The right technology and use of automation can help your employees see the workplace as a positive, connected community in which they are key players.
It’s the popular plot of sci-fi movies in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Robots or computers replace workers and take humanity out of the workplace. In reality, technology can connect your employees with the company, their colleagues and customers, and the world in ways that take their engagement, productivity, and joy to new levels. Consider how you can harness technology to encourage employee engagement, satisfaction, efficiency, and more.
Especially if you have employees working virtually or at different locations, it’s important to have ways for everyone to stay in touch and share information. Consider:
- Tools such as Dropbox or Google Drive, which enable easy interface and file sharing, as well as inexpensive mass storage. Create a resource to let employees find everything they need on their own, i.e., a self-serve center for training and development.
- Organization/project management tools such as Asana, Jira, and Basecamp. These sites enable you and other team leaders to create, organize, delegate, and discuss tasks.
- Shared whiteboards/forums. Slack and other platforms let you share files, brainstorm ideas, ask questions, and keep everyone on the same page.
Elsewhere, there are numerous ways to engage employees with technology:
- Gamification. Increasingly, employers are using this for training and education, which makes day-to-day activities and skills more practical, relevant, and compelling. Games also can be team-building and encourage friendly competition.
- Personal devices at work. According to a new survey, only 43% of employees say their office computer is “fit for the purpose.” As long as you address privacy/security issues, there may be a benefit to allowing workers to use personal tools at work.
- Peer recognition. Up to half of workers say that a lack of recognition is a top reason for their disengagement. Consider communication tools that enable you to recognize employees, create stronger support networks, and let employees cheerlead for each other.
- Mobile learning. Increasingly, workers expect to be able to learn on the go. Provide mobile training/education opportunities that let people take courses. complete training, and seek education at their convenience.
Don’t assume you know what technology employees want/need or how they use it. Seek their input, particularly before you make a significant investment in a new computer system or devices.