How to Use Technology to Boost Productivity and Retention
Disengaged employees cause high turnover and can reduce a company’s productivity by as much as 70 percent. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: communication technology.
If managers break down communication barriers and facilitate bottom-up and peer-to-peer communication, it can significantly increase employee engagement, which has been proven to raise productivity, retention rates, and profitability.
Helping employers engage and understand employees better, internal communication technology addresses the 3 D’s of poor communication:
Effective two-way communication between desk and non-desk workers is a difficult feat to accomplish. This is where enterprise mobile messaging platforms come in. An application that can be integrated with your company’s infrastructure has the power to transform operational processes. Chris Dermody, CIO of Denver Water, recently pointed out how they were able to use mobile communication to bridge the gap between field and office workers:
“The beauty of our mobile platform is that it integrates communication, information, and process flows between field workers and head-office workers/managers,” Dermody noted. “Not only is the work performed at a high level of efficiency and less cost, it’s done with higher quality and higher levels of accountability, all of which drive better customer service.” (http://bit.ly/2tOqdJz)
Employers currently spend roughly $720 million a year on improving employee engagement (http://bit.ly/2tI8JKQ). However, 70 percent of employees are still disengaged, suggesting that employers’ efforts to increase engagement haven’t come to fruition (http://bit.ly/2v2sQaz).
One reason for this lack of effectiveness is the fact that disengaged workers are hard to identify, although there are some key indicators (http://bit.ly/2uD6LhY). For example, it’s more likely that an employee who regularly complains is more engaged than one who never asks questions and simply tries to go each day unnoticed. After disengaged employees have been pinpointed, it’s also difficult to re-engage them in their position.
With current technology, it’s possible to monitor engagement trends to spot disengagement right away to avoid costly turnover. Utilizing analytics in internal communication platforms helps employers recognize a difference in or lack of engagement and address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem. This facilitates open communication and helps get employees back on track toward engagement.
Employee turnover has an expensive price tag, ranging from 16 percent of annual salary for low-paying jobs, and up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions (http://bit.ly/2v2Q7cy). This may seem exaggerated, but when you factor in the costs of hiring, onboarding, training, learning and development, and lost opportunity costs from the unfilled role, these are real numbers that add up quickly.
Companies with effective internal communication are 50 percent more likely to have employee turnover rates below their industry average (http://bit.ly/2v2iK9E). That’s because internal communication builds trust and enables workers to perform well with clear direction, resulting in elevated satisfaction rates. If employees are happy, retention rates are high, significantly boosting a company’s bottom line.
Additionally, management can elicit regular feedback from colleagues using communication technology to improve workflows and drive organizational change. Staff members, in turn, feel respected and valued since their suggestions aren’t falling on deaf ears.
Cristian Grossmann is CEO of Beekeeper, which connects operational systems and communication channels within one intuitive platform accessible by mobile or desktop devices. (https://beekeeper. io/). He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from ETH in Zurich. Before founding Beekeeper, Grossmann created high-profile international IT strategies at Accenture.