When you think about employee retention, does your mind go to things like in-office perks, benefits, and salaries?
Time and time again, it's been observed that these actually aren't the things that convince employees to stay or to leave.
What does sway this decision is what their workplace does to make them feel supported, productive, and fulfilled.
Employees leave when they feel their workplace isn’t making an effort to keep up with and empower their future.
There’s an observable link between workplace technology and employee retention. Here’s how to use tech to improve employee retention—and what it’s going to cost you if you choose to ignore it.
The link between tech and employee retention
Office technology choices can have a big impact on work success, culture, productivity, happiness, and—not surprisingly—retention.
Employees have high expectations for workplace tech
Millennials, who will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, and the Gen Z workers who are just entering the workforce have spent all or most of their lives in the presence of fast, easy internet access; smart, portable devices; and constant connectivity to each other and the word at large. Who could blame them for expecting to have access to these same technological advancements in the workplace?
Employee expectations for technologies and digital strategies in the workplace are rapidly outpacing what’s available at many organizations. It’s this imbalance that encourages much of today’s top talent to seek employment somewhere (else) that cares about keeping up with modern advancements that meet their needs, fuel their potential, and support their success.
Bureaucracy often keeps IT from meeting worker expectations
Most workplaces agree that, today, technology is necessary to communicate, schedule important meetings, work remotely, and and carry out tons of day-to-day tasks with better efficiency and productivity than ever before.
Unfortunately, IT teams often have their hands tied when it comes to keeping up with modern tech because of security concerns, fatigue over constantly testing and trialing the “next big thing,” inefficient resources to manage the increase in maintenance, existing legacy systems that keep them locked into certain outdated processes and workflows, and more.
Outdated technology is gonna cost you—big time
Whatever the reason, when businesses stick to outdated technology, the only downside isn’t just that it keeps employees from doing their jobs with efficiency. Outdated tech insults employee intelligence, tests their patience, and instills feelings that their happiness and success isn’t worth the time and expense of a tech upgrade—all feelings which push them to look for a more satisfying position that does.
And this turnover is going to cost you.
On average, replacing a single employee costs business about $39,600 in lost productivity and hiring logistics. Here’s where that cost comes from:
- Decreased productivity while getting a new employee up to speed (28 weeks): $32,623
- Recruitment fees: $588
- Advertising the opening: $515
- Temp workers: $4,687
- Time spent interviewing: $993
- HR time spent: $253
It’s time to show employees that you value them enough to invest in new technology that makes them efficient, successful, and—in turn—stick around.
The best technology for increasing employee retention
With this mix of new high- and low-tech technologies, businesses can drastically reduce friction, frustration, and turnover in the workplace.
Employee satisfaction polling and predictive analytics
Do you know if your employees are satisfied at work?
If you don’t—or you’re making assumptions based on a gut feeling—there’s a better way to handle happiness.
Try employee satisfaction polling software like TINYpulse or Polly to more easily and regularly collect data that will show you how employees are feeling.
Once you’ve got enough satisfaction data, use an HR analytics platform such as IBM Watson Talent to identify patterns that make employees a “flight risk” so you can apply your retention efforts in a focused way.
Employee reward and recognition platforms
Employees who participate in recognition and/or reward programs report enjoying their employee experience more than those who don’t. And, in fact, lack of recognition is a leading reason employees leave their jobs.
Automate employee recognition using software like Kazoo and Bucketlist to make it easier to show worker appreciation and improve retention.
Modern, flexible workspaces that allow employees to work anytime, anywhere, and on any device are already becoming the norm around the world. Which is great, considering they’ve been shown to increase employee retention. In fact, some workers say they’d choose the ability to work in a more flexible manner over a raise! (Plus, it could reduce overhead for you.)
Flexibility can mean anything from freedom to move around the office to working from home to working nontraditional hours.
Whatever combination you find that works for you; try communication technology like Slack or Microsoft Teams, video meeting software like Google Meet and Jitsi Meet, and cloud-based file sharing like Google Drive to allow workers to keep in touch even whether they’re working outside the office or outside standard business hours.
Modern meeting experience software
Speaking of modernizing the meeting experience—that doesn’t only apply to workers outside of the office.
There are 25 million meetings every day in the U.S. The average employee spends about 10 hours preparing for and attending these meetings every week. Any tools you can use to make the meeting experience more productive will be worth their weight in gold.
Try a modern meeting management software like AskCody to take the frustration out of meeting planning and hosting, streamline visitor management, and gain meeting insights that strengthen your knowledge about space and resource utilization.
An easier meeting experience can do a lot to reduce workplace stress, pave the path for more effective communication, and overall improve employee happiness and retention.
The link between employee retention and new technology in the workplace isn’t always obvious, but it’s growing increasingly strong.
Use technology to create a working environment where employees feel satisfied, recognized, trusted, and productive—and watch your employee retention soar.