UK productivity has been in crisis for many years. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level makes our economy the fifth largest in the world, yet when you measure our GDP per capita (i.e. work output per person) we rank only 22nd globally. That’s quite a gap! We’re great at generating an economy, but not so good at doing it in the most productive way…
What’s this got to do with technology you may be asking? Well, it’s technology that could be contributing to the productivity problem. Almost 50% of workers cited technology issues as the top reason for their lack of productivity; and, workers estimate they lose 10 minutes per hour during their working day due to a lack of effective technology.
Here’s the maths per person: we work approximately 225 days a year and based on an 8-hour working day – where we lose 10 minutes an hour of productivity – that equals 300 hours of productivity lost per year, which equates to 37.5 days. Ouch! That’s a lot of time lost due to technology, especially if you start multiplying that number to the amount of people in an organisation.
Modernising technology in the workplace seems the obvious answer to resolving the nation’s productivity problem. Yet, The World Economic Forum (WEF) found that in 2018 $1.2trillion was spent by companies worldwide on their digital transformation efforts; however, only 1% of these efforts will achieve or exceed expectations. Additional research from WEF discovered that 80% of business leaders highlight new ways of working through technology as the top enabler of their success.
Organisations are investing in technology, leaders believe it will transform their fortunes, and workers want to use it to get more done. Yet, if the investment’s been made and the will is there, why isn’t technology fuelling the productivity bus? It’s because workers haven’t been connected to the technology – emotionally and physically – to make the most of it.
Here’s how to jumpstart your productivity bus with technology:
The wheels on the bus go round ‘n’ round…
What happy memories that song evokes from our childhood! To connect people to the technology you must tap into their emotions. Storytelling plays an important part in this. Do your people understand why the business is using the technology or what’s in for them? Technology really can boost productivity and your wellbeing. If you can get your work done quicker, you can go home to feed your children dinner or go to that yoga class. Sticking the why to the how will make your people tick!
You need drivers and conductors
Getting people to use technology a certain way only happens if it’s led and told from the top. Executives need to become the drivers of the bus and lead the way.
Then you need bus conductors to govern and help passengers when they’re on the bus. These people are your business champions who will keep the bus ship-shape.
Passengers need to know how the bus system works
We all panic when we get on a bus abroad or in a different area – do you pay with money or with a card? Do you pay on the bus or do you buy your ticket beforehand and then stamp it on the bus? In short, how does the system work? And, the same applies to your work technology – does everyone know how to use it (and effectively)? Everyone learns in a different way, so ensure you’re giving everyone the opportunity to develop their skills.
Also remember, to reach your destination you sometimes need to keep referring to a bus route. And, the same applies with technology. Create an easily accessible microsite for employees where you store ‘how to…’ content to help them on their way.
Parent passengers show the way!
We’re not saying treat your people like children. Rather, we’d never go on a bus alone for the first time without someone showing us what to do; and, that someone would typically be a parent or a responsible adult. In business, we seek permission to change from our line managers and we follow what they do. So, it’s the line mangers who need to show their team how they’re more productive by using the technology in a certain way.
Know where you keep the bus manual
Buses breakdown or they get new features, which means you need to know where the manual is kept so you can repair the vehicle or learn about the new stuff. It ensures standardisation and you need to achieve this with your technology usage. Having a managers’ toolkit that lives in the same location and tells your drivers, conductors and parent passengers what they need to do will contribute towards productivity. We can help you to jumpstart your productivity bus by connecting your people to your technology. Just get in touch!