How to Choose Productivity Software That Empowers Employees

Only 34 percent of workers in the U.S. say that they’re fully engaged at work, which is actually an increase from past years. This leaves a lot of room for employers to improve.

The software you use to collaborate with and manage employees can make a major impact on their engagement and productivity. Each company and team will have different needs when it comes to productivity software. But if you want your employees to feel empowered to do their best work and stay engaged with your mission, here are a few things to think about.

Make Sure It’s Adaptable to Different Working Styles

Not all employees work the same way. Some may prefer to work independently and just share brief thoughts via instant messages or collaborate on documents virtually. Others may prefer to schedule phone calls or just use software to set up in-person meetings. Your ideal software will offer options that allow people to choose the styles that allow them to work in the way that’s most productive for them.

Use It to Share Big Goals with Team Members

Your productivity software doesn’t have to just be about small, day-to-day tasks. For example, many project management programs give users the ability to add big goals and then break them down into smaller tasks. In addition to keeping you organized, this feature can also help your team better understand what they’re working toward. In fact, the vast majority of today’s employees value meaningful work  in their job. Seeing those big goals daily can help them feel more connected to seemingly small tasks.

Encourage Two-Way Communication

The software programs you use to manage your team shouldn’t just be about you sharing information with them. If you want them to feel empowered at work, they should also have an easy way to get in touch with you or other members of your management team. Different types of software can do this in different ways. You might just choose one with a chat feature or look for the ability to add comments or feedback to a specific document or project. Make sure there’s a specific process available for employees to get in touch with you and make it known to them.

Support Telecommuters

More than 3 percent of the U.S. workforce currently work from home at least half the time. But more businesses are starting to offer this as an option. According to a recent survey, nearly half of employees and job searchers say that opportunities for remote work are important to them when choosing a job. Providing telework opportunities could help you recruit top talent and keep them engaged and happy at work. Features like video chat, real time updates, and the ability to host virtual meetings can help make sure employees are productive even when they’re not sharing a physical space with the rest of your team.

Ask for Their Input

Sometimes, the answer to keeping employees happy and making them feel empowered is simple: just ask them. Sure, it’s possible that they may not know the answer or different members of your team may have vastly different requests. But it’s important to at least get a feel for what people are looking for and what types of programs or features would help them with their day-to-day productivity. You don’t even necessarily need to ask them about software specifically. You could simply survey your team on occasion to ask about areas where they feel you could improve in your operations. If you notice a trend, try to dig in and learn more so you can really nail down the things that would help your team, and thus your business, be as productive as possible.

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