How poor workplace technology harms talent retention

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As talent retention and recruitment become the biggest thorns in organisations’ sides, there seems to be no end of reasons for employees to quit. Whether it’s to strike a better work-life balance, wanting more relevant benefits and rewards, or ongoing frustrations with poor – or non-existent workplace tech, the fact remains that unless organisations respond to the new needs and demands of this changing workforce, things are only going to get worse.

According to recent figures from Virgin Media O2 Business, 53% of UK office workers are currently considering leaving their jobs – and over three quarters (85%) would like to leave within the next three months. These figures are reason enough to re-examine your own retention strategies and see where improvements could be made.

Facilitating remote and hybrid

With our ways of working shifting immeasurably over the last few years, hybrid and remote options are overtaking the more traditional office-based environment. A recent poll by GlobalData has revealed that 70% of industry professionals would prefer hybrid or remote working. It’s become clear that workplace tech is now a critical enabler in the employee experience and making it a priority will have a positive impact on talent retention.

In fact, figures from US company Freshworks has found that 94% of employees say that their frustration with inadequate workplace technology is making them hate their jobs and 11% are actually at tipping point. Our recent report ‘Employee Experience in 2022’ also plays out these figures. The research points to a strong link between technology and employee experience with 93% of HR leaders agreeing that poor workplace technology negatively impacts the employee experience.

The report also highlighted that both employees and HR leaders who are exposed to advanced HR technology recognise just how aligned it can be with creating a positive employee experience. The question remains then, why are organisations failing so badly when it comes to optimising the digitalised workplace?

Maximise your tech

According to our research, it appears that while many businesses have some form of tech in place, 72% of the HR leaders we interviewed said the HR technology they use was either ‘advanced’ or ‘very advanced’, and those respondents were significantly more likely to rate their company’s overall performance as ‘very good’ compared to those without.

Clearly this correlation is important, and organisations can maximise the opportunities that tech plays in boosting the employee experience.

“We are seeing evidence of a more progressive mindset among certain employers,” says Philippa Barnes, CEO of ReThinkHR. “But this could just be the simple results of investment in technology and the knock-on benefits for efficiency and employee experience, both for HR and employees.” The report further highlighted that 75% of HR leaders say they will be investing more in employee experience over the next 12 months, and 85% say that they would invest more if it were up to them – with 43% focusing on talent retention.

The everywhere anytime workplace

So how can organisations improve their talent retention strategies? Here are some of the elements that we think might help:

  • Firm focus on delivering relevant rewards and benefits
  • Unified wellbeing strategy that helps employees achieve a work/life balance
  • A strong employer brand that employees can get behind and feel proud of
  • Internal mobility schemes that deliver
  • Reliable and advanced HR tech to take the hassle out of simple tasks

“You don’t need to go all guns blazing and try to change everything at once,” adds Philippa. “But this does need to be a conversation. You want employees’ ideas on what can be improved, and to show that as an employer, you’re prepared to listen. But then there needs to be honesty about what will work for the business and what won’t, and why. Asking for ideas without acting or responding to them is counterproductive.”

For a deeper insight into how you can boost your employee experience and improve talent retention, download our Employee Experience report