Employees feeling positive and enthusiastic about their work and their interactions with their employer can make a huge difference to retention, productivity and performance levels, and there are several ways you can use technology to enhance the employee experience in your small business. Some of these are more innovative than others, but all of them can make employees feel better about coming to work and about their employer.
Choose mobile apps
When choosing software to use in your business, whether it’s an HR system or other software, get an option with a good mobile app. This is particularly important when it’s software employees are likely to want to look at in their own time. Many people don’t own, or rarely use, an actual computer at home, and rely much more heavily on their phones. Being able to access their HR system quickly and easily to book holiday, check the maternity policy or similar on an easy-to-use app on their phone or tablet makes a big difference.
Review communication methods
Don’t automatically continue to rely on email as a communication tool within the business. Depending on the culture and needs of the organisation, you could consider using social media for communication, or one of the various team messaging options, such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts or similar.
Increase participation in employment
Help employees feel more involved and empowered in their employment by giving them greater access to information about themselves and a higher level of participation in HR processes at an earlier stage.
Increase learning and development opportunities
Technology can be used to increase access to affordable learning opportunities for staff, either directly job-related or otherwise. Job-related learning clearly has a direct impact on your business, but access to learning opportunities through apps or software that staff can use outside work time can help them feel valued and improve their wellbeing.
Maximise induction effectiveness
A good on-boarding experience can make all the difference to new staff during that crucial initial period. Technology (usually in the form of an HR system) can ensure in practical terms that all the necessary bits of whatever formal induction process you have are completed, but can also be used to give easy access to information and support for new staff, and enable them to more quickly grasp how things work, and understand and immerse themselves in the company culture.
Ensure decent Wi-Fi everywhere
Make sure the Wi-Fi in your business is excellent and is accessible throughout the workplace. It’s a little thing but reduces frustration for employees who might want to browse social media in the kitchen at lunchtime or similar.
Conduct employee surveys
It’s much easier to do an employee survey using technology, and if the option you use includes a mobile app, your response rates should be higher as well, making the data you have more meaningful, and enabling you to understand and address any concerns your workers may have.
Consider biometric security
This is perhaps a bit more exotic for a small business, but using biometric security options such as fingerprints or facial recognition for security access can make life a little easier and save staff having to remember to carry around a pass.
Embracing video-conferencing options rather than relying on in-person visits can improve productivity, save time, and enable more frequent face-to-face communication, strengthening relationships and improving teamwork.
Less travel for the various roles in your business will also make these roles more accessible for people with family and other responsibilities, therefore increasing the pool of potential candidates available when recruiting, and helping you keep valuable staff when their personal circumstances change.
Improve employee information
Use technology to make more information available to employees about your organisation. Help them understand the culture better, and feel part of the goals and aims your business has. Be open about how the business is structured, and who does what, and ensure that staff are kept up to date with decisions made which affect them.
Minimise technology frustrations
Technology is great, but when it is slow, or crashes, or doesn’t work properly for any reason, it doesn’t reduce stress or make life easier at all- quite the opposite. So make sure technology options you use in your business work well and that staff have access to knowledgeable and competent support when things inevitably go wrong (or when they can’t work it properly…).
If you need further advice on ways to use technology in your business, do get in touch.