How Technology Impacts Employee Retention
A major concern for employers is employee retention. It’s hard to find good people, so once you do, you want them to be happy and stay as long as possible.
There are many factors that affect employee retention, but one that is sometimes overlooked is technology. Employees are constantly evaluating the whole experience of what it’s like to work for your company – IT included. It’s rarely the reason why someone would leave a company, but it could be a contributing factor.
For example, a friend of mine works in outside sales for a distribution company and spends a significant amount of time on the road. His basic technical needs are email, calendars, their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application, and shared files. He can do most things from anywhere on his laptop, but he has to be in the office to access their CRM. This might not seem like a big deal to management, but from his perspective, it’s a major daily frustration.
Imagine how much more productive he could be if he could look up customer information from the road, enter notes immediately after his meetings, and get the ball rolling on the next steps for his team. How could increased efficiency affect his job satisfaction?
In today’s world, we are perpetually interacting with some of the most advanced software ever written, and we are doing it using tiny computers we carry around in our pocket. This level of productivity becomes normal in our personal lives. Why should business technology be different?
Executives are also increasingly concerned about the feedback they receive from new employees and are actively turning to IT to make it better. They don’t like hearing that new employees are excitedly coming in for their first day on the job and having the excitement fade as they start working at their computer. They’re experiencing incredibly slow applications, an unreliable infrastructure, outdated email systems, etc.
How might their experience be different if they used a mainstream email system, like Microsoft Exchange, and technology didn’t get in the way of them getting their job done?
Conversely, imagine an employee walking into a new job and having modern tools. A computer set up with the latest versions of business applications, secure but easy-to-access file sharing, a connection to a fast network, and a friendly IT team to call when needed.
Not only would they be equipped with the tools necessary to be productive, but wouldn’t they get the impression that they are working for a company that values their time?
Visible and tangible commitment to employees has proven time and time again to improve job satisfaction, which in turn drives customer satisfaction.
As the job market continues to improve, opportunities will present themselves for valued and trusted associates to move on. Don’t let a lack of investment in their tools be the reason for them leaving. Training new employees will undoubtedly cost more than investing in their productivity.
It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses or jumping on every trend – it’s about making sure your employees can get their job done efficiently with the resources that you’ve provided.
Have strategic conversations with your IT provider about ways to improve efficiency, productivity, agility and mobility to ensure the technology you’re using is mutually beneficial for you and your employees. Contrary to common belief, IT isn’t just there to make everything work all the time; they should also play a strategic role in helping you achieve your business objectives.
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As featured in March 15 issue of The Press-Enterprise
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.