“How do we encourage and equip employees to use technology professionally?” This is one of the most common questions we get from managers and leaders in today’s workplace.
Over the past 15 years, technology has completely revolutionized the ways in which we work. From video-conferencing that allows employees to meet from anywhere in the world to wearable watches that notify us of emails while we’re out for a run, almost every area of business has been impacted by technology in some way, shape, or form.
But, these advantages also create new challenges for business leaders. Some employees are burning out because they have a hard time disconnecting. Other employees are distracted from work because of the flexibility and freedom technology provides. Managers are being forced to learn how to lead employees who work remotely, and employees are often left guessing on the expectations their managers have when it comes to using technology in the workplace.
5 Tips for Using Technology Professionally in the Workplace
So, how do you overcome these challenges and encourage employees to use technology professionally? Here are a few quick tips:
- Create a policy for technology usage. If you want to make sure employees understand what’s appropriate and what’s not, tell them. Be sure to detail all your expectations about technology usage in your employee handbook. Having a common reference point for all technology guidelines and policies will hold everyone accountable to your expectations.
- Make sure employees truly understand your policies. Simply creating a policy is not enough. If you truly want to create a culture of using technology professionally in the workplace, there must also be employee training. The training can be online, in-person, through seminars, etc. Training should be conducted on an annual basis and/or when the policy is updated and must be documented thoroughly.
- Lead by example. As a leader within the organization, you set the example of appropriate technology usage for your employees by adhering to your own regulations. Managers and executives set the tone for what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to technology usage, and the staff will imitate what they see from management.
- Educate employees on privacy and protection issues. Cybersecurity is a major concern when it comes to using technology in the workplace. Because more employees are working remotely and using mobile technology, continually updating your employees with the latest security awareness education is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re looking for additional information about this specific issue, our peers at LBMC Information Security have some great resources.
- Be intentional about creating opportunities for real connection. At its worst, technology creates an emotional distance between people. This requires you to be more intentional about finding opportunities to create personal connections within your team and with your customers. Whether it’s creating a policy to eliminate devices in meetings or hosting in-person events, it’s important that employees stay connected internally and externally.
Have Questions About Using Technology Professionally in the Workplace?
Like any other workplace policy, you can’t assume employees will automatically understand your expectations for using technology in the workplace. If you have additional questions about how to create the proper policies and procedures, our team is always here to help. We can help you create an environment in which technology is an asset (rather than a liability), in addition to a variety of workplace etiquette and HR services.