Adaptable. Creative. Productive. These are all qualities CIOs want to encourage in their employees—but are you enabling the kind of workplace that nurtures these qualities? Does your organization’s technology help employees do their best work? If not, how do you know what technology investments will deliver the kind of change you need?
To answer these questions, let’s take a closer look at a report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on The New Employee Experience. This report examines the technologies that most help employees be adaptable, creative, and productive. In this article we’ll dig into what the WSJ report learned about these technologies and why these tech investments make an impact on your employee experience.
Of all the technologies CIOs are considering to improve their employee experience, learning and development technologies lead the way in improving productivity, creativity, and adaptability. What’s more, 79 percent of employees also believe skills training has a positive impact on their creativity and productivity at work.
Both CIOs and employees agree that investments in learning and development help create an employee experience where everyone can do their best work. The best explanation for this, according to the WSJ report, is that “technological tools are only useful if they actually get used.” The report goes on to describe how learning and development is a “prerequisite” for the successful implementation of all kinds of technology solutions because L&D gives employees the expertise needed to master new tools. By serving as a solution catalyst, L&D is a clear winner among technology investments that boost productivity, creativity, and adaptability.
After L&D, technology that allows employees to work from anywhere and on any device was the second-best way to drive productivity and adaptability. The WSJ report also calls out a two-year Stanford study that found allowing employees to work remotely led to a 13 percent increase in productivity, as well as reduced sick leave and higher job satisfaction. And employees agree with the value of remote work, as 68 percent believe it’s very important that new technologies allow them to work from anywhere.
The analysis here is clear: technology that gives employees flexibility in where they work and which devices they use offers higher productivity and an improved employee experience. Having more choice over the time, place, and tools used for work empowers employees to feel in control of their environment and tasks, making them more adaptable to changing business conditions. Employees also cite flexible work policies as helping improve work/life balance, which explains the reduced sick leave and higher job satisfaction.
The third-best investment to improve employee innovation and adaptability is technology providing easier access to information. According to the WSJ report, easy information access was also one of the most important contributors to employee work satisfaction. To provide this simplified access, executives cited digital workspaces as the top solution for an optimal employee experience. This syncs with the 80 percent of employees who say having access to the best workplace technologies impact their ability to innovate and be creative at work.
Why would easy access to information improve innovation and adaptability? Improved collaboration is one explanation, since employees would more easily share a single view of business conditions to avoid confusion. Another factor could be that every minute spent looking for specific information is a minute lost to frustration and distraction. As the WSJ report puts it: “Less time spent on nuisance and inconvenience means more time available for innovation, creativity and work that values human talents.”
Technologies for learning and development, work-from-anywhere capabilities, and easier access to information are all important steps toward what The WSJ report calls “frictionless flexibility.” This is a vital aspect of your employee experience because it empowers employees to be more productive, innovative, and adaptable in their work. To make this optimal employee experience a reality, you need to adopt a technology strategy that focuses on the areas of greatest impact.
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