Companies need to listen to their employees’ needs for hybrid work technologies

Leaders who are not sensitive to the needs of their employees cannot truly understand their business, especially when it comes to unsuitable technologies.

Leaders who are not sensitive to the needs of their people cannot truly understand their business: these are not just human resources issues, but rather systemic and day-to-day events that are visibly eroding the trust that these employees have in their company. In the eyes of employees, the technologies used in the workplace are a clear culprit – especially since most companies have made the transition to hybrid working methods. The policy of allowing employees to work from home may have changed the landscape, but technology has not, which can lead to stress, negativity, and even resignations.

When it comes to new technology needs for hybrid workplaces, employers are turning a deaf ear, especially when it comes to focusing on ease of use. But employees want the business software they use every day to be as easy to use as the technologies they use in their private lives.

Choosing to ignore these requests could be costly – and it couldn’t come at a worse time. At a time when nearly half of the world’s employees are considering a job change, now is not the time for employers to turn a deaf ear or bury their heads in the sand when it comes to acts to meet the wishes and expectations of their employees. Yet easy-to-use technology can have a surprisingly positive impact on employee satisfaction. Nevertheless, most of them currently feel frustrated by having to rely on technologies that are unsuitable for their workplace.

Why are employers turning a deaf ear?

So why don’t companies listen to their employees? To be honest, this is an area that is still unexplored and therefore everyone is forced to learn on the job. Mass hybrid work is new to everyone. It’s not like there are a multitude of proven management strategies or use cases for the post-pandemic world.

A first obvious explanation is financial. Recently, companies have been spending a lot of money and so it is easy for them to consider workplace-related technology issues a thing of the past. Most companies have approved significant additional technology investments and therefore tend to think that this issue is already resolved. According to KPMG, during the pandemic, they spent the equivalent of an additional $15 billion per week on technology to enable remote working. The international shift to hybrid working patterns has thus been behind the biggest spike in technology investment in history. However, what was an unexpected windfall for technology providers is rather perceived as a failure by employees.

But how could corporations spend more money than ever and get so screwed up? As time passes, it’s easy to fall into the trap of platform inertia. Businesses prefer to buy more of what they own and know. This usually takes the form of adding functionality to critical systems that employees already find frustrating, which only adds to the problem. CRM software is a perfect example.

Twenty years ago, the advent of the cloud promised tools that were easier to use, more powerful, and less expensive than their on-premises counterparts. While such cloud software has indeed proven to be less expensive, it is not necessarily faster or, in many cases, easier to use, quite the contrary. Over the years, the majority of cloud CRM tools have become too heavy and too expensive. They are characterized by functioning in silos, a certain slowness and, to be completely honest, can be a real headache for those who use them on a daily basis.

Conversely, the most recent cloud CRM platform vendors have realized this problem before anyone else. To remedy this, they offer modern and tailor-made solutions that provide employees with intuitive software, with a quick start, as easy to use as a mobile application. In other words: the kind of software that most employees wish they could use without having access to it.

Leaders need to take a fresh look at their workplace technology needs. Buying extra features for software that contributes to undermining their employees’ morale, hampering productivity and driving attrition, is not the solution, no matter how much money is invested. Employees aren’t shy about talking about their needs if asked – but employers also need to be willing to listen.

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