How Technology Can Help Improve MoraleEditor
KEEPING EMPLOYEES IN THE LOOP: THE KEY TO RUNNING A MORE EFFICIENT BUSINESS
Most business owners will agree your business is only as good as the people you hire. Hiring good people is not a science; it is more of an art. You can do the research, employ the most up-to-date technology to help with the process, but in the end, getting the right fit is a matter of knowing your culture, knowing as much about the prospective employee as possible and that old stand-by, your gut feeling.
It is also a slow process: finding that right employee is almost like dating with an eye toward marriage. Once you are sure that you have found “the one,” promises are made in terms of salary, benefits, duties and responsibilities, and other, intangible, assumptions. When the new hire comes on board, there is the inevitable honeymoon phase when you are sure you have found the right person for the job and they are sure they made the right move. And then the inevitable happens: day-to-day business ensues. Conflicts arise. You sense the employee is somewhat disenchanted, but not disenchanted enough to leave. At least, not yet.
HAPPY EMPLOYEES = BETTER PROFIT MARGINS
Happy and engaged employees are important to the profit margins of companies, particularly small businesses. These employees miss less work, perform better, and tend to be more supportive of changes and are more willing to help make them happen. Unmotivated, undervalued employees cause the company to lose money by missing deadlines, and, having to replace the unhappy workers who either leave on their own or the employer is forced to let go. And, ironically, replace.
There are numerous articles, books, websites, etc. devoted to giving “tips” on how to keep your employees happy. Many have to do with showing respect, keeping people motivated, and appreciating the workers efforts. However, there are other aspects that small business owners should also consider: one of them includes giving your employees the right tools and connections to do their jobs well.
AMI-Partners is a global research firm that helps their clients “see the bigger picture.” According to one of their recent reports, using technology more effectively can cut costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help your business work more efficiently. You can do this, according to AMI-Partners by giving your employees secure and consistent access to information.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING THE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
Among their suggestions are:
• Keep your employees connected. Provide them with tools like virtual private networks (VPN). This allows your employees to work outside the office when necessary and still have safe access to the business network.
• Make it easy for your employees to work together. A reliable and secure network goes a long way to creating an efficient environment, not only for employees but for clients, vendors, and other business partners. An intelligent network lets your employees take advantage of interactive calendaring, video conferencing, and other technologies for easy collaboration.
• Allow employees to take their phone system with them. A missed call is a missed opportunity or delay in a project. Wasted opportunities equal lost revenues. Allowing your staff to access all their communication from anywhere permits them to do their jobs more effectively and reduces those missed opportunities.
• Cut down on unproductive travel time. If your employees have to travel for business, there can be a lot of down time in waiting for connections or meetings. While some meetings just have to happen face to face, others can be easily handled with video calls and web conferencing. Technology can make that happen.
Improving your communication technology can go a long way to helping your employees feel productive and an integral part of the team. An out of date communication network can frustrate employees. By developing and maintaining a long-term technology plan, you can minimize the frustrations and keep your business running more efficiently.
Upgraded technology alone will not keep all employees happy all the time, but it will make them feel more productive and more connected to the company’s bottom line. Allowing them to do their job quickly, easily, and without disruption allows employees to feel they are an essential part of the team. A happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute is a priceless investment any company should make.