6 minute read
There are so many products out there enticing you with minimalistic interfaces, promises of increased productivity and better employee engagement, but what’s the best productivity app for your organization? Before you decide, ask a different question: what do my employees really need? Will another digital tool actually help solve my company’s productivity or engagement challenges?
The Best Productivity App Might Be None At All
The marketers of these tools want you to believe they’re the solution to all your company’s problems, whether you have 50 employees or 50,000. But 85 percent of employees are disengaged at work and there is no “one size fits all” technology solution.
If your goal is to better engage employees and empower them to do deep work, you need to take four things into consideration before jumping on the next new tech bandwagon.
What is Your Company Culture?
Does half your company work remotely, or does everyone work at a desk from 9-5? Do your employees have easy access to a computer or smart device, or do they spend most of their day on a manufacturing floor?
If you employ lots of deep thinkers developing creative solutions, apps that ping them with every new message or file upload will disrupt their work flow. On the other hand, sales reps constantly on the go might appreciate an in-hand method of staying in touch with colleagues at the office and knowing immediately when relevant updates come through. Different work scenarios demand different productivity tools; one that addresses the normal work scenario for the majority of your employees is a good place to start.
What Other Factors Are Causing Productivity Issues?
Fancy new technology won’t solve your engagement problems if you don’t address operational issues first. Perhaps there’s a bottleneck because one manager insists on seeing every piece of work from his employees. Maybe you have workers who require focus to do their jobs struggling to get acclimated to an open-concept office. Remote workers might be grappling with company technology at home.
Productivity apps won’t magically whisk those problems away; think through what other factors are problematic and address operational issues first. Design thinking can help with that.
Don’t Assume—Ask Employees What They Want
After analyzing your company’s norms and addressing operational issues, survey your employees to learn what challenges they face and solutions they seek. There’s no better way to understand your employees’ work styles and hang ups than by asking.
If they’re seeking better ways to collaborate, there are some good options out there. The trick is to ensure the constant notifications and chat messages don’t distract employees outside of “collaboration” hours. When you make the effort to know what your employees need and want to succeed, you can use that knowledge to improve your flow with new tools in hand.
Are You Looking for a Problem that’s Not There?
Is it possible you don’t even have a problem? Don’t let available budget and a desire to do something new be the determining factor in introducing a new tool or platform.
If you aren’t sure that something will improve your employees’ work experience or output, is it worth causing growing pains and new collaboration challenges? Probably not: humanity is naturally resistant to change and distracting employees with notification pop-ups and mandatory trainings can damage company culture—and trust. Only once you’ve applied some thoughtful analysis and asked those who matter most (your employees) to weigh in should you consider introducing a tool or app.
As with any employee communication tactic, you need to consider who you want to talk to and what their daily lives are like. What concerns do they have, and how can you fix them? With answers to those questions in mind you can prepare to introduce a new productivity app into your workers’ lives.
Want to review your workforce’s communication needs and challenges, or need help rolling out a change campaign to prepare them for a new app? Email me or call 317-631-6400.