Winning the battle for talent requires rethinking the role of tech
Head of Innovation and Account Engagement
Virgin Media O2 Business
06th October 2022
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Attracting talent to your organisation is not, and has never been, a simple job.
There’s no miracle cure that will convince your employees to stay put. Instead, we need to rethink how we engage employees, and what tools we provide them to make them feel valued at work.
Technology can offer these solutions. As employees expect more from their employers — the freedom to work where, and how, they want – the right technology can help them feel empowered and valued.
In our Tech and the Battle for Talent report, we found that the desire for more tech was strong. 81% of employees said that technology plays an important role in helping them stay engaged in happy at work.
But it’ll take more than just handing over new equipment without careful consideration to win the battle for talent.
Because, tech doesn’t just enable new ways of working. When implemented in the right way, it can help employees feel valued and engaged. Never has there been a more important time to make that shift. Talented employees have options, and businesses who can understand the evolving role of tech are already offering exciting new possibilities.
As we look beyond the front lines to the long-term future of the battle for talent, how can businesses rethink what technology means to them, and how can it enable the kind of work that will attract and retain the talent they need to thrive?
Technology can level the playing field for employees
It’s no secret that technology plays a huge role in empowering employees to do their work.
Yet from our research, we found that 72% of employees are frustrated at least once a week by the quality or lack of business technology available to them when working, and 67% feel their performance is negatively affected by the tech currently available to them.
This means that just providing more technology won’t necessarily solve the problem. Employees want new solutions to the problems they face at work. And they need to be equipped with the skills to use this tech in the most efficient way.
But what do these solutions look like? In simple terms, the answer is flexibility.
For example, new solutions such as synchronised platforms that allow employees to access information coherently across laptops, phones, and tablets, free them up to work in the ways that suits them. And simple and intuitive collaboration tools can make it easier to connect with colleagues, wherever they choose to work.
These kinds of solutions free employees up from the meeting rooms, strict schedules, and corporate culture that can flatten their creativity and productivity.
Because technology shouldn’t be used to control or monitor employees. It should enable them to work in the ways that make the most sense to them, allowing them to utilise the talent that brought them to the job in the first place.
After all, they’re called ‘talent’ for a reason. Giving these employees the space to work and the tools to develop their skills requires a shift in how we think about technology. But it’s worth it.
Failing to implement technology in a way that respects these new priorities can lead to friction.
For example, our research found that 33% of employees say they have been negatively affected by tech at work has been because new solutions don’t integrate with older ones, meaning information becomes inaccessible.
This doesn’t just cause huge productivity issues but demonstrates a half-hearted commitment to new technology that threatens your employee loyalty in the long term.
Because with almost half (48%) of the employees we surveyed saying that poor quality business technology makes them more likely to resign within the next six months, why would they stay with an organisation that doesn’t prioritise their needs?
In such a tumultuous economic period, where businesses are already struggling to maintain their bottom line, prioritising your talent must be top of the agenda. And this involves thinking beyond the short-term.
Take pride in your digital shopfront
But it’s not all about innovative new solutions. Sometimes investment in the essentials is what makes an impact.
In this new future of work, we’re spending far more time in the virtual workplace, with meetings, conferences, keynotes, all taking place in hybrid worlds.
The role of technology in enabling this – webcams, microphones, speakers, and more – now goes beyond just connecting people across the country. It about how your business presents itself to the world.
Reliable internet connectivity, HD webcams, good-quality microphones: these form your employees’ digital shopfront. It’s how other people see them, from colleagues to partners, and how they think and feel about your company.
And these are simple fixes. Where you would once pay travel expenses to send your employees to a conference, it makes sense to put some of that money towards optimising their attendance in the virtual world.
These investments don’t just unlock more productivity, they show the kind of commitment to employee engagement that will make you stand out from other organisations.
Because winning the battle for talent takes that kind of commitment.
It means taking the necessary steps to make an impact. Investing in the right tech to offer your employees the tools they need. Listening to your employees and taking their feedback onboard.
Trust your employees to know what works for them and empower them to work to their best. It’s about creating a level playing field for all, where the tech you implement reflects what your employees need.
Key considerations for decision makers
- Understand how confident your staff currently feel with technology.
- Appoint ‘superusers’ throughout your business to support other staff members in training and confidence.
- Run regular drop in and update sessions for new starters and established members.
- Allow for sharing of best practice across your organisation between experienced and less experienced team members
In an age where employees are increasingly willing to search for better alternatives, businesses need solutions that make them feel both empowered and valued.
Want to find out what tech you need for the future of work in your organisation? Get in touch with us today.