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Technology key to keeping staff happy

Giving employees access to the latest technologies will improve their satisfaction and increase productivity, survey shows

UK businesses that invest in the latest technologies are seen in a positive light by their employees, while organisations that lag behind with tech spread negativity throughout their workforce.

A survey of UK employees carried out by Unisys revealed the importance of providing staff with the right technology if firms want to retain them and get the most out of them.

The research, part of a global survey of more than 12,000 workers, found that 87% of staff at companies that are considered leaders in technology adoption are positive about their employer, while 70% at “technology laggards” are negative about their employer. And 14% of staff at businesses that are slow to adopt the latest technology even said inadequate technology makes them want to go and work elsewhere.

Outdated devices cause negativity from 56% of employees at laggard businesses, with 24% unhappy that they do not have the devices to enable them to work on the move.

And it is not just staff retention that becomes a problem when businesses fail to invest in the right technology. According to the survey report, worker negativity will reduce productivity.

“Workers are looking for agile, modern solutions that support their need to work in different locations or when on the move,” it said. “Failure to provide mobility-fuelled productivity has big consequences for employee satisfaction and motivation – which are driving factors in productivity.”

But the UK is not the only country where outdated technology is causing negativity among the workforce. The global findings of the Unisys study revealed that workers at technology laggard organisations are five times more likely to be frustrated, and six times more likely to consider quitting.

But despite the call for better technology, UK employees are only really familiar with the current latest devices, and have a lack of understanding of technologies beyond these. According to the survey, when it comes to future technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and biometrics, few UK workers have a solid grasp of it.

Read more about improving staff productivity through mobile devices

Only 16% said they understood AI well and just 22% felt the same about biometrics. Unisys said this needs to change if businesses are to benefit from these technologies.

“There is simply no point reaching for these new, transformative technologies if there is no education around them – and without proper context, the workforce simply feels threatened,” said the report. In fact, 38% are worried that AI will replace them, the survey found.

Businesses are trying to enable staff to use their preferred devices to carry out business tasks in order to improve productivity. Last year, in a bid to improve productivity, global asset management company Schroders started using software to enable staff to carry out everyday business tasks quickly and conveniently via any mobile devices. The enterprise-wide roll-out could potentially be used by all of Schroders’ 4,000 staff.

At the time, the company’s chief digital officer said: “Everybody in our business has a mobile device, and we want to identify those everyday activities that should take one or two minutes, but normally take four or five minutes when logging into a big system.

“We want to maximise productivity on the go by giving people bite-sized windows into things like approvals, so they can do it anywhere. It is about finding those extra moments of productivity to help everybody work more efficiently.”

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