Buying technology for personal use can be exciting once you get past the price tag. Yet there are many factors to consider when investing in technology for employee use.
There are many digital tools available to improve the day-to-day way people do their jobs. Providing the right tech can increase productivity, streamline processes, and improve employee engagement. Yet determining which solutions are smartest for your team takes work.
Investing in a technology that doesn’t suit the needs of your staff can hurt your business:
Learning a new technology takes time away from other mission-critical tasks.
Employees resent the change when the tech further complicates their day.
Staff feel unheard and disrespected when asked to use digital tools that don’t help.
Disgruntled employees disengage, which hurts customer experience.
Employees look for an easier way to do their work and may change work environments as an answer.
Best practices for buying employee technology
Providing the best technological tools supports a more productive, energized, and motivated workforce. These best practices help bridge the gap between IT ambition and actual employee experience.
Know how work gets done
Many decision makers think they know how work is done, but they haven’t actually been in the trenches in years. Looking at the metrics to analyze process efficiency isn’t enough. Purchasing officers need to understand the employee’s daily journey. They need a good answer to the question “how is this technology going to make my work experience better?”
Understand the IT environment
Just as technology is evolving, the work environment is adapting too. Before buying employee technology, determine where people are working most. Are they in the office or remote? Do they sit all day at a desk or need to be on the move? Are they customer-facing? Or do they need more collaborative tools with internal teams?
Don’t make any IT purchases without weighing up whether the technology can handle the use it's going to get. If someone is going to need access to the technology on a shop floor, a brand-new desktop is going to be a bust, whereas an employee who travels all the time for work is going to prefer a rugged but lightweight laptop.
Aim for uniformity
Bringing a shiny new Apple computer into a PC environment can be problematic. Loyalty to one manufacturer or software can help people embrace new tools quicker. Additionally, it makes buying parts and warranty much easier. You’re also more likely to be able to take advantage of product integrations and interoperability.
Develop consistent relationships
If you’re buying a lot of technology at one time you may be eligible for volume pricing. Plus, if you’re returning again to a supplier you’ve worked with in the past, you could ask about a loyalty bonus.
Working with a managed service provider to find the right tech solutions is also useful. Their supplier relationships can lead to volume discounts, better-than-retail pricing, and improved warranties.
Seek employee input
New technology introduces change into the work environment, but people don’t love change, especially if they feel a new system or software is being pushed upon them. It will help to ask staff what tools or technology they want. Often they already know!
Technology is an essential part of how people experience work. It’s easy to get seduced by a bright, shiny new device or promising feature. Instead, make decisions based on whether the technology can do what you need it to do and whether it’s going to make the employees’ work environment better or worse.