Hybrid Work, Connected Culture

2022 is the year of employee-centric tech. Here’s why.

Leaders, it’s time for a wake-up call. You may be losing good employees to bad tech.
2022 is the year of employee-centric tech

Really? Your tech stack could result in people actually leaving your company? That’s right. And not only that, but it may be hurting your hiring and employee productivity as well. Let’s look at the data.

G2 – the world’s largest tech marketplace – issued this warning two years ago in their State of Software Happiness Report: “More than half (51.95%) of all employees are unhappy at work because of the software tools they’re using.”

So, do you think software is more or less important today than it was in 2019? If you said more, the data shows that you’re right. “More than half (46.99%) of all employees said they use more software tools now than they did two years ago.”

In fact, technology has become so important that employees will leave jobs or turn down offers if a company’s tech isn’t a good fit for their needs.

 

The Impact of Less-Than-Stellar Technology on Employees

Two well-known companies, Adobe and G2, recently surveyed thousands of workers to capture their feelings on the impact of technology on their day-to-day lives. The results are a bit startling. Here’s what we’re seeing.

Adobe State of Work Report Statistics

Digital workers overwhelmingly agree that technology is “very important” when it comes to collaborating. Here’s how critical it is.

  • 32% of workers (nearly a third) have said goodbye to an employer whose tech was a barrier to their ability to do good work – up from 22% pre-COVID.
  • Nearly half of U.S. workers (49%) say they are likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with the technology they use at work.
  • Between February and December of 2020, the number of people who said they’d turn down a job because a company’s tech was out of date and hard to use rose by 12%.

 

G2 State of Software Happiness Report statistics dug even deeper into the emotional and personal impact software challenges have on employees. They found:

  • 52% of workers have become “dissatisfied at work due to missing or mismatched software”
  • 24% of respondents have “considered looking for a new job” because they “didn’t have the right software”

 

It also gets very personal.

  • 62% of employees have felt like they “were not reaching their professional potential” because of the software they used at work.
  • More than 56% agreed or strongly agreed that having the right software at work allows them more free time outside of work.

 

Just think about that for a moment. More than half of the employees surveyed believe that their company’s choice of software is limiting their professional potential and is negatively impacting their work-life balance.

As leaders evaluate potential new tools, they’re analyzing scalability and bottom-line returns. But are they considering what it means to the success and well-being of their employees?

 

The Impact of Less-Than-Stellar Technology on Business

As you can see, an ill-fitting tech stack that doesn’t sit well with your employees not only hurts productivity, it hurts retention and recruitment. In fact, 13% of employees have left a job because of the software their employer required them to use.

So do these employees – who use software for more than six hours per day, want different software? Better software? More software?

G2’s survey says… both!

  • 95% of workers said they would be “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with better software tools
  • 86% of respondents said they would be “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with more software tools

 

Why? Because 95% of employees surveyed agree or strongly agree that software makes them more productive at work. 

Your employees see the value of smart software tools and their ability to increase efficiency and boost productivity. And now that you understand the depth and breadth of the impact software has on your organization, it’s time to dig into the real question. 

How can you, as a leader, use these statistics to implement a well-received tech stack that supports a productive, efficient, fulfilling remote work environment in 2022? 

 

Leaders Need to Be Proactive & Take Actionable Steps

Don’t wait until your team is knocking down your door for better tools. Start the conversation today and get a real sense of what kinds of roadblocks your existing tech tools are creating. 

  • Build surveys to get a read on employee satisfaction in regards to your tech stack
  • Identify and troubleshoot any existing issues
  • Look for opportunities to improve the tools you’re offering to your team
  • Encourage your team to come to you if they find tools that seem like a strong fit

 

Beyond the basics, these tips can also help you make sure your tech and your team are in harmony.

Make Room for Choice

In some cases, being more flexible can be a great starting point for leaders. If there are tools that give your employees the power of choice without breaking the infrastructure of your organization (ex; allowing individuals to choose between GoogleDocs, Word, and Pages) – see if it’s possible to give your team the autonomy to choose where they prefer to spend their time. A little independence can go a long way in helping employees feel heard and empowered.

Decide on Your Work Model and Re-Evaluate Your Tech Stack Accordingly

For many companies, supporting remote workers was the exception, not the rule. Now, that’s changed and more and more companies are pivoting to a remote-first model. The issue is, many of these suddenly remote-first companies haven’t paused to re-evaluate whether their existing tech stack is built to effectively support a fully distributed workforce. Collaboration tools like virtual workrooms, an at-a-glance time zone reference dashboard, and team building icebreakers can help streamline communication among distributed teams. 

Establish a Clear Procurement Process

If your current procurement process is rushed, disorganized – or even relatively nonexistent – you may end up making a very expensive misstep. Especially if your decision-makers are all senior leaders who are not in the weeds or IT managers who are evaluating high-level issues. Most teams focus on four things; integrations, security, scalability, and ROI. But now it’s time to think beyond the basics.

G2 survey results show that 54% of buyers make a software purchase decision of $20,000 or more in three months or less – and employees want to be more involved in the process. Half of all employees surveyed wish they had more control over software decisions at work. So how do you accommodate?

First, it’s important not to give a singular person or department the authority to make a call without getting buy-in from the larger team. As you head into procurement, consider the big picture impact on your team’s efficiency, ask for opinions on what’s important, and use that feedback to write up software requirement criteria. Making sure employees feel heard will do wonders when it comes to driving adoption.

Leaders should also be thoughtful about who sits at the decision-making table. Try to “evenly weight” perspectives by allowing a representative member of each team who will be using the software have a say in the final decision. Doing so will allow each team to have a voice via a decision-maker who can prioritize core work functions and how they impact day-to-day operations for their team.

Many leaders skip this step because it can lead to a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario. At the very least, we encourage you to spend a couple of hours capturing priorities from the perspective of your various team members and using the outcome of that meeting to guide your decision-makers as they evaluate tools. 

Choose Tech That Helps You Meet Committed Goals

Good tech helps teams achieve the OKRs and KPIs that matter most. Maybe your department is focused on recruiting and retaining top talent, increasing employee engagement scores, and reducing attrition. Or, perhaps you’re accountable for generating predictable company growth, increasing profit margins, and reaching lofty revenue targets. Whatever the case may be, having the right software on your side can make all the difference. 

For example, top-of-the-line recruiting and onboarding tools that make it easy to keep candidates organized and build out a streamlined onboarding process can help people and HR teams woo and win the best talent. On the marketing side, user-friendly tools that provide deep visual data that make it easy to see what’s working can help growth teams build a predictable marketing pipeline. For all teams, being able to stay organized, see who’s who in your org, find what you need when you need it, and collaborate seamlessly is critical to ongoing success.

2022 is the Year of Better Tech for Your Employees

G2’s survey revealed 64% of companies plan on buying five or more software tools in the coming year, and 55% plan to increase their software and technology spending in 2022. 

Spending a little more time and putting in the legwork upfront in an effort to get whole-team buy-in can pay off handsomely when teams are satisfied with the outcome. So be ready at the start of 2022 to advocate for your team. Re-evaluate existing tools, invite feedback, prioritize having well-balanced voices at the decision table, and work with your employees to build a tech stack that works for you.

The bottom line is – software matters now more than ever – and it’s up to you to select and implement tools that will support your team and help you meet your goals in 2022 and beyond.

Start the Conversation

Now more than ever, it’s mission critical to build world-class employee experiences for remote and hybrid teams.
 

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