Forward-thinking technology: a way to retain employees?

Here’s yet another reason you must have the right technology in place for your team: it directly impacts a company’s strategy to retain employees.

There is solid research that shows that outdated, annoying, or confusing technology makes it much more difficult to attract and retain top talent. And with our current challenge of finding the right employees to fill critical roles (a challenge that many expect to get worse), companies need to embrace any advantage they can to improve their chance of keeping satisfied and productive workers on their team.

Bottom line?

If you embrace enabling and empowering technology within your company, employees are more likely to stay. But if you have the wrong technology – meaning technology that hinders an employee from seamlessly and productively doing his or her job – it’s much more likely that your talent will leave.

The story isn’t new. Pre-pandemic, the writing for this cause-and-effect scenario was already on the wall as we learn from G2’s State of Software 2019 Report. The goal of this study was to obtain a better understanding of the effect that software has on the daily lives of workers.

At that time (and worrisome for employers) the study found that about a quarter of respondents revealed that the software they were required to use at work had made them consider leaving their jobs. Even more concerning was than one-in-eight employees had left a previous job over what was described as “mismatched software.”

Also from this 2019 survey:

  • 95% of respondents said they would be “very satisfied” or “satisfied” if they had better software tools at work.
  • 62% of employees have felt like they were not reaching their professional potential because of the software they used at work.
  • More than 56% agreed or strongly agreed that having the right software at work allows them more free time outside of work. (This is more of the happiness factor – and there is a correlation between one’s happiness and satisfaction on the job, and one’s happiness in his or her personal life.)

None of us are likely too surprised by this data. But we state the obvious when we say the world has changed since 2019 – so what from these research results, if anything, is different?

Let’s fast forward to today and look at more current data to determine if and how worker mindsets have changed – and what leaders must understand about their employee base. The 2021 State of Work: How COVID-19 Changed Digital Work from Adobe Workfront dives into the research and provides information that all leaders should note.

Adobe was fortunate in its timing with its survey. Researchers spoke to two groups of employees: one group shortly before the pandemic hit the U.S, and the other group toward the end of 2020. All of those surveyed come from companies with 500+ employees, work on a computer, and collaborate with others.
– 1,000 workers were surveyed from February 13 – March 6, 2020
– 1,000 workers were surveyed from November 29 – December 3, 2020

What the research reveals:

  • Employees will not put up with difficult or simply “bad” workplace tech.
  • The percentage of workers who quit a job because workplace tech made their jobs harder jumped from 22% (during pre-COVID times) to 32% (during the pandemic).
  • 49% of workers say they’re likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with workplace technology.

A telling quote about the technology a company provides its employees:

“Digital workers know how technology should work, and they know that it’s critical to their ability to be successful. When their employers provide them with subpar tools, it’s more than an inconvenience. It demonstrates that the company isn’t very concerned with either the quality of work or the people doing the work.”  ~ Elizabeth Volini, JLL Technologies

As we have shared before, technology with a focus on security and productivity is more important than ever, as it truly impacts all a company’s stakeholders. The concept of reliable and enabling technology is a true business differentiator as it works to build trust and strengthen relationships with clients.

We continue this line of reasoning and make the same argument when it comes to employee retention: having the right tech stack within a company will work to build trust and loyalty among the workforce. The right technology will strengthen the relationships employees have with their employer. And this, of course, translates into happier employees who will work harder, stick around longer, and do better work for clients.

Now is a crucial time for firms across a wide range of industries to take action and ensure a company’s technology infrastructure is secure, user-friendly, and enables employees to work happily and productively.

Focus on the technology that your employees use, and your company will be more successful. It’s as simple as that.

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