Technology has started to feel like a four-letter word these days—especially in the business world. Stand by the water cooler and you might hear chatter among employees about what programs, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, will mean for the future of jobs.
As this technology comes to life, many people fear for their professional future. They worry that robots will soon sit at their desks while they’re out on the street struggling to find work.
Still, employees shouldn’t get bogged down by the worry of what robots will mean for their jobs. According to GroupM’s Rob Norman, the work marketers do has become more important, not less. That’s because, despite today’s technologically-advanced world, creativity hasn’t yet been able to be reproduced. In fact, creativity is needed more than ever to develop the programs and ideas that these machines will act on as they become more advanced.
As futuristic as it might sound, robots are here. Indeed, technology is changing how we operate in today’s world. As a leader in your small business, you can either embrace the changes and harness them to improve employee engagement, or shy away from technology out of fear. I suggest the former.
Does your team really want new technology?
In today’s technologically driven world, innovation moves quickly. That can make it hard for people who aren’t as skilled in modern technology to adapt and embrace new tools and platforms. Still, putting new technology in place is critical for your business.
Your team doesn’t just want technology—they want tools to make their jobs easier and smoother. Making a blanket statement about the importance of implementing new technology isn’t helpful. What is important is finding the right technology that’ll improve your employees’ lives at work. This is technology that’s relevant to their needs and valuable to their overall workflow. Here are three tools that will meet those needs:
1. Automation technology
We’re living in an age where modern consumers demand an immediate response from the businesses they work with. If a customer tweets out a concern to a customer support department, she expects a response within a few hours, if not a few minutes, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
Instant gratification is an expectation in today’s world, but for small businesses, it’s impossible to match that expectation with a human response. Demanding that 24/7/365 requirement of your employees will cause burnout–and fast. That’s where automation comes in.
With marketing automation technology you can free up your team’s time to focus on more important tasks, while still answering your consumer’s demands. Instead of answering your customers, your team is left with more time to analyze results and come up with plans that will improve the overall success of your business. They feel happy because they’re using their brainpower to create something great; you feel good because you’re getting the most out of your team. It’s a win-win.
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2. Technology for remote employees
We’re living in a gig economy, which means many employees probably won’t be sitting next to each other, day in and day out. This geographic separation can easily lead to a disengagement of team members, so bridge the physical distance with technology.
Communications platforms, such as video conferencing, chat channels, and collaboration tools, enable team members to feel like they’re sitting shoulder to shoulder when in reality they’re miles apart. They’re an excellent way to use an artificial setting to form real relationships between colleagues.
3. Human resources technology
If there’s one department that’s bogged down by processes, it’s human resources (HR). HR does everything from onboarding to exit interviews, and everything in between having to do with talent retention. For small businesses, that’s a lot of extra work that often falls on the plate of one person or several people who also have different roles.
To minimize being overwhelmed with these processes, using technology to simplify tasks can dramatically improve engagement. With tools like payroll automation, online scheduling platforms, and benefits management tools, you can cut back on the tedious work hours your team has to take on. Instead, they’ll be cut loose to do more in their role.
Ready, set, implement
Implementing new tools and platforms into your business might feel scary for some people and daunting for you. Still, if you choose the right tools, you’ll ultimately make everyone’s life a little bit easier, because you’ll be simplifying their workload and giving them room to spread their creative wings.