Thinking about implementing new communication tools in the workplace? You may want to consider how they fit your employees’ needs first.
Seventy-seven percent of employees say they’re not consulted before a new communication tool is implemented in their office, according to new research from technology solutions company Softchoice. Fifty-eight percent said they’re not consulted on how useful a new communication tool is after it has been rolled out.
And not consulting your employees first could cost you. Employees who are not actively consulted about communication tool rollouts are twice as likely to be dissatisfied at work, and three times more likely to not see themselves at their current employer long term.
However, consulting your employees could benefit your business more than you think. Eighteen percent of employees said that, if consulted, they’d be more likely to feel that the tool made them more productive, and 23 percent said they would be more likely to feel satisfied in their current jobs. [Honesty and Communication Key to Retaining Employees, Study Finds ]
It’s not just about consulting employees on decisions, either. Employees don’t always get properly trained to use new tools. One-third of employees said they don’t receive training at all, and of those that do, half said they get less than 30 minutes of training.
This lack of training leads employees to ignore otherwise potentially useful technology. Thirty-eight percent of employees say they have access to communication tools they don’t know how to use and thus never use, and 71 percent said that, at most, they use half of a communication tool’s features.
So what communication tools do employees really need? Based on what’s provided to them and what they use daily, these were the top three communication tools for employees:
- Ninety-seven percent of employees are provided with an email account, and 95 percent of those employees use it daily.
- Eighty-six percent of employees are provided with a desk phone, and 82 percent of those employees use it daily.
- Sixty-eight percent are provided with a mobile phone, and 69 percent of those employees use it daily.
The least popular tools included video conferencing (it was available to 70 percent, but only 5 percent used it daily) and screen sharing (60 percent had it; but only 8 percent used it daily).
Ultimately, while many employees rely on communication tools to collaborate for most of the day, the vast majority (74 percent) said they prefer face-to-face communication.
The study surveyed 1,000 people — 250 IT managers and 750 employees with roles in finance, accounting, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources. Employees surveyed worked in various industries, including healthcare, legal, manufacturing, nonprofits, communications, and more.
Originally published on Business News Daily.