As the world moves one step closer to post-pandemic life, there’s a tidal wave of employees looking for new jobs. A recent article from Quartz explains that the pandemic caused many people to become frustrated about the lack of career growth opportunities and the decline in employee engagement at their current employers. More than 40% of people surveyed worldwide said they are thinking about leaving their current employer in 2021 as the uncertainty of the pandemic begins to fade.
As individuals are reevaluating what they want out of an employer, there are some essential universal benefits that are essential to employee success and happiness, regardless of the industry. Leading the list is respect. Employees want to feel like they are trusted team members, and they need a sense of purpose. Other key priorities include recognition, constructive feedback, transparency and autonomy. And safety is, of course, mission-critical.
Here are four tech tools that can help companies achieve safe, transparent and satisfying work environments:
1. Bluetooth beacon technology: A critical aspect of keeping employee health and safety at the forefront of daily operations is using tools that observe employee location and behavior. Bluetooth beacon technology, which can be embedded in employee badges, enables HR representatives and facility managers to ensure everyone is adhering to social distancing policies and avoid a viral spread that could shutter operations and put lives at risk. Beyond tracking employee locations, the technology also can enable touch-free clocking-in processes and temperature readings.
This technology also streamlines contact tracing if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. For example, if a construction worker on a 1,000-person job site tests positive, site managers can use Bluetooth technology to quickly review the exact locations visited by the employee. This enables the managers to promptly alert anyone who may have been exposed and follow the proper sanitation procedures for the affected areas. This also means that, instead of quarantining all 1,000 employees, managers can pinpoint just those who are affected, which means more employees can stay at work to support operations and reduce understaffing.
2. A streamlined communication platform: Communication drives daily operations in every industry, so using a single collaboration platform can diminish the number of avoidable workplace errors that arise due to a lack of clear communication. Employees want transparency and to be apprised of what is happening within the company, from policy changes to health and safety alerts. Therefore, leaders must optimize one streamlined communication solution to communicate updates to various departments and personnel.
Plus, new developments in communication technology allow companies to equip their staff with tools that decrease burnout and raise morale. For example, a production warehouse manager going on hour eight of a 12-hour shift, managing the day-to-day production operations across multiple shifts and ensuring adherence to all company policies, would benefit from having one platform for all communication. In a situation like this, a communication platform can help the manager streamline workflows and focus on more pressing matters.
3. Learning and development software: With the influx of new regulations, businesses must incorporate updated health and safety policies into the framework of their daily operations. While the pandemic has increased the need for employee training — particularly about health and safety best practices — it also created new challenges for getting that training done. When dealing with a primarily deskless workforce, it is vital to implement learning and development software to conduct virtual training. It may be difficult to socially distance a large staff in a training room for a live, in-person meeting, and workers may not have the technology setup to participate in remote training from home. Instead, companies can set up a learning annex equipped with a virtual learning management system so that employees can participate in training in small, socially distanced groups.
Plus, leveraging robust learning software simplifies the process of staying compliant with labor laws, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and local and state health laws. As the world gets a handle on COVID-19, the rules in all technical industries continue to evolve to fit the changing landscape of the pandemic. Automated tools reduce the risk of being fined for noncompliance, the hours it takes to sift through the regulations and the potential for human error.
4. Shift-scheduling technology: Shift-scheduling technology streamlines the process of ensuring that each shift is staffed with qualified workers while filling in the gaps when employees call out because of an illness or an emergency. This helps reduce the risk of understaffing and placing a heavier burden on employees on the understaffed shift. Overburdened employees are more likely to experience burnout and want to quit their jobs. This technology also boosts productivity for those who would otherwise be managing the team’s schedules.
Optimizing proven tactics to hire and retain employees will help employers prioritize worker health, safety and well-being. A company that puts its people first during unprecedented times will attract quality hires and increase retention rates. The talent gap in the supply chain industry will not be filled anytime soon, so it’s essential to ensure employees are adequately engaged, trained and safe.
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