3 Ways Communications Technology Can Improve Employee Retention and Engagement

    If you’ve noticed the workplace is undergoing something of an upheaval lately, you’re not alone. In announcing its latest State of the American Workplace survey, Gallup declared “[it’s] changing at a dizzying pace.” New technologies and processes are emerging constantly, reshaping the way we communicate and collaborate as well as where we work.

    In addition, employee expectations and attitudes are changing. Gallup says employee optimism is on the rise, with nearly half of the workforce feeling that now is a good time to find a quality job. On the flip side, a mere one-third of workers are engaged by their current job. That fact, combined with an increasing number of employees who are working remotely, can make ongoing employee engagement difficult for any business.

    For businesses, this shifting landscape presents a dual challenge: They need to keep and attract top talent, while also increasing productivity. As a result, embracing new methods of workplace collaboration is becoming essential to developing and maintaining a well-connected team.

    Consider these three ideas for adapting to today's changing environment.

    Modernize Your Communications

    If your business hasn’t done so already, it’s time to move beyond just a basic desk phone and adopt a flexible approach to workplace communications that allows employees to interact with each other (and with customers) in multiple ways. A unified communications solution lets employees choose their preferred method of communication – such as voice, video, chat or mobile – in a seamless and efficient way. Giving employees access to all of these options in a single application or on a single screen not only increases productivity and streamlines workflows, but also lets teams focus on the task at hand rather than hopping between multiple communication tools.

    Provide Virtual Teams with the Best Collaboration Tools

    While having virtual teams can make collaboration more challenging, the increasing digitization and globalization of business is making distributed teams a growing reality. Adding to that, studies are indicating that employees - particularly Millennials - see the flexibility to work remotely as a key corporate benefit.

    Real-time unified communications apps with capabilities such as video, web chat or persistent messaging can make it easier for employers to offer and support this mobile, global workstyle. By providing tools that seamlessly integrate and work across a range of devices, teams can interact just as if they were in the same location, removing a large barrier that inhibits collaboration among virtual teams. This allows leaders to not only increase employee satisfaction around flexibility, but ensure teams are able to be productive regardless of time zone or location.

    Encourage Video Conferencing

    To keep your virtual team operating at its best, encourage video conferencing. Team meetings held via video tend to be more productive as participants are less likely to multitask when they can be seen by their colleagues. This keeps employees focused and encourages an open exchange of ideas. Video conferences also bring a more personal element to meetings. Because they can see each other, team members are able to develop a greater sense of comraderie and stay engaged during discussions.

    Ultimately, upgrading your communications technology to meet the changing demands of today's workforce can play a key role in business growth and in helping you attract and retain talent. After all, according to Gallup, 53% of employees say greater work-life balance is “very important” to them. With unified communications, you can create the flexible workplace employees want, while also gaining a more engaged, productive, and loyal workforce. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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