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How CIOs can contribute to business performance by shaping the employee experience

Thu 18 Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The mobility revolution has transformed the chief information officer’s role. The connector of staff and technology use, CIOs are the key to driving employee engagement, which has a direct impact on business performance. Employees today are seeking to work with organisations that embrace technology that allow them to work with a mobile-first approach. The result is a highly engaged and productive workforce.

A recently released Economist Intelligence Unit research report, commissioned by HPE Aruba reveals a clear and confident link between mobile-first enterprise environments and employee engagement, and the businesses benefits that ensue.

So how can you provide a well-developed and executed mobile strategy for your organisation? Below we’ll explore the findings from the research and the key factors to successfully embracing a mobile environment.

Embrace Technology

A key finding from the report was the relative outperformance of businesses that were rated by staff as pioneers when it comes to technology. Companies that pioneer technology adoption score much higher on every measure of engagement and performance compared to businesses that have not been as swift to embrace technology.

Another important conclusion was that early adopter employees – those that were the first to use mobile devices and new technologies at work – were more demanding and had higher expectations about how reliable technology should be. It’s important for businesses to meet the expectations of this group because they act as an early warning system for the expectations of employees who are slower to embrace new technologies. In fact, 40 per cent of early adopters would never work for a company that did not allow them to use their own mobile device at work, a true indicator that a mobile-first enterprise environment is key for employee satisfaction.

Engagement drives performance

Overall, the research uncovered a clear link between businesses that support their staff by enabling them to work remotely using mobile devices and their productivity, satisfaction, creativity and loyalty.

Almost half (49 per cent) said the ability to work from anywhere was the most important driver of productivity. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said this was also the top driver for employee satisfaction. Forty-two per cent said this had the greatest impact on productivity, while 31 per cent said this had the greatest impact on satisfaction.

Respondents said their ability to collaborate was the most important driver of creativity (38 per cent of respondents), while 33 per cent said this was the greatest driver of loyalty. Having a creative, loyal and motivated workforce is one that is focused on achieving the entity’s mission and vision.

Global differences

A defining feature of the research was the differences in adoption of mobile and other technologies around the world.

The clear leaders were the Singaporeans. Sixty per cent of respondents in this country said their employer was a technological pioneer. Moreover, two-thirds of the Singaporean respondents said they were able to use mobile chat tools such as Whatsapp at work. A further 40 per cent said they were able to access company information via mobile devices. These results lead the rest of the world.

For the Japanese, using technology to collaborate had the greatest impact on productivity (33 per cent compared to 21 per cent, which was the global average). Whereas in Australia and New Zealand, the ability to use technology to quickly and easily identify information had the greatest impact on productivity. Fifty-three per cent of respondents from this region claimed this as the major benefit of being tech enabled, versus 42 per cent for the global average.

Despite geographical location, employees in all cultures evidently value the impact technology has on the way they work.

The CIO’s role

For CIO’s the main game is helping to ensure the business can support staff to be as productive as possible, using the tools of their choice. Ultimately it’s up to the CIO to manage the technology ecosystem so it boosts business performance. This starts with making sure the business’ IT strategy is sensitive to the needs of staff, with a major need to provide work/life balance that can arise when employees are empowered to work where and when they like. Never before has the CIO had such a key role supporting the business to be as productive as it can be. The keys are in your hands to drive business performance by shaping employee experience.

Article by Steve Coad, Managing Director ANZ, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

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