Mobile devices and always on broadband connections make collaboration more seamless than ever, and now businesses are discovering there is a link between enabling those seamless experiences and keeping their best employees.

Up to Date Devices, Flexible Usage Policies

Not only do companies need to make collaboration more seamless/ to keep up productivity, they need to stay on top of technological advances to please workers, a joint report by Google and Deloitte has found. The Connected Workplace, War for Talent in the digital economy report was conducted in Australia and New Zealand, where advanced skills workers are apparently in short supply. 

The most sought after workers, of course, are the ones who tend to be the most connected, and to be using the most up to date tools. Companies that have the most open policies regarding issues like bring your own device, and allow workers to use the tools they are most accustomed to have the best chance at keeping those workers from leaving, the report found. People that are happy with their workplace IT teams are one third less likely to leave the company than those who are unhappy.

Particularly among younger workers, the expectation of workplace IT is higher because those workers are used to fast home Internet connections, the latest tools and social media. At large companies, these things tend to be in short supply because of cost, security and control issues. The report found, however, that companies can in fact save money in the form of hiring costs by putting in policies that will keep workers happy.

screenshot-googleconnectedworkers-2013.jpgNext Steps for Businesses

Considering there are real barriers to enabling policies like bring your own device, the report put together a bit of a road map to try and help companies deal with the raised expectations of IT, and keep workers happy. There is a hierarchy of employee needs, starting with basic, non digital needs like pay. Moving up the level of needs is basic IT infrastructure and then the most innovative digital tools at the top.

Organizations should take the time to discuss company strategies around digital issues, and even work on inspiring workers about future technology to keep them engaged. One way to build in new technologies could be to allow workers to use them on an opt in basis, creating a bridge between new technology and older processes, for example.

Offering support for new technologies, and growing the use of more innovative tools are the next steps, the report suggested. By building in flexibility, like a peer to peer support program, and allowing workers to help themselves, policies can evolve and grow as satisfaction levels improve and technology is integrated.