Like it or not, much of your employee work experience is directly related to your IT — about 30% of it to be exact. If your technology is easy to use and includes efficient tools that help your employees get their work done, employees are happier and more productive than if you don’t. And they’ll be more likely to stick around.
Here are a few real-life examples of Leapfrog clients who needed to improve their IT to improve employee retention and how we helped them do it:
Financial Services Firm
Over time, a financial services firm had deployed a variety of cloud platforms and other IT solutions to meet different needs — the IT environment had become complex. Since the platforms and solutions had not been integrated, employees faced some cumbersome hurdles, including using multiple login processes and passwords to get their jobs done.
A typical workday, for example, involved making trades on the Goldman Sachs stock-trading platform and using the Bloomberg Terminal for updated tracking information. Both are cloud platforms. Without an integrated design approach, they had to go through a series of sign-on steps for the Goldman platform every time employees needed to make a trade, including a multi-factor authentication token sent to their phone. They had to do the same thing to get new information from Bloomberg.
If either platform had been idle for a while, they had to repeat the login process and potentially enter the wrong credentials by mistake, which would lock them out of the platforms. This was frustrating and slowed down business. So they came up with workarounds like using the same passwords for multiple platforms — a potential security nightmare for the company.
Some employees also reverted to using manual tracking systems because they felt it was faster than dealing with the sign-on maze.
Leapfrog eliminated all these problems by designing a seamless, integrated IT environment. It was part of a larger IT refresh initiative that also included updating the Windows operating system, migrating most of the firm’s business apps to the cloud, and keeping compliance- or security-related data in our private cloud.
The file systems are now fully integrated and employees work on “dumb terminals” that run on an upgraded VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) platform. With single sign-on, they log into the system once – then access all platforms with one click.
Employees are also learning how to be more secure online. We’re providing advanced email security training with our partner KnowBe4 that teaches the best practices so they can spot and stop phishing attacks. The refresh initiative took Leapfrog about four months to complete.
Employees at a nonprofit were frustrated by their employer’s old technology. It’s a complaint that impacts morale.
In addition to using antiquated login processes (as with the financial services company above), one of the most problematic recurring issues was older software that was not compatible with the software their partners and associates were using. This made collaboration difficult and led to some challenging situations when the incompatibility interfered with moving projects forward. But, without first updating the IT environment, updating the communications technology wasn’t possible.
The entire environment was due for a refresh for many reasons — outdated communication was just one problem area.
Leapfrog helped our client get ready for the refresh by working with them on the initial legwork and identifying the free and almost-free technology resources available to nonprofits, such as special nonprofit pricing from Amazon and Microsoft. We also helped them develop a narrative for potential donors.
Like most nonprofits, this organization needs to raise money to fund its technology improvements. Fundraising campaigns to improve IT, however, aren’t usually as compelling as campaigns for programs and services. By helping to craft a narrative that accurately explained how updated technology would improve both functionality and security, we helped the nonprofit make a successful case for support.
Once the funding was secured, Leapfrog got to work building a fully integrated hybrid cloud. We then refreshed the IT environment (which included reducing the back-office server footprint by half) and integrated the entire campus with the hybrid cloud.
Now everything works together seamlessly — from operating systems and databases to their phone system, campus-wide WiFi, and new, advanced email security platform that reduces the risk of phishing. New features are regularly updated.
Employees now use single sign-on, no longer need to log into computers and cloud apps separately, and their web conferencing platform is up-to-par and integrated. And, as with the financial services client, their new security-awareness training platform tracks employee progress and test results.
Next time around, any capital investment in new infrastructure will be much more manageable with this integrated approach.
Real Estate company
Growing businesses need to attract and retain employees. This real estate company wanted to make sure employees would be pleased with their new employer’s streamlined technology. It’s challenging enough to learn a new set of IT processes and procedures without having to navigate a myriad of platforms and sign-on protocols.
Most important to the firm was for employees to transition easily, feel comfortable right away, and feel enthusiastic about their new situation.
At the same time, the company faced many of the same IT issues as the other clients discussed above. It had an IT environment that, over time, had become too complex, was not integrated, and required its users to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to access what they needed.
This is a common set of problems we see with clients, especially those in industries that adopt new technology more slowly. What’s unique about this company is it recognized that proactively improving its IT environment was a strong employee retention strategy as well as good business.
The company’s integrated environment is now more efficient, secure, and can scale up (or down) as needed.
Employee experience as part of IT refresh
As with all of our refresh projects, Leapfrog begins with the end in mind. We start by asking, “What goals are you trying to achieve?” We then design the system to meet the goals in the most seamless way possible. For the end-user experience, this includes choosing platforms that support integrated identity management. Employees should not be aware of whether the platforms they’re using are on-premises, in the cloud, or some of both.
When environments are not well-designed or when integration is poor, end-users know it. And it impacts how they feel about their employers and their jobs.
At Leapfrog, we’ve always believed our job is to make things easier for our clients and their end-users. Employees want:
- Easy access to the tech tools they need to do their jobs
- Processes and procedures that are easy to learn and follow
- Apps that work like they’re supposed to
- Platforms that work together seamlessly
- Help with technology problems whenever they need it
Fortunately, all of these things have something in common in addition to improving employee retention. They improve your organization’s ability to meet its business goals.
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