Expectations and demands are not only from customers. Employees too
Expectations and demand, two words we now listen on a regular basis as the main challenges faced by every organisation when it comes to customer satisfaction and engagement. The same happens with speed and agility, as it is required for companies to rapidly adapt to the ever changing landscape. However, the above is usually focused on customers and clients, but what about your employees?
One of the main areas employees are demanding and have increasing expectations, is more modern tools, yet many companies are failing to comply.
Users are now more tech savvy than just few decades ago, not only meaning the staff requires less training, they pick up things faster, or they will figure it out, but they will also look for faster and better tools, even if they are not available in the company’s catalogue.
Gone are the days where companies used to be the ones with the latest technology available. That was the case when I was a kid (80s–90s). Then, some of my friends will ask their parents to print them something or find some information when they went to the office, because that’s where the computers were, and many of us (me included) didn’t have a computer at home. Today is the complete opposite, and is not unusual for us to have better technology in our homes (or pockets), then what we have at work.
This leads to an uncomfortable and increasingly complex situation. For users can be very frustrating when provided with outdated tools, knowing that there are better alternatives, leading to unhappy staff, less productivity and efficiency and a growing chance of shadow IT; and it will only get worse as digital natives keep joining the working force.
Companies will state there are reasons for this, and of course, there are. Compliance, integration, security and so on; and yes, this is extremely important, but still doesn’t change the reality. Employees are looking for flexibility, alternatives and solutions, not mere justifications.
The challenge comes with the cloud, as it has made possible for this to change, allowing everyone with internet connectivity and a credit card, to have access endless possibilities, and use at work apps and services with the same quality as that they do at home.
Productivity before tools
As an advocate of user-centred design, this is something that companies should pay close attention to. Rather than a problem, it is in fact, the beginning of the solution (at least in my opinion) because they are already trying to tell you something.
This is why your employees/users, should always be the starting point when looking for new tools and systems. Even if the ones they are using might not be suitable for the long term, those are the kind of functionalities they are looking for.
They are the employees and they should adapt, yes, but things have also changed, and it is time for businesses to start thinking how to adapt to these demands too. It’s a two-way street now.
At the end of the day, every time I had the opportunity to speak to users under circumstances like this, they all gave me the same reasons behind their actions; they all did it for the company, to do a better job, be more efficient, because what they have is slow and antiquate, and to make things better for them and their teams. Is not this what companies ultimately should be looking at?
Enablement, support and empowerment, will always be a more powerful than restriction or denial.