Business psychology services

Business psychology services

In pursuit of workplace productivity, your organisation might invest in technology. New systems, software and machines can improve efficiencies and make colleague and customer interactions more accessible. However, productivity is only fully realised when we also invest in people.


Increase Productivity & Efficiency with Technology

According to a report published by Beaming*, 35% of UK SMEs plan to invest in technology in 2024 to enhance productivity and efficiency. With this goal in mind, 44% prioritise automation, 58% see AI as the primary focus and 62% want to build an online selling platform.

There is no doubt that technology can streamline operations, extend services and enable wider communication networks. However, this financing of tech is rarely matched by outlay on employee training and development. In fact, the average investment in employee training in the UK has been in decline for over a decade. What’s more, it is less than half allocated in other EU nations**.

Yet your team are critical to driving workplace productivity. If they understand and buy into the values and objectives of the business, they can deliver results. When they are equipped with the right information, they can optimise the use of technology. And, if collaboration is encouraged, they can pool knowledge and skills to great effect.

Disengagement in Technology Advances

The disparity between investment in technology and people is a cause for disengagement in the workforce. Rather than being inspired by technology and how it can streamline functions, employees are often reluctant or fearful to embrace advancements. That’s because they are concerned with the following:

 – Could technology cost them their jobs?

 – Will technology remove elements of their role that they enjoyed?

 – Do they have the capability to follow and implement training on how to use the technology?

 – What happens if something goes wrong?

When people are fearful, they are resistant and defensive. They prefer to stick with what they know in a bid to retain the status quo. It’s a negative situation which can hinder productivity and fuel suspicions. So, how can you encourage your team to have a positive and open-minded approach?

Allaying Fears in the Adoption of Workplace Technology

To fully realise productivity and efficiency benefits, you need to inform, engage and upskill employees. Therefore, when planning to invest in technology, consult your employees in workshops and/or surveys. This provides an opportunity to hear and address their concerns. Additionally, employees may raise valid considerations or may have experience using systems in previous roles. This insight can be valuable in your decision-making process.

Business psychology shows productivity increases when individuals recognise how their personal goals will be met. As such, we are driven when we see options that fit with our values. Therefore, by involving employees and helping them to see how technology will benefit them directly, you can increase the adoption of new systems.

Consider, when time is freed up by the new technology, how do you expect employees to spend it? The best outcomes will occur when the answer ties into elements of the employee’s role that they find meaningful and rewarding.

For example, I use technology for routine administration. This allows me more time to undertake psychology research, speak at events and talk with other thought leaders. These are areas of my work that I find inherently valuable and motivating. As such, it encourages me to embrace technology.

What’s more, throughout the tech setup and implementation stages, you need to maintain transparent communications, training and support. It is only when your employees are confident and motivated to use new systems that the true benefits are experienced.

I believe it is also important to set boundaries. That’s because technology can make it difficult to switch off. However, we can’t maintain productivity if we don’t switch off and recharge, so clear boundaries are essential for sustained performance.

Alternative Options for Workplace Productivity & Efficiency

There is no doubt that technology can improve internal processes and communications, as well as boost customer service. However, there is a risk of over-reliance on technology. In certain circumstances, nothing replaces an in-person conversation.

We have to remember the value of personal connections. The happiest workplaces are ones where conversations with colleagues and customers are encouraged. These interactions build bonds which increase job satisfaction and loyalty. What’s more, we must accept that sometimes a quick question or a simple action is the most efficient and productive option.

Therefore, when planning your investment in technology, always consider alternative options. Some may only be used in exceptional circumstances, such as during a power cut or disruption. Others could support customers or employees in situations that don’t fit into the standard approach. Or, simply when they prefer to follow a non-tech route to their desired outcome.

In Summary

In business psychology, productivity is known to increase when people are involved, informed, confident and competent. Therefore, consultation, training and support can enable the effective adoption of technology.

Equally, productivity is driven by fulfilling roles that employees find rewarding and a means of achieving personal goals. So, use technology to take on routine tasks, allowing more time for meaningful work that best uses employees’ skills. This is how to achieve workplace productivity and efficiency.

* https://www.beaming.co.uk/press-releases/automation-and-ai-top-tech-priorities-for-uk-smes-in-2024/

** https://learningandwork.org.uk/news-and-policy/why-2024-should-be-a-year-for-employer-investment-in-training/


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