While technology can improve productivity and communication, there is also the impact of technology on employees. For this reason, technology itself is not what empowers employees to be at their best.
As a recent article in the Harvard Business Review noted, the technological advances have been amazing, yet many businesses have not created a culture that best utilizes these developments.
People have adjusted rapidly in their daily lives to technology. They adjust to the latest things, easily discarding old apps or devices as new ones come along that offer more features.
In social media, this happens as well. People adopt new technologies into their routine and with their friends. They choose what they want to use.
This also applies to networking, as people are free to quickly decide who and who not to network or interact with. People build their own cultures with friends and groups they are interested in.
The Impact of Technology on Employees
Companies may throw technology at employees, and even offer training, but that by itself does not create a culture of communication.
For people to feel free to network, there must be a culture of trust that encourages rather than discourages people from interacting. Companies that do not trust their employees will create a culture of distrust, and that is fatal to social networking and networking in general.
People will not share information with people they do not trust. A culture of trust and mutual respect must be created for people to feel free to actually use technology. Just as people interact with people they trust on an individual level in social media, the same is true in the business world.
If someone’s career or job is at stake, the building of trust is even more important and more difficult to build.
Easier for Small Companies
As the article states, it is easier to do this at a small company, and much harder at a huge international company, such as General Electric.
There is the human connection that is possible in a small company between the top ranking person and the lowest. That makes trust easier to establish. Hence, the impact of technology on employees in these companies can be very positive.
In a huge corporation, communication is more difficult and it is harder to make a meaningful culture change. While it is a good thing to give employees technology and training, that must also be combined with a culture of trust between corporate officials and employees.
Another dimension is how this relates to the general public and customers. Companies need to show customers that they can communicate effectively with the company by using the latest technology. Poor customer service is still poor customer service.
As technology has developed, it has become more user-friendly and user-centric. Technology companies realize this as they develop means for people to communicate.
Companies may realize the potential of the technology, but if they do not account for the human factor, they will not be as successful. The leaders of companies need to understand the culture of their company before they can make changes to that culture.
The technology itself does not make communication better. In some ways, technology only amplifies what is already there. If the culture of trust and communication is changed at the human level, new technology will only amplify that change.
And that’s the impact of technology on employees that you want. 🙂
About the Author
Katrina is a product specialist for RackSolutions, the market leader in designing and manufacturing custom racking products for the IT industry! You can read more about our company here.
- License: Image author owned