With the many proven benefits of technology, software rollouts, in particular, you can’t blame businesses for deploying tools that allow their people to do more in less time. But what some businesses fail to realize, technology is not the be-all and end-all of success. And when confronted with this unfortunate fact, the results aren’t always pretty.
Two years into a former colleague’s stay with a tech company, she quit. Aside from the fact that the repetitiveness of the job was affording her too much room to daydream of being elsewhere but her cubicle, on top of the ones they were already using, three additional software tools were introduced against their wishes – tools that proved to be a nuisance more than a benefit after a week or so of integrating them into their day-to-day tasks.
The company’s rationale: optimization, uniformity, faster issue resolution and report generation – all commendable reasons the software rollouts didn’t justify, not to them who do the job, at least. When she asked her immediate superior to look into the matter, she was told to just follow the newly rolled-out guidelines because there was nothing he could do himself. She wasn’t explicitly told to keep her thoughts to herself, but words aren’t always needed to convey a message.
As a Squawk Point article aptly states, “It is a messed-up corporate culture where it is OK to make trash without hitting the STOP button.”
Is your company’s culture driving people away?
We see it happen again and again. Companies tirelessly search for top talents because of the experience and value they bring to the table. Once these talents are on board, the company spends dollars training them. When they’re ready to contribute to the company’s goals, their targets are set to squeeze the most results, and set a notch further the moment they show signs of meeting them.
While setting the bar higher is not a bad thing in and of itself – companies need to reap dividends from their investments, too, right? – what’s not so good is that a lot of companies fail to allow their employees to participate in decisions that affect the way they do their jobs, like in the case of the software rollout above.
And then, bosses complain when people leave.
A Mashable article states that one of the reasons people love their jobs is freedom – or more precisely, freedom, flexibility and autonomy. It quoted Avani Pakti of the global consulting firm Zevenseas who said: “You have to proactively ask employees for their opinion on a regular basis, and allow people to speak their mind without fear.”
Keywords: proactively, without fear.
For businesses to continually stay relevant in a competitive marketplace, change is inevitable. But as in any endeavor that would force people out of their comfort zones, this change will be resisted, especially at the outset. It is management’s responsibility to make the process change smoother for employees, as some would even do everything in their power for those changes to never occur.
Doling out paychecks is the easy part. Making connections with employees requires a bit more effort, an effort that starts with something that doesn’t have to cost much – communication.