Trends in Technology

Why Technology Alone Shouldn’t Be a Scapegoat for Worker Engagement

May 4, 2020 by Bobby J Davidson
Read similar articles in: Business, Business Technology, Trending

Worker EngagementAs we stand at the beginning of a new decade, businesses are stuck facing familiar problems, even with the help of cutting-edge technologies. The leading issue being faced by business leaders is that of worker engagement, and it can be argued that this is the most difficult problem of all to solve, mainly because it has so many moving parts.

That makes it unclear on how best to solve it, and the major pain point is working out how you can get your workers to use this technology and be productive with the tools in the workplace. It has proven to be a conundrum for enterprise leaders for decades now with no end sight.

Embracing Digital Workplace Services

The digital world is evolving and changing like everything around us, and businesses are responding to the needs of their workers. Research published by Information Services Group (ISG) found that organizations in the US are embracing digital workplace services designed to improve the work experiences of employees, instead of looking for ones that integrate with the existing environment.

Enterprises are now thinking of replacing service-level agreements (SLAs) with end-user experience level agreements (XLAs) to measure worker engagement. While SLAs are made with providers in the digital workplace market, XLAs are based on measurable end-user experience enhancements. So, is focusing on employees instead of technology the right approach?

A couple of years ago, major enterprises such as Apple, Walmart, and Audi were handing out custom mobile apps for employees that were designed to improve how they perform their jobs. However, most times, these company-issued apps failed when it came to delivering the type of user experience workers are used to when they downloaded apps from public app stores.

There were some eye-opening statistics among the findings of the research, which included:

  • Only 12% of office workers (1 in 8) would use apps for their jobs.
  • Over 83% of people who used apps for work, think the apps help improve productivity
  • Around 30% (1 in 3) described their app as ‘intuitive,’ and 13% described as elegant.
  • Over 52% of users thought the app was stable/reliable enough to deserve an ‘A’ grade
  • Only 25% (1 in 4) of office workers look forward to using their enterprise mobile app. On the other hand, 33% (1 in 3) don’t look forward to using the app.

Implanting New Technologies

There’s no doubt that it is still early days when it comes to employees using enterprise mobile apps to improve productivity. Another research pointed out that just 17% of employees agreed with the idea that their company ‘has implemented cutting-edge technologies to improve productivity.’

The argument is that most employees think their employers wouldn’t implement technology in their best interests. That results in low utilization or a sense of hostility when it comes to using tech.

Improving app use is driven by creating a compelling and meaningful experience for employees, which all comes back to building trust and focusing your strategy on what employees need. Organizations must start pushing employees to use mobile apps and bring employees into the conversation by asking them what they need to feel more included, engaged, and productive.

Adoption won’t be a problem if employees feel as if they are part of something bigger. Try and put your solutions through this method, and if they don’t deliver a message of care, or deliver a better employee experience, you can adopt a new approach. Most importantly, businesses must select technology that can target employees with meaningful and relevant activities that you know adds value to their lives.

Talent and the Problem with It

Most business owners argue that the real problem isn’t the technology but in managing the talent, which requires continuous digital transformation. Upskilling is the ultimate work perk that maximizes employee engagement and satisfaction, instead of new tools and systems that need to be adopted.

Organizations must think about using holistic approaches to talent, which involve hiring, upskilling, and reskilling. Every business has talented employees who need a little investment to get to the next level and start producing the results the business requires in today’s economy.

They will not only be loyal but will have years of institutional knowledge that a recruit will not possess, and training is more cost-effective than finding new hires. A cost-effective, results-driven talent development program has become imperative for businesses today. Companies are going to war with each other over talent and trying to retain existing employees while attracting new ones.

If the daily work experiences aren’t positive, you’ll struggle to stop employees from leaving, and new talent isn’t going to be willing to join. Employee experience has historically focused on two main things: people and places. That includes company perks, morale, culture, great office spaces, and more.

As businesses have marched ahead and embraced digital transformation initiatives, employees have become dependent on various technologies and applications to work effectively and efficiently.

These digital initiatives have increased the importance of another employee experience pillar, technology. That has forced companies to realize they must actively monitor and maintain it. Most employees don’t enjoy working if the technology provided by the company is slow, clunky, and frustrating.

To excel at employee experience, organizations must identify technology that allows IT teams to leverage real-time applications and device data in a contextually relevant and timely manner.

Understanding what employees want is the key to improving employees’ digital experiences, and that will have a massive impact on employee engagement, productivity, and the business bottom line.