In November 2021, a record 4.5 million Americans left their jobs. The high number of people quitting was part of a trend that persisted throughout the year, earning the label “The Great Resignation.” With so many employees throwing in the towel, business leaders are realizing they need to change course if they want to attract and keep talent.
Research shows that offices with ping-pong tables, open floor plans and bean bag chairs aren’t the draw candidates are seeking. Luckily, the strategic use of technology can help usher in a more positive work environment by giving employees things that they do want, like better communication, more time for projects that help them develop as professionals and better work-life balance.
Here are some inspiring ways technology can transform corporate culture and meet the needs of employees and their employers.
1) Technology is tackling menial tasks so employees can work more efficiently and creatively
Employees reported they’re spending about half of their work time on scheduling and on menial tasks that take them away from their substantive work. When employees spend too much time on repetitive or mindless tasks, it can leave them feeling undervalued and unmotivated.
Tech in action:
AI-powered technology like Xtracta can come in to perform data entry and fill in forms, taking over these simple, repetitive tasks. For example, the charity New York Foundling suspected that too much time on dull data entry was contributing to its 42% annual turnover. When the organization implemented software robots to perform the most repetitive tasks, its turnover dropped to just 17%. The results highlight the fact that when employees can devote time to work that helps them develop as professionals, they are happier in their positions.
2) Technology allows for more flexible work arrangements
Today’s employees want and expect greater flexibility in where and how they work. Work from home opportunities lead to greater productivity for many, cost savings on commuting and less office space rentals for employers. According to surveys, 74% of employees stated they would be less likely to leave their company if they had the option to work from home. Given the struggles many companies face when it comes to attracting talent, this statistic deserves attention.
Tech in action:
Zoom and other video conferencing tools are nearly ubiquitous because of their ability to make working from home less isolating. However, video conferencing technology is just one of many solutions improving remote work conditions.
Another useful technology for remote workforces is Freedom, which blocks websites and apps during work hours to prevent employees from falling down Facebook rabbit holes. By removing the temptation to find out what’s trending on Twitter, Freedom allows people to work more efficiently and be more productive.
Also, when teams are logging in from home, cafes or airports, they may create security risks. ExpressVPN is a product companies are turning to as a way to data when their employees are working from anywhere. All of these technologies are paving the way for flexible long-term work-from-home arrangements.
3) Technology can help companies prioritize sustainability initiatives, which is of great importance to today’s employees and consumers
From developing fake meat to solar glass, innovative tech companies are working to improve the environment. However, employees expect even businesses whose primary focus isn’t sustainability to contribute to the effort by reducing their own negative impacts. For instance, 70% of employees are more likely to accept jobs from sustainable companies and most millennials report they’d even take a pay cut to work for an employer that values sustainability.
Tech in action:
When it comes to using technology to better the environment, few companies can compete with Microsoft’s goal of eliminating more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit. The tech company put its money where its mouth is, and invested $1 billion into developing tools for carbon removal.
Another example is Google, which implemented an AI model to reduce the energy usage of its data centers by 40%. Smaller companies can take more modest steps by going paperless or cutting down on travel by relying on video conferences instead of in-person meetings.
4) Technology fuels greater employee inclusion with accessible materials
According to a recent survey, 67% of job seekers want to join an inclusive company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that just 17.9% of people with disabilities were employed in 2020. Compare that to 61.8% of people without disabilities and the need for more inclusive, accessible workplaces becomes clear. Luckily, technology offers better and more cost-effective accessibility solutions. Using these tools to support a more inclusive workforce is a great way to improve company culture.
Tech in action:
Webinars, video conferences, training videos and other employment events and resources can exclude people who are Deaf or Blind. Adding captions is a solution that empowers job applicants and employees who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Similarly, audio descriptions accommodate employees and candidates who are Blind. Technologies like those offered by Verbit make it easier for businesses to offer these services.
Companies like The Motley Fool use Verbit’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) assisted tools to generate real-time captions efficiently. However, it’s best practice to support this technology by enlisting professional human transcribers like Verbit’s to check the ASR’s work to deliver more accurate captions. With this process, live webinars, meetings and events can include captions so that those who rely on them can always take part. Audio description, which offers in-depth descriptions of images so that those who are Blind have better access to information can also be instituted. These forms of advanced accessibility technology support efforts to improve corporate inclusivity, while opening the door to wider talent pools.
5) Improve communication and offer quicker feedback with the right technology
Poor communication is not only frustrating, but it leads to inefficient workflows and can be expensive. Communication barriers lead to an estimated loss of $37 billion internationally. A recent survey also found that 63% of employees considered leaving their jobs due to poor communication. 90% of employees say that communication is the key to a good work environment.
Tech in action:
Tools like Slack allow employees to connect easily and in real-time. Blink is another application that offers quick internal communication among frontline professionals in healthcare, transit and construction. This technology takes a mobile-first approach to communication for individuals with jobs that keep them on the move and away from desks.
Implementing services that simplify communication in the workplace and offer more opportunities to receive instant answers to questions is a smart way to foster a healthy company culture.
Although corporate culture is ultimately about people, not technology, these resources create opportunities to build relationships, reduce stress and make employees feel valued. Verbit’s accessibility solutions help to support employees in the new world of greater remote work and global teams. Contact us to learn about our captioning, transcription and audio description and how they can help to enhance your meetings, events, videos and more to better fuel an effective corporate culture.