Technology in the Workplace: What Do Your Employees Really Think?
You may think you’re choosing technology in the workplace based on what your employees want. But there’s a good chance some of your employees disagree.
A recent PwC survey of 12,000 global employees exposed a vast difference between what executives believe about workplace technology and their employees’ perspectives.
Here’s a closer look at the disparity and what you can do to bridge the gap.
How Employees Feel About Technology In The Workplace
Ninety percent of C-suite executives who responded to the survey said their company pays attention to employees’ needs when introducing new technology. But only 53% of employees at those same companies agreed.
Other findings further underscore this disparity:
- 68% of employees said they were satisfied with the technology their company provides for their most important work (compared to 92 percent of executives)
- 60% of employees said they were satisfied with the mobile technology available to them at work
- 50% of employees are satisfied with the resources they have to learn how to use new technology
- 46% of employers in a supervisory role said they feel overwhelmed by technology at work
- 61% of employees said they spend more time getting technology to work than they’d like
The survey responses also show how important it is to have a balance when it comes to implementing technology in the workplace. More than half of employees—56 percent— said they feel technology is taking them away from human interaction at work.
The majority of employees want technology to assist them—as long as it frees them up to do more important, engaging work.
It’s also worth noting that employee attitudes toward technology in the workplace vary based on their motivations. About a third of employees (34%) said curiosity, efficiency and teamwork motivated them to improve their technology skills. This group is the most open to using new digital processes and the most likely to champion workplace technology among their coworkers.
Another 37% said they were motivated by status and opportunities for advancement. They are more likely to be skeptical of technology if they don’t understand how it will help them advance. The final group (29%) are motivated by individual achievement within a predictable environment.
They’re still willing to learn, but will likely be more difficult to convince compared to the other two groups. They need to understand how technology will help them distinguish themselves from their peers and contribute to your company’s mission.
How To Help Employees Embrace Technology
As a workplace leader, you play a critical role in helping employees overcome technology hurdles—whether it’s a resistance to change or a frustration with your existing solutions.
Based on the survey data and our own experience implementing technology in the workplace for more than 2 million users, here’s what works.
1. Involve Employees In Technology Decisions
Most workplace leaders would say they’re already doing this, but the data shows they aren’t doing it sufficiently.
Too often, decisions about technology in the workplace are reactionary—made in response to a need to cut costs, to keep up with a growing trend or to solve an immediate problem.
These decisions need to be more deliberate and collaborative. For instance, if your leadership team has identified a need for a new software platform, assemble a committee that includes key stakeholders as well as employees who will be the end-users.
2. Identify Your Champions
We know that employees motivated by curiosity, efficiency and teamwork will likely be most receptive to new technology in the workplace. Find those people in your workplace. Look for the employees who tend to work in groups and are eager to show off their latest gadgets.
When it’s time to choose new workplace technology, get them involved early so they can start trying it and becoming invested in it.
Once you get these “early adopters” on board, they can help you win over others.
3. Plan For A Smooth Implementation
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
This applies to any new technology you introduce to your workforce. To ensure a successful software implementation (and widespread adoption), take the time to plan out the steps involved.
First, map out the project in phases and be sure you’ve clearly outlined roles and responsibilities. Talk with your IT department to make sure you’ve accounted for everything.
Make sure you give your team plenty of time to gather and validate data before you implement the new technology. Allow plenty of time for employee training, too.
Finally, take time to celebrate the launch! Make sure employees know how to use this new technology and also understand how it will make their jobs easier. Only then will they become invested in it.