Technology helps us live and work better. In fact, 4 in 5 business leaders and their employees agree they accomplish more with the right tech. So buying effective tools to engage, satisfy and empower entire organizations should be easy, right? Not quite.
From the rate of digital transformation to the value of a better experience, employers and their staff are misaligned. And just introducing more tech doesn’t mend this divide, especially if it doesn’t flow seamlessly with an employee’s preexisting tools.
Leaders and employees have fundamentally different roles and perspectives, but they still must reach common ground to drive their organizations forward. By identifying their differences and empowering HR to align, both groups can determine what’s wrong and focus on securing what’s right.
Chapter 1: The (Almost) Universal Effect of Great Tech
By now, it’d be hard to find anyone who doesn’t benefit from modern technology, even if they don’t realize it.
Life-saving medical and environmental data is more extensive and is transferred and used faster than ever before. People living with diabetes can check their blood sugar on their phones. Electric cars are more viable and consume less resources; some can even drive themselves.
That’s not even considering how tech has transformed our lives in everyday scenarios. For instance, when was the last time you needed to:
- wait in a long line to purchase a few basic items
- leave your home to watch a new movie
- watch the news to get the weather forecast
- visit a bank to deposit a check
Each year, more of us get increasingly comfortable with the convenience of today’s digital reality. According to Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans said the internet has been essential or important to them. And since 2021, 40% claim they’ve used the internet or digital tech in new or different ways.
What we reap from exceptional tech isn’t slowing down. As we discover greater ways to use it, we learn to live better. Work is no exception.
With the right tools at their disposal, employees accomplish big things. Processes once tedious, difficult and draining become effortless. Regarding workplace HR tasks, innovative tech gives us the means to quickly and easily:
- manage time
- enroll in benefits
- kick-start professional development
- even verify and troubleshoot our own payroll
And this edge isn’t taken for granted. In a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Paycom in December 2020, 79% of employees said effective HR tech helps them get more work done faster. With apps available anywhere, anytime, they don’t have to wait around for the information that affects them the most. After all, it’s their information.
Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit, either. When their workforces aren’t burdened by paper-based, manual or otherwise outdated tasks, employers are able to focus on initiatives that drive organizations forward. And with more accurate data bolstered by the involvement of their employees, executives enjoy more accurate data to help ensure compliance and make important business decisions.
In 2022, most employers don’t doubt the effect of great tech. In a follow-up study from OnePoll commissioned by Paycom of 500 U.S. C-level and HR professionals, 81% agreed HR tech improves workflow and productivity. While employees enjoy a simplified, engaging work life, employers benefit from more fluid, informed operations.
If an entire organization — from the highest-ranking executives to the newest hires — is on the same page about how impactful the right tech can be, continuing to enhance the workplace should be a breeze, right? Not quite.
While most employees and leaders agree tech is helpful, just how far organizations have come depends on whom you ask. Sixty-four percent of leaders in the OnePoll research felt their business’s digital transformation accelerated in recent years, primarily due to the pandemic. But 67% of their staff didn’t believe the company prioritizes digital transformation.
If both groups agree on HR tech’s importance, why are they so divided on how it has — or hasn’t — evolved their organizations? How do employers see upward momentum, while their employees find more headaches?
The source of this divide could lie in perspective. For instance, while 54% of executives believed their staff gets frustrated by outdated tech, the number rises significantly with employees: 77% of workers said they’re fed up with it. Employers may have an idea of how their employees wrestle with the wrong tech, but they aren’t experiencing it every day.
What spurs this disconnect, and is there a way to bring employees and employers together? Reaching common ground takes a deeper understanding of how the two groups differ, as well as a third, crucial party with the power to join them.