There’s a big disconnect between what drives executive technology decisions and how employees experience that technology on the job.
The C-suite often sees things differently from other employees, especially when it comes to the way employees experience workplace technology, notes the latest PwC Consumer Intelligence Series report, “Our Status with Tech at Work: It’s Complicated.”
While 90% of executives believe they base technology decisions on the needs of their workforces, only about half (53%) of workers say the same, states the report, which surveyed more than 12,200 full-time employees.
There’s also a disconnect between employee desire for digital skills and the training for them to obtain them. More than one-third of those surveyed identify digital skills as a factor in their career advancement, but they often remain skeptical about how the technology they use every day can help them achieve their goals.
HR is one area where employees often prefer digital interactions. For tasks such as scheduling vacation time, updating contact information and choosing benefits, more than half of those surveyed would rather use a digital platform than meet with an HR representative face-to-face. For IT issues, one-third would rather deal with an actual person than a digital tool.
Employee dissatisfaction with the technology experience—and the perception of the execs who chose that technology—can spiral across the organization quickly. “That experience gap matters,” the report notes. “If leaders do not have a clear and accurate understanding of how their people use technology at work, and what motivates them to use these tools, both business ambition and the employee experience can suffer.”
The key is to involve employees in decision-making, including detailed information gathering on exactly what tools employees say will help them do their jobs more efficiently and accurately. In many cases, the technology already exists but it’s performing well enough to make a difference in workflow, the report adds. “From choosing devices, to picking apps, to opting for voice over text, employees look for options that help them do their best work,” the report notes. “For example, changing work environments mean more people want greater mobile capabilities, but only 60% of employees say they’re satisfied with the mobile options available to them at work. Others want to gain a stronger sense of control by having more input before leaders choose the systems they will use regularly.”