When you think about retaining top-notch employees, several factors come to mind: compensation, company culture, and company location. Here’s one more item that should be on your list–technology infrastructure.
Take a moment and think: What’s in your server closet and what’s on your employees desks? Technology can be a powerful tool to help your company hold onto employees. But few employers think about technology as a tool to retain and engage their employees.
Following are a couple technologies and how they can help your company do just that:
Cloud applications and VPNs: One is old; one is new, but the now-ubiquitous use of both enables employees in different locations to easily and securely access the applications and information they need to do their jobs, regardless of location.
Benefit to employer: Easy access to critical assets gives employees the information they need to succeed.
Benefit to employee: Being able to work from anywhere with ease encourages work-life balance and makes it easier to be productive.
Unified Communications (UC): UC tools connect co-workers, partners, vendors, and customers with the resources they need, allowing employees to be more productive and provide better customer service. For example, a survey about the uses and benefits of UC showed that employees using UC report time savings of up to 20 minutes per day as a result of more efficient message management (e.g. managing all emails, voicemails, and faxes from a single inbox).
Benefit to employer: Less time spent untangling email, IM messages, voicemail, etc. leaves more time for work that benefits your bottom line.
Benefit to employee: Employees in sales jobs will see improved commissions, employees in other positions spend less time on routine tasks and are able to focus on what they consider “their real job.”
Collaboration tools: Technologies like Cisco WebEx help employees connect with each other and with customers, prospects, and partners through live, interactive audio and video conferencing. This real-time collaboration can help your team reach more customers and access new markets by virtualizing sales specialists and making expertise available no matter where your customers are.
Benefit to employer: Enhanced productivity and teamwork accelerate decision making and sales approval times.
Benefit to employee: The ability to collaborate helps employees feel connected and inspired.
All these technologies really boil down to one thing: increased and enhanced communication. They enable employees to communicate better with everyone they need to, whether it’s partners, suppliers, customers, co-workers, or management. So what about your company? What do you do to help your employees do their jobs better?