How to Innovate Without Driving Away Your Company’s Top Talent

Innovation is, for quite some time now, an essential concept for attracting and retaining top talent. The most promising job seekers today seek companies with a culture that champions innovation and creativity. As such, this term has become one of the selling points of many job vacancy ads.

Aside from driving recruitment, innovation is an important factor for boosting talent retention. When businesses constantly update their technology, policies and other practices for the better, employees are more likely to remain loyal to the organization.

Technology and Innovation

Are you constantly updating or changing your enterprise software, including those you use for customer relationship management (CRM), field service management (FSM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and even your primary project management software? Doing so can take a toll on your business and employees due to the constant disruptions it may bring to workflows.  

On the other hand, choosing to use the same system for years even if it is clearly outdated due to lack of budget or other reasons will have negative effects on the company as a whole as well.

And whether companies regularly update their enterprise systems or not, it is important to focus on ensuring that they are used properly and optimally by the employees.

In a study conducted by IFS, a business solutions provider, results show that employees who experience frequent usability issues with their company’s enterprise software do one or more of the following:

  • Use it less
  • Resort to using Microsoft Excel or other applications
  • Complain to management about these issues
  • Leave their job

In the same study, 45 percent of employees aged between 36 and 45 stated that they will definitely or are somewhat likely to change jobs over poor software usability. Meanwhile, 33 percent of those who participated with aged 46 and above said they will definitely or are somewhat likely to change jobs if they have issues with system usability.

The results indicate that people above 36 years of age – employees who are most likely holding supervisory or managerial positions and your current top talent – are the ones who will possibly leave their job because the company’s enterprise system has usability issues.

Finding a Balance

Ensuring your business tech is up-to-date and at par with industry standards plays an important role in attracting and retaining top talent. However, it is also crucial to ensure that everyone, especially the most loyal and experienced movers and shakers, can use the system correctly, confidently, with no snags or glitches.

Here are some tips on how to innovate your business tech without driving away your most prized executives:

1. Include them in the system planning and selection process

As mentioned earlier, most high-level executives will voice their concerns or difficulties with the enterprise system. However, not all of them will. As such, if it’s time to upgrade or change the system, talk to them first.

Get all the details the employees will provide. Ask them which elements of the system they seem to have issues with. Your executives can also share valuable information regarding what the new enterprise system should and should not be or have.

Getting their opinions and knowing their experiences will enable you to invest in the right system or more essential upgrades. They will, then, be more open to and feel more confident about using the software.

2. Allow the executives to undergo system usage training first

If innovating your business tech means totally changing the current system, let the leaders take the lead in learning and mastering the ropes.

Encourage them to be the first ones to undergo training regarding the use of the new software. Ensure that they fully understand the purpose, functions, and all the ins and outs of the new system, and that they are confident of using it.

Your executives can then lend a hand in teaching and advising the other employees in using the system – a sort of mentorship or coaching program. This will further cement your executives’ high position and reputation in the company.

3. Regularly request for feedback regarding their use of the new system

Finally, frequently ask your executives about their experiences with using the new software. Find out if they are having difficulties using certain features or if they encounter any bugs from time to time.

Investing in refresher and relevant software user training programs, especially if there are key feature and mobile security updates, will also allow your people to feel more confident and be experts at using the system.

It pays to make sure that all your employees are on the same page and get the support they need to be familiar with a new business tech. Doing so can make a big difference in keeping your top talent loyal to your firm and making your business able to ride the waves of change.