Karen Nicholson Jones
Customer Success Director
Technology has transformed the way we work; the rules have changed, and management styles are the next to follow suit. Software, apps and systems are making organisations much more connected, bringing together global workforces, making them more streamlined and ultimately more efficient. Old forms of leadership based on a ‘top-down’ approach are less popular as more collaborative approaches are implemented with the development of technology. If managers can implement technology effectively, they will have more time to act as leaders.
The best managers and leaders are the ones who understand why developments in technology are pivotal to their company’s progression, making them ready for the future and attracting a new generation of tech-native employees.
Communication and remote working
Technology has made communication exceedingly easy, speeding up processes and solving problems faster. Such is the ease that you now don’t even need to be present at the office. Apps such as Skype have revolutionised business communication with meetings being able to take place with only half the employees in the room. This benefits management by making employees feel more empowered and trusted, creating a comfortable environment and still having face to face communication with their managers. Given the global nature of many businesses, this allows for constant communication wherever you are.
Managers can also truly embrace their own social media channels to connect with the whole organisation by posting their insights, articles they have read or ideas/values for their organisation. This enables a manager to connect with all their employees, not just those who share an office with you. This is a great example of how leaders can move away from a top-down approach towards a bottom-up, pushing a management style around influence by having a space for transparency. Of course, this does raise a question about data integrity and security, and can blur the lines between professional and personal communication – hence the reason why platforms like Hollaroo exist!
Technology makes training easier for managers and employees. Whatever the training may be, employees can now do it sat at their desks, meaning they no longer need to be out of the office for a whole day costing the organisation money in loss of work and external trainers.
Customisable training programmes can be rolled out in-house during a normal working day helping managers move away from dull, drawn-out workplace classrooms. Technology helps us train virtually, with video, virtual role plays and even simulation learning. Also, the cliché of ‘practice makes perfect’ in the case of workplace training is incredibly accurate; professional qualifications need upkeep. With the development of technology, skills can be refreshed and embedded more effectively when virtual as people can constantly refer back to training and receive personal and insightful feedback on their progress. In comparison to desk-based learning where people’s attention spans naturally dither during the unavoidable ‘post-lunch-lull,’ your team will embed new/developed skills better through digital training – and will be more keen to do it not sat in a dull classroom!
Technology is also creating a clear path for a greater variety of training, such as Nudge training. Nudge training combines psychology and economics to understand and influence the way people make decisions, helping to change employee’s behaviour slowly, steadily but strongly. Nudge training can be digitised through apps, push notifications and gamification to encourage certain actions – they can be pivotal to initiating an organisation-wide change in employee behaviour. Very simply, like other areas, technology is improving efficiency across all areas of businesses. This also frees up managers to work on the strategy of the business instead of admin-based tasks, this is especially important for health and safety training.
Increased collaboration and organisation
Work is changing, technology writer Becky Lawlor explains why and how ‘businesses are rethinking how employees can collaborate at a time when more employees work remotely and teams are naturally dispersed. In turn, they must develop the most effective methods and tools for workers to use in a more digital environment.’ Having a space for collaboration is, therefore, one of the secrets to being both a conscientious manager and a current one. The ability for an organisation to have owners, managers and employees connected as if they are all in the same building is a game-changer. If you combine stronger and quicker communication with readily available cloud-based systems, you create a culture of collaboration across teams and departments. Everyone can access their work wherever they are but still work effectively with their team. This makes projects work more efficiently and caters to members of your company who thrive when they’re working in teams. Shared communication tools and work platforms have made collaboration far easier even amongst other teams. They also help naturally create a rapport amongst your team, which in turn benefits their engagement and overall happiness– considering the majority of us spend 5/7 days at work, this should be one of your top priorities. The increase in project management tools helps managers keep a track with employees’ projects whilst managing their own. Having important information in one safe and easy-to-manage place allows for better time tracking; if employees aren’t on track then managers can tell immediately, meaning action can be taken quickly to move them back on track.
Recruitment for increased diversity
The nature of work has changed, and the future workforce are tech natives; they have grown up with it ingrained in their skillset whereby they can contact someone instantly or find an answer to a nagging question with one click. Millennials are a great addition to a workplace, and a key reason is diversity – diversity in culture, background and skills. A manager should be conscious about having a diverse team, you need a wide range of people to create a creative and exciting environment where ideas can flourish. Using technology in the workplace is a fool-proof method of bringing in a younger workforce that demands technology in the workplace.
Also, as mentioned technology helps managers be collaborative and communicative with their global teams. Technology helps managers overcome language barriers across organisations with automatic translation tools, helping you expand your business and branches to countries with challenging languages. For example, in the Middle East, Asia and Africa where they use a different alphabet from Latin.
Here at Hollaroo, we place the user at the heart of our platform, creating a space where conversation and creativity can flourish. We believe that relationships with your employees should follow three simple principles – respect, relate, respond. Respectful in terms of how and when you use data to make judgements about your worker’s welfare, relate(able) in circumstances where they might not recognise the implications from their actions and responsive – don’t simply track data to report historical actions like attrition – use data to help you identify triggers or early warning signals rather than simply reporting past events, which are rather difficult to reverse! Perhaps that’s a fourth R!
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