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The True Cost of Inefficiency: Employee Frustrations and Workplace Tech

More than ever before, interacting with technology is a significant part of the average employee experience. In episode 95 of HR Break Room®, Steve Boese, program chair for HR Technology Conference, stops by to discuss the findings of a recent OnePoll survey as he addresses the larger issues arising from employee frustrations with their workplace technology. Here are just a few of the takeaways from that discussion.

Impacting the employee experience

According to OnePoll’s survey of more than 1,000 office workers, many of whom were working from home, 77% said they were frustrated with outdated tech at work and 67% said they would be willing to take a pay cut to have better tech in their workplace.

“That was shocking to me,” Boese said. “It’s clear that employers haven’t taken the time or invested the resources to ensure the technologies they provide to their employees are actually making their jobs easier.”

He continued to identify a lag in embracing the cloud as an opportunity missed by many employers. The rapid update cadence of cloud-based technologies gives employers an easy way to keep their technology current without the hassle of upgrading on-site hardware or software.

The costs of outdated technology

Outdated or inefficient workplace technology can harm the employee experience, but it’s also a drag on productivity that will eventually begin to impact the employer brand. If your employees are spending too much time dealing with the shortcomings of their workplace tech, they have less time to devote to the job functions that move the needle in the organization. As productivity suffers, frustrations begin to creep in.

“It makes you start to think,” said Boese, “How does this organization feel about me as a person just trying to get work done and be successful in their job?”

As frustration builds, it can start to affect the employer brand. “If someone asks you, ‘How’s it going over there?’ I might say, ‘Yeah, it kind of stinks.’ No one’s going to want to work at a company where they’re constantly frustrated.”

More versus better

Boese is adamant that when addressing the issue of inefficient workplace technology, it’s important to implement the right tech, not just more tech. As an advocate for HR technology, he recognizes the unfortunate truth that HR is not always the lead decision-maker when organizations are choosing their technology.

“Employees are the ones who will make or break the success of any system,” he said. “I want to make sure those voices are heard [when making enterprise technology decisions]. The simplest way to do this is to make sure you have a diverse, well-represented set of people involved in the process, not just the people in the administrative offices or at the headquarters.”

The discussion covers a lot of ground, but Boese offers a simple insight that should be taken seriously by any business: “If 77% of an organization’s customers said they were frustrated with any part of their experience with your company, you would do something about it or you wouldn’t have a company for very long.”

For these and other insights in workplace tech and its effect on the employee experience and organizational performance, be sure to listen to episode 95 of HR Break Room®.