March 2015: Sure, your IT ecosystem is built to run your business but did you know it’s also part of your employee retention strategy?
The way you deal with IT can help keep your team together. Want happy employees? Who work hard and produce great results? And stick around for a long time? Then leverage IT to create positive work experiences. Fast, helpful, engaging IT helps employees feel satisfied and even attracts top talent. Here are six ways to turn IT into HR:
1. Have networks and systems that work like they should. Working with equipment you don’t have to think about is empowering, engaging and even exciting. Same goes for apps and business systems — when IT is streamlined and efficient, your employees feel streamlined and efficient, too. And if your IT is sluggish and unreliable, well, your employees feel that, too.
2. Let employees use their personal devices for work. They already own their favorite device. It’s in their pocket, purse or briefcase. Let them use it for business and they will be happier and more productive. They’ll be more likely to work off hours, too. But if you don’t yet have a clear, secure, rock-solid BYOD policy, now is the time! Take steps to keep business data and personal data totally separate, and they’ll be even happier knowing family photos won’t get mixed up with corporate email.
3. Continually train your employees. Not only will your employees be better at their jobs when they know how to use company networks, systems and apps, they’ll feel like they’re growing, which is critical to employee satisfaction. Training also makes them feel like they’re an important part of the team and an asset to the company. And if you actively encourage (and challenge) them to use their new skills, better yet.
4. Use technology to show workers how they’re doing. Employees need to know they’re making progress so they feel good about their jobs. Performance reviews and surveys just don’t cut it anymore. When you use technology to track employee performance in a transparent, non-obtrusive, supportive way, they’ll feel engaged and encouraged. Use simple, innovative tech tools to keep in touch with your team and provide regular feedback, too — communication is critical to employee satisfaction.
5. Have a superb Help Desk. Nothing torpedoes productivity and enthusiasm like a piece of technology that’s not working. Shoulders slump, workflow stops and, sometimes, tempers flare. Depending on the problem, it can feel like trying to get work done with your hands tied behind your back. You don’t want that. The faster you solve their problem, the faster they can refocus and the more satisfied they’ll be.
6. Stay on top of your IT game. Are you using outdated technology? Do your employees resort to workarounds because your systems aren’t efficient? Is your cybersecurity system lacking — or is so heavy-handed it gets in the way? The level at which you manage your IT reflects your business game. When you make fast, reliable, secure IT a priority, your company looks (and behaves) like a winner. People prefer to work for winners.
Fiber is the fastest way to get your Internet and TV — it blows the bits off of cable and DSL. You used to only find it in big-city, high-density office buildings but not anymore. Little by little, it’s coming to neighborhoods, or “fiberhoods,” care of Google. Google Fiber already calls three cities home and (relatively) soon Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham will have crazy-fast Internet, too.
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