Third of SME workers say leadership team too slow to keep up with workforce technology needs – Advanced report reveals

Published 09/07/2019 by Gordon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced

Wrong tools and lack of communication also thwarting productivity

Nearly a third (31%) of SME decision makers say their leadership team is not moving fast enough to keep up with employees’ changing technology requirements. This is according to the new 2019 Digital Business Report1 from Advanced, which calls into question whether employees are given the right tools to improve their productivity.

Worryingly, 39% would consider leaving their job if they weren’t given the right tools to do their job properly. Nearly half (48%) would consider leaving because of work-life balance. The report comes one year after a separate survey from Advanced revealed that one in five SME leaders feel under pressure all the time, with 48% blaming lack of time as a key source of their work pressure – an issue that is often felt across the rest of the workforce too.

“Considering employees are expected to work harder and be more efficient, these findings will come as a blow to SME leaders,” comments Gordon Wilson, CEO of Advanced. “The fact that just 31% of respondents also say productivity is triggering the purchase of new technology in their organisation will raise alarm bells. Surely this should be a critical factor? Technology is one of the best ways to boost productivity and treat a work-life imbalance. It can improve processes and eradicate time spent on tedious tasks, freeing up time for more valuable activities, while increasing job satisfaction at the same time.”

The report also reveals that more than a third (36%) say their leadership team isn’t communicating with the rest of the workforce early enough when choosing new technology. It highlights the need for leaders to work more closely with employees so they can understand their pain points and therefore make an informed decision on which digital tools to implement. Otherwise, leaders could risk creating a disconnect between staff and senior leaders – thinking that technology is working effectively when it might not be.

Gordon adds: “For any technology implementation to succeed, employees must be able to see the value in using digital tools to drive productivity. Otherwise, chances are they will see them as a hindrance to their role and the implementation will be a waste of time and money. This is why it is essential that leaders put in place a digital strategy that encompasses change management and takes into consideration not only the different requirements of workers but their different backgrounds and levels of experience in using technology.

“On a positive note, our report also shows that SMEs are more nimble and best prepared to take advantage of technologies with little disruption or delay. They don’t face the same barriers as large organisations which typically have to manage legacy systems, handle large volumes of data and, in some cases, follow old processes that are no longer fit-for-purpose or even compliant with the latest regulations. What’s more, there are multiple departments with multiple leaders and influencers all wanting to have their say on technology.

“SME leaders should see this as an opportunity to give large organisations a run for their money and take the lead in driving new technologies to boost productivity.”

Download the 2019 Digital Business Report at: https://www.oneadvanced.com/digital-business-report/