‎ > ‎news_web3‎ > ‎

Forget perks and pay: IT may be the secret weapon in the war for talent

Posted by Claire Hatton, Industry Director, Google Australia

(Cross-posted on the Google Australia Blog)

Editor's note: Today's post comes to us from Down Under where a new report from Deloitte Access Economics Australia highlights finds that there is a direct link between workplace IT and employee satisfaction.

In the last few years, forward-thinking businesses have come to the same conclusion: it’s not only perks and pay that matter when it comes to attracting and keeping top talent. Up-to-date IT systems that support and encourage collaboration are also very important.

In the last year we’ve seen companies like Woolworths, Fairfax and Dick Smith move their communication and collaboration software to the cloud. These businesses cite the benefits of being able to have their remote teams work on the same document in real time, have editorial meetings via video conference or give their casual staff access to company updates and videos via their mobile phones.

Today, for the first time, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of the bottom-line benefits of giving employees the kind of IT systems that make them happy and productive. A new report from Deloitte Access Economics Australia now shows a direct link between flexible IT policies and employee satisfaction and retention.

Deloitte’s The Connected Workplace — War for talent in the digital economy shows that:

  • Employees who are happy with their workplace IT are one third less likely to leave the company than those who are unhappy
  • Large companies with 500 employees could save up to $350,000 annually simply by investing in flexible IT policies. Over a ten year period this amounts to $2.6 million. 
  •  Similarly, small businesses could save up to $22,000 a year by investing in flexible IT policies.

The Connected Workplace report comes at a time when Australian and New Zealand business leaders are experiencing a critical shortage of skilled employees. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 20% of businesses reported that an inability to find skilled workers within the labour market or within their company was a barrier to innovation.

Deloitte found that the businesses whose employees were most satisfied with their IT policies had a few characteristics in common. They allowed people to bring their own devices to work. They permitted access to social media while on the job. They let them work from home. They encouraged them to use collaborative technology.

The report also found that when people are given the opportunity to use their workplace IT to do personal activities, they spend an equal amount of time at home doing work tasks. So every 30 seconds an employee does something besides work will be balanced out by another half-minute of productivity later in the day.

Around the world, businesses are finding that it pays to be more flexible and let employees collaborate and work in whatever way suits them best. This includes more than 5 million businesses that now use Google Apps for Business to work from anywhere, anytime on any device. Businesses looking to win in the war for talent may find the same.