How your network could win the talent war
How many of your employees are happy with the technology they use at work?
All of them? Most of them?
The answer is 29%, according to a recent Insight report. A further fifth believe there is ‘a lot of room for improvement’, while some are even prepared to quit their job over it.
A simple fix, then. Just invest in the tools people do like using. The ones that help them do their job and serve your customers better.
But here’s the thing: even if budget constraints aren’t an issue, today’s networks simply aren’t equipped to keep up with future demand for digital workplace technology.
Before we get into how you might overcome this issue, let’s look at why it exists in the first place.
When demand outstrips supply
Think about the digital tools you use as a consumer, from your smartphone to your fitness tracker or even your shopping apps.
All of them are constantly setting new standards for the experience we have with technology. Those standards don’t just disappear when we get to the office. We expect things to work, and work well.
If they don’t? Where years ago we might have simply rolled our eyes and silently blamed the IT department (rightly or wrongly, we should add), that figure from above suggests, in no uncertain terms, that we take things a lot more seriously today.
And when you’ve got a genuine risk of good people leaving, that’s not an IT problem – it’s a business problem. A critical one.
In fact, 31% of employers Ovum surveyed cited attracting and retaining employees as a main driver for investing in digital technology.
The challenge in solving that problem comes from the fact that most organisations are running what we would call yesterday’s networks. That means they aren’t set up to access the cloud securely and reliably, which means they don’t have the flexibility to bring in new cloud-based communication tools as and when they need to, which ultimately means they can’t keep up with employee and customer demand.
And that could be the difference between keeping or losing their talent.
More than just recruitment tools
When it comes to people, of course it’s not all about attraction and retention.
The right digital communication tools can empower the people you do have to do their very best work for your customers.
We recently highlighted a group of ‘digital leader’ organisations that have already invested heavily into digital technology and plan to do even more.
When we asked those organisations what benefits they’ve seen from their digital investment, 89% reported a happier and more engaged workforce.
The impact of that?
Better productivity, higher profits, faster profit growth and increased share value, according to a whole range of studies.
So where do digital communication tools come into all of this? And how can your network help?
Unleashing your inner startup
Think of the startups that do the best job of attracting talent. It’s not just because people love what they sell. And it’s not just because of the free breakfast, Friday drinks and ping pong tables.
These brands have built a reputation for having modern, flexible working cultures. And those cultures are built around digital tools that work. Ones that help people communicate quickly and easily whenever they want and wherever they happen to be.
And when 35% of staff now expect more flexibility in how they work, according to the same Ovum report we mentioned earlier, enterprise organisations ought to take note.
But it’s one thing being a startup with a headcount well south of 100. Being a decades-old organisation with thousands of people across multiple offices in dozens of countries, working on a network that’s been around longer than most of your staff, is another thing entirely.
Thankfully the proverbial goalposts are beginning to move in your favour.
Because a modern network like SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) can help even the largest organisations achieve the flexibility and agility of a startup.
Instead of being tied down by ageing infrastructure, you can quickly test and build new digital
communication tools like cloud-based voice technology. You can keep up with rapidly evolving people needs without the headache of overhauling your entire infrastructure. And you can do it all securely.
So next time you think about employee engagement, think about your network.
It might just be your key to winning the talent war.