These days, employees crave tech-savvy work environments in order to stay motivated and be productive. The introduction of generation z, i.e. the digital natives, into the workforce means companies are challenged to optimize the workplace for engaging employee experience. This usually means integrating technology into day-to-day operations to ease the burden of everyday tasks.
As you look to add talent to your growing business, you’ll want to make sure that your company is utilizing technology in a way that will both entice young professionals as well as improve the productivity of your current employees. Below, we’ve shared a few resources to help you learn more about the modern small business’ relationship between technology and company culture.
The internet has provided the unique opportunity for work to be done in any place and at any time, and many businesses are utilizing this benefit by giving their workers a little more control over their work schedule. Work-from-home and flexible office hours allow employees to work when and where they are most productive, helping to prevent burnout in your workers while offering them the opportunity to create a healthier work-life balance.
Flexible hours also help to improve the overall vibe of the office. When people are able to adjust their hours, they are less likely to use paid time off or sick time for appointments and other events that require them to be away from the office. This means more people are likely to be at work, which promotes the sense of community and company culture. Your workers are also happier and more relaxed when they’re able to shift their schedules to meet their at-home needs, meaning they’ll have better focus once they return to work.
The efficient use of technology is the key to granting this privilege to your employees. Before the wide-spread use of the internet, it was nearly impossible to be sure that your remote workers were actually working when they said they were. Cloud-based time management software is a tool that enables remote work by allowing users to track their time off-site over the internet. This tool helps avoid micromanaging, as well as creates trust between workers and upper management— allowing employees to feel autonomous, free, and loyal to the company.
Effective communication is essential to develop a unified company culture and drive a clear direction for your business. It’s what keeps everything running smoothly, and allows for employees and management to be in alignment with what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
If not properly managed, poor communication can be detrimental to small businesses— leading to increased employee turnover rates, unsatisfied customers, and potential physical and mental health hazards for your workers. Poor communication can be caused by a number of factors, from employees not being reachable because of time and distance barriers to lacking the structure needed for information to move freely within the company.
Luckily, the internet has made it easier for employees to communicate with each other throughout the company. Internet-powered Voice over IP is just one example of technology that helps businesses improve their communication efforts, allowing employees to make and receive calls over an internet connection rather than traditional phone line networks. Services like this make your workers more accessible, meaning it’s easier to transmit messages across time zones and satellite offices.
Efficient training programs not only bring your new hires to proficiency more quickly, but they can also aid in long-term employee retention and happiness within your organization. These programs allow your workers to rapidly learn the responsibilities and operations of their role which, in turn, builds their confidence in their ability to do their job.
These programs also give businesses the ability to address any areas of weakness in terms of skill and productivity. This helps to ensure that everyone in the company has the same level of knowledge and leads to more consistent work, making people self-assured in their ability to complete the tasks expected of them.
Technology has made it easier for companies to train their newly-hired and current employees. Virtualized learning management systems allow businesses to standardize their approach by building specific courses and tracking employee progress. These cost-effective computer programs are easily customizable, making them an ideal choice for smaller businesses looking to improve their training process.
Employees today highly value personal and professional growth in their workplaces, making mentorship and soft skills development courses a key part of any company culture. These programs help workers feel valued by the organization and encourage them to grow within the company rather than taking their skills elsewhere. They also allow your company to be ready for any changes in the industry by preparing your employees with skills that could be useful in the future.
Businesses can utilize software to help nurture their workers’ skills. There are plenty of new mentor program technologies that can help small businesses create and facilitate effective programs. Artificial intelligence, for example, can assist in creating ideal mentor and mentee pairings. These technologies help businesses identify their often overlooked mentor-ready employees, giving these people the chance to spread their soft skills throughout the company. These programs help mentors feel valued by the company while giving mentees the chance to learn from individuals they may not otherwise interact with, which strengthens company culture.
Recognition is an incredibly powerful tool that leaders and managers can use to keep employees invested and excited in their work. Not only does it promote a positive and forward-thinking work environment, but it also increases the recurrence of desired behavior— meaning that employees will be both productive and proud of the work that they’re doing.
Technology has made recognizing great work easier than ever before. Tools like browser-based employee recognition software allow small businesses a platform for shouting out great work and easily sharing it across an organization. These tools also allow peers to recognize each other as well, eliminating the idea that upper management is the only place to receive valuable praise. Technology helps to encourage and promote positive relationships throughout the business, leading to a happier, more productive work environment.