Technology is finding its way into our lives more and more often, with 40% of Americans claiming it’s the greatest improvement to life in the past 50 years. These digital advancements help make both our personal and professional lives easier, but perhaps no improvement is more significant for businesses than the boost in employee engagement.Nearly every office in business utilizes technology in one form or another, across every department and position. With the use of computers, phones, software, programs, and more, greater levels of work can be done in a shorter amount of time.
Technology simplifies arguably the most important aspect of a business: workplace communication. These tools make it easier for employees to communicate with one another, regardless of where they are located, which allows for fewer interruptions in the workflow. After all, implementing technology into your business’ workflow has proven to promote business success.
The Intersection Between Communication and Engagement
Moving into the ever-changing technological era will not only appeal to businesses, but to younger people as well. Those same young people will make up the next generation of the workforce.
Younger generations—millennials and generation Z, specifically—value the availability of connectivity, regardless of time or location. Moving into the workforce, these young people will value feeling connected to their coworkers. This can easily be accomplished through the implementation of smart communication tools and software, as many younger employees are already familiar with and accustomed to communicating through digital devices.
When employees feel connected to one another, they will feel more connected to their work as well. Increased communication opportunities create more engaged employees, who are more likely to be advocates for their work and work culture. When employees publicly advocate for their organization, it shows prospective employees that this company is valuable and truly a great place to work. Hearing this messaging come directly from an employee is, in many cases, more enticing than an outsider’s online opinion, or hearing it from a brand account.
Flexible Work Tools
Now that you know the potential for engagement that technology can create for your employees, it’s time to find out what tools you need to make this possibility a reality.
The only benefit young employees like more than being constantly connected to one another through cutting-edge tech is working from the comfort of their own home. Remote work, or working from home, previously would have isolated employees from their coworkers, making collaboration difficult, if not nearly impossible.
Managing these employees when they are not in the physical office space becomes an issue for employers because it can be challenging to track daily progress and communicate clearly when teams are not working face-to-face. Fortunately, with the availability of software for project management, employees can input their progress for employers and coworkers to see. This way, employees are still connected in their workflows, and managers can ensure that those they oversee are still maintaining progress, even when they are away from the office.
For general organization and consideration of coworker’s time, shared calendars are a great tool for coworkers to stay connected, while still being respectful of others’ time. Employees who need or want to work from home for a day can update their remote status to their shared calendar for managers and coworkers to see. This way, your team members can manage their workspaces, meetings, and day-to-day availability without being physically present in the office.
There is certainly more to office technology than the simple shared calendar. In fact, entire platforms exist for keeping the whole office connected and engaged. Being able to communicate in a uniform manner makes for the ultimate model of employee engagement.
Using intranet software to centralize employee communication into a private platform ensures that information is exchanged quickly and safely. Intranets keep communication all in one space and keep information private for only employees to see. Additionally, company-wide notices and policies can be updated all in one place, ensuring that all employees are updated with the latest information and versions of your documentation.
In today’s business spaces, even tools as simple as phone systems are being updated to give employees the efficiency and connectivity they crave. One piece of new technology, VoIP phone systems, uses the internet as opposed to hardwired cabling to send and receive your calls. VoIP furthermore seeks to streamline voice communication in the workplace by allowing team members to place calls through their office phone, mobile device, or personal laptops. This often contributes to higher engagement levels because remote accessibility gives your team members the flexibility to work where they are most productive.
Modernized Approaches to Business Practices
If machine learning and automation are any indications of the trajectory of most business workflows, employees want to work for companies that utilize the freshest ideas, tools, and approaches to accomplishing work. Especially when communicating with customers, automation makes personalization and rapid response times easier than ever to manage.
Inventions like chatbots improve the ability to serve customers in a variety of ways, primarily by making it much faster to communicate. Not only does this solution cut down on workflow interruption, but it saves the customer’s time as well. Chatbots eliminate the need for employees to continually answer the same questions repeatedly, which allows employees to focus their time on more productive tasks. Additionally, chatbots get customers the answers they need more quickly, which improves the overall customer service experience.
With so much growth and success, keeping track of these changes and learning from the information a business regularly produces proves to be extremely beneficial. Big data analytics, for example, exist to compile the data a business regularly produces for the purpose of gaining critical insights. The greatest benefit of this type of development is that no employee has to gather this data, and therefore can focus their time developing strategies around the information that is automatically collected. Time, therefore, is better spent this way, pushing the business forward toward growth.