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Do you have the right technology to attract and retain top talent?
If you’re taken aback by this question, you’re not alone. Pre-pandemic, leaders typically used more traditional benefits such as attractive salaries or 401(k) matching to convince workers to join their ranks. Of course, equipping people with the technology they needed to perform in their roles was important. But because the vast majority of employees worked from the office, leaders didn’t have to think about tech needs beyond the confines of their four walls – or how it impacted their growth strategies.
However, as more businesses transition to hybrid working models, leaders must broaden their perspective on technology needs. Unfortunately, few have picked up the mantle so far.
In a 2021 survey, for example, a third of workers said their employers hadn’t prioritized investing in better hybrid work-friendly technologies. Unsurprisingly, this is affecting their willingness to stick around. A 2022 survey found that a third of employees say that one of the top factors in their desire to change jobs is frustration from dealing with hybrid work tech issues. The lesson is clear: If leaders hope to keep employees around, they can’t ignore or undervalue the technology that’s needed to create a seamless hybrid work experience.
Related: Where to Deploy Innovative Tech to Create a More Flexible, Engaging Organization
A hard-to-fill gap
Most of our current workplace tech was designed with the needs of either all-in-person or all-remote staff in mind. Because the hybrid approach is so new, there simply aren’t many technology tools built with it in mind (at least, not yet).
For example, your office’s conference room was probably built for in-person meeting participation. Attendees sat around one table while the meeting host used a monitor and projector screen to present to the group. When people were sent home during the height of the pandemic, in-person meetings were out of the question, which meant attendees participated separately via a videoconferencing solution. The host could share their screen, and attendees could watch the presentation from the comfort of their couch. Simple enough.
But what does a hybrid conference room look like? Some employees might join the meeting from the office, while others might dial in from remote locations. Their meeting experiences will be vastly different and potentially headache-inducing. In fact, 71 percent of respondents to that 2022 survey said hybrid meetings are stressful. They identified issues with sharing content, wrestling cables and connecting audio and video as their top tech concerns.
Related: What Is the Best Way to Run a Highly Effective Hybrid Meeting?
How do you bridge this gap to ensure optimal participation and engagement from everyone? We don’t yet have a universal answer, but we do know that the way companies use technology to facilitate hybrid work could mean the difference between employees sticking around and running for the exit. So here are strategies for meeting the technology expectations of employees in a hybrid workplace:
Related: Losing Employees to Competitors? Modern Workspaces Can Help You Keep Them.
1. Don’t leave people flapping in the wind.
Simply arming your hybrid workforce with the basic necessities (e.g., a computer with a decent microphone, camera and speaker) and then leaving them to fend for themselves as they integrate those digital tools into their everyday work is a …….