Tech and digital tools in the workplace for better performance?
There is an assumption that if you choose tech and digital tools in the work place you will improve the work of employees. However, surveys carried out suggest this is not exactly the case. Apparently, employees see things very differently. It is not at all straightforward and in fact quite complicated – not nearly as fun and carefree as playing at SlotoCash casino. Therefore, it could be useful for companies to involve their workforce in the process in order to get them onboard from the get-go.
Over the years, companies have invested in digital tools but to what effect. In order to build good performance levels, it is important to understand employee’s willingness to work with tech and their experiences and attitudes about adopting tech. It has not been a smooth journey and companies have often struggled with this. Listening and involving employees in tech solutions will likely lead to a more motivated and productive team.
What do people actually say about tech at work
A survey was carried out of 12,000 people from different countries: China, Germany, Canada, India, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom in order to learn how they felt about the different digital tools used in the workplace. The people in the survey were different ages, were from different job levels and were from a wide range of industries from health, financial, manufacturing, consumer markets and media and technology. Below are the main issues learned from the survey.
Companies argue that they are opting for tech with their staff in mind. The employees say this is not the case.
A large majority, 90%, of executive level managers say that their companies do take their employee’s needs into account when adopting new technology. However, only half, 53%, of lower level employees agree with that. For those C-suite executives there are ways to get around the problems if there’s a glitch and they can always delegate the problem out. The rest of the staff just have to figure out how to make it work themselves.
Not having a clear understanding of how these technologies are being used and experienced by workers will have a real impact on the work experience and work itself. An employee that is having a poor work experience, will have an impact on other areas of the organization and ultimately the company’s performance will be less that it could be.
Employees want the opportunity to choose devices and apps that will help them do their jobs better. They want the chance to be involved in the choice of systems adopted, giving them more control over the way they work. For instance, workers now need more mobile resources because of changing work situations, but only around 60% of workers say they are happy with the options they are given.
Many people do want to acquire digital skills. How can we make this happen?
Many people in the survey, 73%, said that they knew of particular systems that would be beneficial and would help them to perform their tasks better. People today are interested in learning about new technologies and are willing to invest the time to learn. Employees have said that they would be willing to spend two days a month learning new digital skills if this was offered by their employers. Technology is continually evolving. It is important for employees and employers to keep up with these changes. Employers need to help their workers find ways to incorporate this learning of new skills into the workplace and employees need to know that continual learning is now part of the job.
It is estimated that by 2022 more than half of all workers will need to receive training. Even those people motivated to upgrade their skills find it difficult to do via their workplace. It seems there are not enough resources at their disposal to really learn new skills and understand the new technology. It is incumbent on leaders to find ways to help their employees develop these new skills.
Employees are interested in a more personal environment
People are looking for human connections. They want to have a sense of belonging at work and feel that they are valued for who they are. 45% of people say they are not interested in interacting with machines, and seek face to face interactions. They prefer to interact with another human being to resolve problems or ask questions. However, about the same number of people do like problems to be resolved via digital assistance, as long as it is not complicated and actually makes the work experience better. For instance, think how many people enjoy getting immediate feedback digitally on social media for instance with “likes” and comments.
It is important to find the balance between the two. Leaders need to explore the technology choices they make and to ensure that people don’t feel isolated from one another in the workplace because of these technology choices. Technology shouldn’t be an obstacle to human interaction in the workplace.
But not all digital assistance is rejected
There are instances where digital tools are welcome by employees to help with certain tasks. This then, leaves them more time to deal with more interesting work. Employees say that tasks dealing with scheduling work, or time in or off or searching for new jobs within the company can better be done digitally.
In an ideal world, technology would deal with all the rote jobs that managers have to deal with leaving them more time to work with their staff. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go until this is a reality. A large number, 46%, of people in a supervisory role feel overwhelmed by the technology in the workplace and a large majority say they spend a huge amount of time getting the technology to function correctly. One executive put it this way “I enjoy what I’m doing but it can become a grind when I have a transaction and I have to run through all these programs”.
More efficiency and higher status are driving the interest in developing digital skills
From the survey two incentives to adopt new technologies stood out. People were motivated by rewards that would improve their status and increased efficiency. This was true for all people, all ages and across the whole organization, no matter at which level and role. Understanding this can help to develop better strategies and rewards that can actually match what motivates people.
For some people using technology promises them better efficiency and teamwork. They are looking for better ways to solve problems and work with their team. They will be interested in adopting technologies that help them fulfil these goals.
Another group of people will be interested in adopting new technology if it is beneficial to their careers and status. But they are also more likely to be become frustrated with the technology and question whether it will be help them reach their goals. They are generally interested in the fewest of programs and apps necessary to do their job. They should be encouraged to use new technology and persuaded that these skills will benefit their careers down the road.
There is yet one more group of people who prefer the traditional and predictable. They like their old routines. These people are less likely to be motivated by status or efficiency and encouraging them to adopt new technology will be somewhat of a struggle as they don’t see how digital skills can advance their work. This group will likely need training before trying to introduce new technology.
Most people realize that technology is now very much part of the work experience and most have a positive attitude towards it and see that it can improve their lives. However, they also have concerns about how it might be used and these need to be addressed and an effort should be made to alleviate these fears.