Several years ago, I decided to explore a career in real estate sales at a local Rhode Island luxury firm. I was super excited about the possibilities of how I might infuse a real estate career into my future. However, I quickly learned that while I loved the art of selling real estate and forming relationships while assisting clients in either moving on from their family home or investing in beach front property, the real estate industry lacked greatly in terms of innovative technology to support the buy/sell process.
While the industry has certainly made advancements with regards to the productivity tools that they now offer real estate agents, the industry as a whole—from the real estate transaction to the banking/mortgage process to the legal process and procedures—lacks innovation. Most importantly, the industry does not enable agents and banks to provide the Ultimate Client Experience to those whom are intimately involved in one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives… the buyer and the seller.
Across all industries and companies we see blaring examples in which technology does not make life easier for end users… sometimes it even makes it worse! Technology nuisances plague us every day—even when we work for companies that typically leverage best-in-class software. And, unfortunately, those nuisances can have a negative impact on workplace culture. Whether your employees are creating system workarounds because the technology doesn’t meet their needs, or surviving day-to-day by relying on manual processes, these behaviors directly impact your bottom line because ultimately your employees are not working efficiently or happily.
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We all know that workplace culture has a direct correlation on financial and productivity business gains. Market research finds that happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker, and unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive. Specifically, unhappy employees cost American business more than $300 billion each year.
So how can you make sure your technology is positively impacting workplace culture? Here are a few things to get you started:
- Start Small: Here at Trilix, we are always evaluating both big and small ways we can use technology to not only drive productivity, but to also promote healthy culture. For example, we could never remember who fed our Team Trilix pet fish, so we built a dashboard to track it. The dashboard also integrates to our team’s Outlook calendars so at a glance, our entire team can always tell who will be in the office for the day and who will be remote. These small things play a role in cultivating a culture of workplace excellence at Trilix.
- Ask Questions: As business leaders, we have a responsibility to our employees (who in turn have a responsibility to our clients) to make sure they have appropriately functioning tools so they can deliver the best customer solutions. Routinely, I check in with our team members and ask: Do you have the tools you need to do your job well? Sometimes, as leaders, we can’t always give our employees what they need because of budgetary constraints, but sometimes we can or we can get creative with the solution. It’s imperative to ask questions of our employees and actively work together to create the best technology solutions so our team can do their jobs successfully. I believe that being collaborative, transparent and letting team members be part of the decision-making process supports a culture of empowerment and inclusion. After all, we are all in this together!
- Think Ultimate Client Experience: It is my belief that culture has an undeniable impact on an organization’s ability to successfully serve its clients. If the culture is not positive, employees are not focused on delivering the ultimate client experience and instead are focused on what’s wrong. By tackling technology hurdles and empowering your employees to have technology that supports your culture, you are able to better serve your clients. At the end of the day, how your employees feel at work has a direct correlation on how they effective they will be in delivering the ultimate client experience.
When we think of workplace culture we often focus on some of the bigger HR things: creating world-classes training programs, awesome benefits and compensation packages, clear career paths for our top performers. But sometimes it’s the smaller things that can be silent killers of culture… like legacy, inadequate technology upon which your team relies daily.
Whether we lead operations, HR, sales or any business unit, we have a responsibility to understand the role technology plays in promoting or detracting from our team’s success. There is not just one thing that makes culture superior; instead it requires our attention across a variety of areas… especially technology.
We help mission-driven organizations just like yours use technology to champion meaningful change, from communicating more strongly with their customers to empowering their employees to do their job better. Drop us a line if you want to talk about your change management initiative.