they proud to work for their company?
Enthusiastic, driven, passionate employees stay with companies longer, are more productive, take more pride in their work, and help keep companies innovating by coming up with fresh ideas.
Employees who are engaged with their work and their companies display many positive traits that directly impact their quality of work and production, including:
- Focused on tasks
- Supportive of coworkers and company
- Open to collaboration with other teams
- Freely expresses ideas
- Communicates clearly and effectively
- Open to learning and professional development
The reason it’s so important for businesses to engage with their employees is that it creates a healthier environment for both parties. People who are engaged at work enjoy it more, perform better, and are less stressed compared to people who feel separated from their own companies.
Where Does Technology Fit into All This?
A global survey of more than 12,000 workers found that 87% of staff at companies that are considered leaders in technology adoption are positive about their employer, while 70% at “technology laggards” are negative about their employer.
Now we get to talk about the meat of the point (as far as we’re concerned). At Impact, we’ve worked with enough businesses to spot a common theme or two amongst our clients.
One of these is that the technology we work with—especially when it comes to our digital transformation and Managed IT services—helps businesses streamline their working and data processes and make workers more productive by alleviating them of manual tasks that are time-consuming and ultimately an inefficient use of manpower by businesses.
Workers spend only 44% of their time performing the primary duties of their jobs, while 11% is spent on administrative tasks.
Take workflow automation, for example. If tasks that were previously manual, particularly data entry, are automated; employees no longer have to spend inordinate amounts of time on work that is menial and unsatisfactory.
As a result of implementing office automation, a survey found that 89% of employees reported being more efficient and more satisfied at work.
The takeaway here is that when employees feel happy with their work—and not having to perform unsatisfactory tasks—they will not only be more inclined to remain in their position but bring more efficiency to their role as well.
Why the Pandemic Changed Things Even More
Over 59% of employees state that the technology used in the workplace is very important to them when they are considering switching jobs and working for a new company.
The pandemic has radically changed employee expectations for business tech, mostly with regard to remote work, flexible working, and mobile working.
As workers across the country began to work from home en masse, their opinions on the nature of their working lives have seen a drastic shift.
Take a look at these stats regarding remote work since the pandemic hit:
- 90% of workers would recommend remote working to a friend
- 54% of workers would be willing to quit their job for one that allows them to work remotely
- 72% of recruiters agree that work flexibility will be very important for the future of HR and recruiting
Learn More: 10 Remote Work Statistics You Need to Know
In other words, your average employee in the United States finds the prospect of remote working very appealing, and this view is endorsed by recruiters who feel that offering this flexibility in the future will be beneficial for attracting the best candidates to their business.
What Can SMBs Do to Meet Employee Expectations for Business Tech?
The first thing any decision-maker should do is ask their employees if they’re satisfied with the processes that make up their daily working lives.
Are there working processes that can be improved? How long are they spending searching for data and information? Does your business need better data centralization to address this? How about your IT team? Are they spending a lot of time individually provisioning devices when a modern tool can do it automatically?
These are just a few of the questions an SMB should be asking themselves in 2021.
How an Audit Can Help
Of course, we understand that many businesses don’t have the expertise to know what to do or even where to start when it comes to business tech adoption.
That’s one of the reasons we always recommend that organizations have an MSP like Impact make an assessment of their company, taking a deep dive into the processes, recognizing pain points, and recommending technology implementations that will address them.
If you do proceed with an audit from an MSP, be cautious of free assessments and make sure that the provider doing it has an established track record of tech implementations with other SMBs—particularly ones in your industry.
In 2021, there are new employee expectations for business tech.
Millennials are now the majority of the workforce, overtaking Gen X back in 2018. As their proportion of the workforce increases, so too do attitudes towards technology in the workplace.
Business tech like automation and cloud software platforms are key adoption priorities for SMBs today, partly driven by a desire to meet new standards set by modern workers.
Similarly, remote work, and digital workspace solutions that can effectively allow it, are skyrocketing in popularity—driven by the pandemic but here to stay.
In short, businesses must adapt in order to provide the kinds of employee experiences that keep them satisfied, efficient, and productive at your company.
Anything that we discuss with or offer to clients, we test on ourselves first. See the effect that updated, employee-centric technology had by accessing our case study today.