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Attracting and Retaining Staff in an Era Driven by Mobile Technology

By Tash Macknish, National Manager – OD&HR, Data#3

[Reading time: 4 mins]

Technology initiatives have not always been the first port of call for HR professionals looking to influence employee attraction and retention.

However, when you break down the considerations of workforce planning, the role of technology is unquestionable. This is especially true as you start considering how your business can achieve its strategic goals with the current workforce, and what their future needs will be.

One area that is becoming increasingly important in both attracting and retaining staff, is how we can leverage technology to provide a flexible, collaborative workplace. You might see this labelled digital workspace or enterprise mobility in tech circles. Essentially, we are talking about the ability to deliver a fully functional, workplace IT experience to nearly any employee regardless of the device they are using, or where they happen to be. These devices could be any piece of technology that an employee uses – desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and even smartwatches. Locations could be anywhere inside and outside of the office – desks, meeting rooms, communal spaces, a café, at home, in the field, at the airport or in the back of a taxi.

The thing that HR teams need to consider is that any digital workspace project is an extension of the investment placed in your people. By putting them at the centre of any technology transformation, you can build a more engaged – and more productive – workforce. It’s the motivation behind Data#3’s vision for The Anywhere Workplace.

The Anywhere Workplace is the ultimate expression of device and environment flexibility, allowing your staff to work on the device they are most comfortable with, in the environment they feel most productive in – or the one they just happen to be in.

The impact of the digital workspace

The ability to move and work freely throughout the office environment, or to work remotely from the field or at home, is a crucial one in influencing employee satisfaction.

This Forbes article, for instance, cites a Stanford University study that was among the first to investigate the impacts of flexible working. Over a nine-month period, their findings revealed that flexible workers tended to achieve greater output, took less time off sick, and considered themselves happier in their work.

The outcomes of digital workspace projects also extend beyond staff outcomes and benefits. Enabling your people to effectively work from anywhere can reduce the amount of people in the office, which often translates into real estate cost savings.

Providing access to all of your applications from anywhere also means no more waiting until you are back at the office to complete a task. You can turn dead time, such as public transport commutes or waiting at the airport, into productive time if the need arises.

How HR plays a key role

Delivering this sort of experience within an enterprise environment however is not without challenges – technology, process and human. Whilst it is a people-centred initiative, IT are obviously still a key stakeholder and need to be engaged along the journey. We have seen in different situations HR or IT take the lead on an enterprise mobility initiative; yet both sides are integral to the success of such a project.

With this in mind, here are four key ways that HR can become part of any digital transformation or enterprise mobility project:

  • Forge closer ties with IT, so that any planned projects can be designed to better serve talent management objectives in tandem with business-led directives – identify together what is achievable, and create a roadmap for desired outcomes.
  • Survey a sample of your staff to assess what would make them more productive, and examine what technology and processes could be leveraged to support them.
  • Identify and learn from the early digital adopters in your company. They can share digital experiences and implementation insights that may help you understand how you can further HR and business objectives through technology.
  • Clearly communicate the benefits of digital workspace initiatives, aligning them with existing business objectives and preparing suitable training materials, plans, and policies around possible implementation scenarios.

A digital workspace project can be truly transformative for a business. By demonstrating the importance of such a people-first approach to technology, and the wider benefits it can provide around attracting and retaining the best staff, HR management can ensure that these technology projects deliver on this promise.

 

Learn more about The Anywhere Workplace at data3.com.au/theanywhereworkplace.

 

Tags: Human Resources, Mobility

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