It’s no secret that technology has become a very valuable asset to any company or organization in today’s business environment. The right technology can vastly improve a company’s overall efficiency and performance in the market, as well as improve employee productivity, communication, collaboration, morale and engagement company-wide. However, when it comes to choosing the right technology for your workplace, making the right choice can be difficult. There are numerous types of software and various tools available today. Of course, you won’t need all of them, just the right ones to suit your company’s needs. For example, many companies are focused on improving enterprise mobility and encouraging the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. According to research on the evolution of the mobile enterprise adoption and trends, custom apps are beneficial to both companies and their employees, with 30% of companies reporting custom apps improving their business processes and 24% of them reporting improved employee productivity, among other benefits.
With that in mind, here’s how technology can improve workplace productivity and how to choose the right technology to enhance your business and meet your goals:
Determine your company’s needs
Implementing new technology to improve your company’s overall performance must be a strategic decision. In other words, you simply cannot decide on what technology to deploy based on a whim. Instead, take the time to determine your company’s needs, as well as the needs of your employees to choose the right technology that will meet those needs.
Here are a few questions to ask that will help you understand the bigger picture:
- What’s the current estimate of the company’s performance and efficiency and can it be improved?
- Is the company falling behind its competitors and why?
- Are employees engaged, motivated and productive? If not, why?
- Can new technology be brought into the company to remedy problems and issues? If yes, then which technology will best address the problem?
- Can existing technology meet the company’s needs, or will you have to invest in new technology or even develop custom apps?
These are just a few examples of questions executives must ask in order to make the right decision about what technology set is right for their business. The more time spent on evaluation and requirements gathering, the better the outcome will be.
New technology requires training, education and enablement
Employees today are generally more tech-savvy when it comes to adopting and adjusting to new technology in the workplace. However, technology alone won’t solve all your problems overnight. It’s how your employees use the new technology that makes a difference. You cannot expect them to understand how everything works or should work from the start. Successfully introducing and integrating new technology into a company’s workflow requires planning, time and investment. Forcing employees to instantly adopt a new technology overnight may cause high levels of stress, which can lead to disengagement rather than enhanced engagement — 57% of employees that are stressed out at work also report that they are disengaged and not as productive as they could be.
Therefore, proper training, education and enablement are a must when introducing employees to new technology they’ll be using. Clearly communicating why a new technology is being introduced and what the desired outcome will be is critical to employee adoption and usage. Many companies don’t take this into account when planning the timeline or budget for the introduction of new technology, but it is a crucial element to success.
Improving communication through technology
Communication is vital not only to employee productivity but company efficiency as well. Miscommunication can cost companies a lot of money. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, small companies with 100 employees lose approximately $420,000 annually due to inefficient communication within the company.
Fortunately, new communication tools and technologies can improve employee communication, collaboration and productivity and save your company a lot of money in the process. Again, which tools should be used depends on your needs; but collaborations tools and technologies such as Slack, Chanty, Flock, Tribe, Skype and many others each have unique benefits that can help improve teamwork and communication across the company.
Improving efficiency through technology
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee productivity has been declining for the past decade, despite the rise of new technologies, due to many factors in the modern workplace that have a negative impact on employee productivity. Ironically, technology meant to help employees do their jobs better often leads to increased expectations to do increasingly more. In fact, overloading employees with too much work results in a 68% decrease in employee productivity.
Focusing on how technology can be used to improve the overall efficiency and ease of business processes for employees is a key to success. For instance, technology can improve the efficiency of project management, thus improving the collaboration, communication and productivity of team members. Project management tools, such as Basecamp, Asana, Wrike and many others can help companies manage their projects better. However, when it comes to choosing existing products or developing one in-house, the company’s needs, size, budget, culture and the needs of the employees must be taken into consideration.
Technology can vastly improve a company’s efficiency, employee productivity, engagement, collaboration and communication, but only if the right technology is chosen and implemented properly.