Technology has been responsible for tremendous leaps forward in employee productivity. It also isn’t slowing down. New technology and new ways of doing business are further advancing employee productivity. However, how well technology is being used in business is a huge factor in the benefit it brings employees. That simple idea separates good companies from great companies. It also has a significant impact on culture. We cover that as a bonus item at the end of the blog.
Before using any technology you first have to make sure it delivers the expected value that is right for your company and employees. That means understanding the raw value of the technology then translating that into real value for your business’s environment. The best way to measure the value of technology is to answer 3 questions
- How easy is the technology to use and understand? You want to identify how much friction there is to realize value.
- What is the value you expect from the technology? This is straight forward but so many people fail to answer it. Don’t take the sales pitch as your answer, translate it to your company.
- How long do you expect to continue to use the technology, when does it need replacement? You want to understand when the technology stops being useful. Like when you reach a certain size.
Value is the simplest way to understand direct productivity impacts. However, because it is so simple many people fail to put the thought and action needed to identify it.
The greatest technology tool will deliver poor results if adoption is not high. You have to anticipate the challenges of technology change management for your business. How will your employees react to this new technology? Tip, different employees will react differently to technology change. That is called employee personas and dictates how those personas use technology.
We worked with a client that had tremendous difficulty in adopting Google G-Suite for their business. The resistance to the change was so high the company was paying for their exisitng solution and G-Suite. Once we started to map out the change management and how differnet employee personas would react to the change things clicked. We helped the client taake various adoption techniques to get their employees converted. The end results were fantastic, but they had to start with understanding the impact of technology change.Michael Breckenridge, COO / CTO – Purple Falcon Partners LLC
Improving employee adoption goes beyond just technology implementation and management. Most IT consultants don’t offer it and nearly all charge more for it. There is a lot of effort and understanding required to be successful, part of that requires developing employee personas. At Purple Falcon Partners, we include technology adoption in our services at no extra cost. We believe your success is our success and do what it takes to make you successful.
Once you implement the right technology you have to go back to value and validate it. Remember, defining value before technology gets implemented is critical. However, it is still all theory and expectations. You need to directly measure value through various methods like 360 feedback. This allows you to make adjustments to the technology to ensure maximum value. In some extreme cases, you may need to back out of the new technology. It is much better to take a hit early than to keep poorly performing technology in play. That way you can invest in better technology that will benefit your company and deliver productivity and profits.
Having a good 360 feedback program for technology does not have to be complicated. A simple survey works well. Just make sure you communicate what the expected value was so you can measure percieved results.
The last part of technology’s impact on productivity is the life cycle it has. Technology has a finite value proposition, it never lasts forever. That is an important understanding as you will need to reinvest (grow) replace or remove it at some point. Running on technology for too long creates challenges by the problems it starts to create. More issues arise, employees become reliant on outdated techniques and in general your business begins to be held back. The longer you wait to make a decision the worse the problems become. Many large organizations have old legacy systems that they cannot get rid of because they wanted to long. The cost to rip and replace them becomes astounding.
Traditional IT consulting and MSPs don’t think much about the technology lifecycle.
If they do it is to move you to something that benefits them. At Purple Falcon Partners
we focus on your growth and helping you get the most out of technology investments. The fewer
problems you have the better for both our companies, that is truly win-win!
Bonus – Culture
Technology dictates a lot about your culture. For instance, great video conferencing technology promotes employee interactions no matter the geographic differences. Investing in corporate-wide task management solutions increase accountability. Investing in social presence systems like Slack promote transparency and collaboration. Sometimes the best technology solutions do not deliver a perfect ROI. Instead, they increase and support a positive culture which has tremendous value that is mucher harder to measure.
It is important to align technology with business goals. Having the right IT partner is critical to your overall and future success.