In our increasingly technical workplace, it seems we fail to carry over basic principles from the industrial era. Although our tools evolve, the quality of our tools, the capacity of these tools and maintenance of the equipment still impact the morale and effectiveness of our teams. As a leader in your organization, are you ensuring your employees have the tools and support they need to be effective?
If you ran a machine shop, would you give the operators dull blades, slow machines or poor lighting? Of course not. Doing this would result in unhappy employees, decreased output and higher overall costs. Then why do so many companies run outdated software on older, slower machines? You may have a top performer who is limited by their equipment. It’s like putting a lawnmower engine in a Porsche.
If you ran an engineering company, would you limit your drafting tables to 15 inches wide? Doubtful. Your architects would be incredibly frustrated by the confined space within which to review large drawings. Therefore, why do so many companies still only offer 15″ screens or even a single monitor, rather than dual screens? Desktop space is desktop space, be it physical or virtual. The more you have, the easier it is to do your job. The cost for virtual desk space is even less than the physical desk space when you account for installation and maintenance.
Finally, if you ran a transportation business, would you contract all your maintenance work to a service provider several hours away who does not understand your equipment? Then why do so many companies outsource IT support to the lowest cost provider, without any value placed on performance or service levels? When your employees encounter problems with equipment, performance is impacted.
As a leader in your organization, don’t forget the lessons we learned from the industrial era. The right tools and support for your employees can make all the difference. As most organizations downsize and outsource the implementation and support of critical tools for their teams, you can differentiate by ensuring your teams have the tools they need to be effective. Don’t mistake all changes or outsourcing as bad. Instead, ensure your team has the right support from whomever your providers are. Conditions like Service Level Agreements (consider guaranteed response and resolution times) may cost a bit more. However, employees getting better tools and quicker resolutions of problems will be happier, more effective, save you money in the long-run and deliver greater results.
Question: How does technology impact your morale and effectiveness? What other tips do you have?