Technology continues to change. In fact, technology is now evolving so rapidly that many companies struggle to catch up. Part of the problem is exploring new technology solutions while maintaining your everyday business. That’s why JMARK has done the hard work for you!
Here are great ways technology could be making life easier for your employees.
Move into Greater Mobility
There are some jobs that are best done while sitting at a desk. However, fast-paced businesses can benefit from a more mobile workplace. There are a number of ways technology can allow your employees to respond more quickly, reduce paperwork, and stay on track more easily.
In many types of work, employees spend much of their time on their feet. Some of that is unavoidable, but it’s important to look for ways to eliminate unnecessary delays like needing to walk from a work area to a computer station in order to complete a work assignment.
For example, in the hospitality industry, smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices can be used to submit guest orders to the kitchen or bar, scan guest room keycards to register transactions, or send special requests to a different department. Giving employees access to mobile technologies can allow employees to quickly find the answer if a guest has a question that needs to be answered by a manager. If further assistance is needed, an employee can contact a supervisor without needing to leave the customer.
For retailers, technology can allow employees on the sales floor to look up inventory to find a specific size or check other store locations for items that customers have requested. Employees can even be equipped with a credit card scanner so they can quickly complete transactions so customers don’t have to stand in line at a centralized cash register. This can improve customer service while helping employees work more efficiently.
Larger wholesalers usually have scanning systems to track inventory. Now the availability of new hardware and software can enable even smaller companies to take advantage of this technology without the expense of a separate scanner system. With the right software, smartphones and tablets can be used to scan barcodes as merchandise is delivered or sold. Because these systems are portable, employees can update inventory levels while walking through storage areas or on a sales floor. If there are problems with a shipment, employees can quickly add notes to the inventory tracking system or notify the supplier.
Using Employees More Efficiently
We’ve all been in stores where we’re bombarded by annoying announcements and pages. Many companies have tried to reduce or eliminate those disruptions by equipping employees with mobile systems that eliminate the need to broadcast those types of messages.
However, separate two-way handheld radios systems can be expensive, and they might not be practical for every business. These types of systems also create additional problems. They generate noise wherever the employees are located and can result in excessive chatter that can be distracting for employees and customers. Smartphones and tablets can provide the same communication functions as radio systems, along with other features to assist employees. The ability to quietly send text messages or assist with inventory tracking makes these a huge improvement over a radio system.Equipping employees with personal communication systems also gives managers a way to move employees to locations where they are needed most from moment to moment. A worker who sees a problem can contact other employees or a manager so that customer service bottlenecks can be resolved.
An experienced MSP can find the right solutions to fit each company’s requirements and make sure the hardware and apps are kept current and responsive to employee needs. This mobile device management eliminates worry from your management team while ensuring employees have the technology they need to perform at their best.
Eliminate Lost Time
There are often many interruptions in employee workdays, but it seems like the small ones are often the worst. One of the surprising ways that worker momentum can be lost is through technological glitches. Studies have shown that even a minor interruption can result in considerable downtime since it typically takes a while to regain thoughts and restart work after an interruption.
Think about the impact of an employee having to wait an excessive amount of time for documents to print or files to load. After realizing it will be a long wait, the employee might begin checking email, looking at social media, working on a different project, or visit the breakroom. After the wait for the technology is over, it will probably take the employee a few minutes to get mentally back on track. Now multiply those lost minutes of work by the number of employees in your company.Even if these types of delays only impact a small portion of your workers, the cumulative impact on your company’s productivity could be considerable. Then there is the frustration these types of delays can cause your staff. That’s why it is so important to identify problems like slow networks and sluggish computers and alleviate them as quickly as possible. Outsourced I.T. management and support can look for system issues, identify slow servers and other network problems, and develop solutions to keep your employees operating at their best.
Waiting for computers to start or experiencing long delays in network access can cause even the most dedicated worker to lose momentum. Network management and support can make sure these slowdowns are reduced by working to optimize the speed and functionality of your network. Automatic backup management can ensure company data is kept protected without scheduled backups slowing the network during critical workhours.
When problems with network access emerge, a responsive, U.S.-based help desk team can quickly diagnose problems to get employees back to work as soon as possible. Troubleshooting common glitches like access to networked printers can prevent problems before they can impact the flow of work. When employees encounter a computer issue, access to skilled I.T. support will speed the resumption of normal work activities. In addition, the knowledge that a U.S.-based outsourced help desk support team will be available when needed can improve employee satisfaction and motivation.
Test Before Diving In
You should always enlist your MSP to help you research and test key updates and new software before company-wide rollouts. They can determine which updates are beneficial and which might cause problems. After identifying issues, you can develop workarounds or delay rollouts until the software designer has corrected the issue.
One of the biggest factors for employee success is having the correct training, but even companies with well-developed training programs often have difficulty making sure that no employees fall through the cracks. Human resources departments can struggle to keep up with recruiting, training, benefits, and other areas of responsibility.
This can be even more difficult in industries where turnover rates are high, or a large number of seasonal hires are necessary. Usually, that leaves supervisors responsible for ensuring each new employee has completed their training and updating the training of existing employees, as required.
Depending on the industry and the type of work performed, safety training can take up considerable time. From educating workers on the best way to lift heavy items to knowing how to identify potential safety hazards like asbestos, it would be difficult to overestimate the importance of a comprehensive safety training program.
Training related to company procedures and policies can be equally as critical in setting employees up for success and providing a consistent, quality experience for guests, clients, and business partners.
Reducing RisksAn organized training program ensures that all employees receive the tools they need to do their work. While many supervisors may be accustomed to personally training new workers, routine work can create interruptions and lead to inconsistent training.
Not only is a full training system vital for employee success and safety, but it also helps to protect companies from legal issues related to injuries or employee severance.
Including tests to document that employees understood the information that was presented provides additional assurances to supervisors that their employees are ready to tackle the workload. Testing has the additional benefit of identifying potential problems with new employees struggling with the training concepts. Later if employees fail to follow company procedures, their completed tests will alleviate any questions about whether or not they were notified about the policies and safe work practices.
Location, Location, Location
One of the biggest challenges to providing a workplace where individual workers can excel can be maintaining effective communications. This can be true whether the employees are in locations around the world or only steps away within the same building. Today’s technologies can help to connect employees whenever needed.
Updated communication strategies can make it easier for employees to access to the information they need while reducing your costs.
No need to shuttle employees across town for a centralized meeting when phone and video conferencing can keep them in the loop even when they are separated by miles. Workers can participate in team meetings without leaving their desks. This saves the company the cost associated with commuting to meetings while reducing employee downtime.
Even the time to walk to another part of the building to prepare for a conference room gathering can result in a considerable amount of lost productivity. An updated telecommunications system could be the key to making conference calls and company announcements practical.
A common complaint at many companies is a lack of communication by senior management. No employee wants to hear about major company projects or other significant changes by hearing about it in the news rather than directly from the company.
Often a company’s senior management will be reluctant to hold companywide briefings due to the logistical challenges of bringing employees together and concerns about the lost employee work time.
Recording presentations and announcements can allow employees to view or listen to them when they have time. Those with different work schedules can watch at their desks or in employee breakrooms. This can be a powerful way to motivate employees, keep them on top of industry or policy changes, and ensure that the whole company is conveying a consistent message to clients, customers, and suppliers.
Better Data Analysis, Better Decisions
Your company has great employees. They are probably always looking for ways to improve their job performance and the satisfaction of your customers, clients, and suppliers. The trick is for them to find new ways to gain an advantage over your competition. That might include changing your pricing to better reflect seasonal trends or identifying more ways to optimize staffing.You can take these employee efforts to the next level by using data analysis to make the most of the information your company already has and combine it with market informatio n.
Analyzing patterns can identify ways to minimize client waits at teller windows or registration desks in order to provide great customer service without overstaffing. Comparing company locations can offer clues as to how to make each location more competitive. Looking at what products and services have been the most popular can assist your team in stocking products, staffing for the upcoming season, and identifying new opportunities.
A new pricing strategy might attract new customers or allow your company to maximize hotel room occupancy. Robust data analysis can facilitate investor meetings or acquisition planning.
You can use an outside consultant to tackle the data when your company needs to prepare for a project. That saves your company from having to add staff to handle this peak demand. This helps your employees be more successful by allowing them the time to focus on other parts of the project without becoming overworked.
Remember, you don’t have to work out the details on the exact services you need before you contact JMARK. We have the experience to review your current company operations and develop a customized plan to make your employees take their success to the next level. Contact us today at one of our offices in Springfield, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Fayetteville, Arkansas for more information on the many ways JMARK’s services can benefit your company.