Some large employers may offer a shiny tablet or new smartphone to new employees. While companies don’t have to act like a Silicon Valley startup with a plethora of tech gadgets to entice great workers, businesses do need technology in the workplace to help attract top talent.
Integrating new technology is important to both the efficiency and function of a small business—but it’s equally important to hiring, retaining and satisfying employees. Here are three points to consider when investing in technology for the workplace.
1. Invest in Technology That Benefits Employees
Self-explanatory tools, up-to-date systems (that don’t require weeks of training to operate) and user-friendly interfaces can help companies attract workers, improve retention and deliver employee satisfaction. After all, no one wants to work with clunky, out-of-date equipment or glitch-filled computer systems that frustrate users and make work more difficult.
When thinking about making tech investments, decision-makers should think with an eye toward the workforce. How will this workplace technology make employees’ jobs easier, and who will benefit from it? Technology updates should aim to improve efficiency and employee satisfaction, as well as enhance the customer experience. Some options may prove popular with current employees, while others may entice outside professionals to apply.
2. An Investment in Tech Is an Investment in the Team
Whether it’s technology in the workplace that improves gains, updates equipment or increases productivity, it’s directly related to workers’ experiences and the company’s level of investment in them. When thinking about what improvements to make, businesses can use their teams as a guide. What are employees’ concerns? What makes their jobs harder? Do remote workers feel connected to the office? Would online invoicing make everyone’s life easier? Hosting regular meetings that give employees the chance to share thoughts about what works (and what needs attention) can provide great insight into tech needs.
Talking to different teams can help identify what technology upgrades will make the workplace hum smoothly. Investing in tech that will improve conditions, streamline workflow and increase the quality of customer care can benefit everyone. Illustrate how the new technology could function and pay off a year in the future. Advertise the update so that industry professionals can learn of the investment—those who are familiar with the technology (and know how much it can improve working conditions) may seek out open positions.
3. Which Technology Is Most Desirable to Your Business?
Small businesses are increasingly turning to tech as an equalizer against their larger competitors, according to the American Marketing Association. Some areas to consider updates include online budget tracking, accounting software, social media investments, blogging, email marketing campaigns, cloud-based storage and filing systems as well as a firewall or enhanced internet security system to ward off hackers.
Obviously, your company may only have the budget for one or two tech upgrades, so give careful consideration to which technology in the workplace makes the most sense for your business and how to pay for it. Outsourcing new phone systems or security services may be the most cost-efficient option. Tech improvements like productivity apps and online customer feedback surveys are other low-cost options that may pay for themselves in the form of improved performance and customer satisfaction.
While technology often enhances efficiency and streamlines best practices, it can also entice and help retain employees, prevent turnover and increase workplace satisfaction. Weighing desired workplace technology with budget constraints and team ideology is the best way to ensure you get the most bang for your tech buck.