By Rieva Lesonsky
Does your small business have the right stuff to attract qualified employees? Technology stuff, that is. Almost three-fourths (72 percent) of workers in a recent Workplace Options survey say that the better the technology tools a company provides to its employees, the more attractive it is as a place to work. That number soared to 92 percent among workers aged 18 to 29.
How important is technology? Half of all workers and 75 percent of those aged 18 to 29 say they assess the level of technology a workplace offers when they’re looking for a new job. A good computer doesn’t cut it, either—employees consider that a given these days. What they really want are smartphones, tablets and presentation tools.
It’s not all about them, either. Some two-thirds (65 percent) of employees in the survey say providing employees with current technology is crucial to a company’s success. But less than half (45 percent) say their employer provides up-to-date technology to all its workers. More than half (53 percent) say that up-to-date technology is essential in order to do their jobs properly. Interestingly, older employees (in the 45 to 65 age range) were more likely than younger workers to say that up-to-date technology was essential both to their jobs and to their employers, and women were more likely to say so than men.
Employees feel so strongly about technology that more than one in five (22 percent) say they would quit or change jobs if their employers didn’t provide the latest technology. That figure was highest among employees age 29 to 44, with 29 percent saying they would quit for this reason.
Nearly three-fourths of employees (72 percent) say their reliance on technology has increased over the past five years; almost half (46 percent) say it has increased “significantly.” Employees in the 29 to 65 age group were the most likely to say their reliance on technology has grown.
What do these figures mean to you? No matter how old your employees are, you can’t assume they will be happy to get by with less than the latest technology. While younger employees in the survey cared more about the latest tech tools, they were also less likely to quit over the lack of them. It’s the workers in their prime years—those who are most valuable to your business—that you stand to lose if you’re making them struggle with inadequate technology.
Today, cloud computing, subscription software and lower hardware prices are all combining to make technology more affordable than ever for a small business. There’s no excuse for not upgrading—not when it can make your employees more productive and your business more successful.
Image by Flickr user bark (Creative Commons)