employee engagement Archives - Striven

Revolutionizing Work: The Benefits of Employee Work Flexibility

Work flexibility can save businesses thousands of dollars yearly, increase employee satisfaction and improve the customer experience. Workplace policies like flexible scheduling and remote positions have tangible benefits that revolutionize jobs. What are some of the top benefits of flexible employment and why should companies embrace them? 

Higher Productivity

Work flexibility can significantly improve productivity by empowering employees to build a schedule that works for them. Everyone has different times when they work more efficiently throughout the day. Some people perform best early in the morning, while others are more productive at night. 

A flexible schedule policy allows everyone to work at a time when they will be at their most productive. It also reduces distractions and stress from doctor’s appointments and family commitments. Employees can more easily take care of these things if needed and better focus when working. 

Additionally, some employees are more productive outside an office environment. For example, people with ADD, ADHD or OCD may find offices distracting and stressful. Working from home affords more peace and efficiency. 

Work-Life Balance

Work flexibility is transformative for work-life balance. It allows employees to save time on commutes, adapt to needs in their personal lives and spend more time with their families. A flexible arrangement is among the top three factors influencing job-seekers’ employment choices today. 

Employees with some say in their hours and job location can build a schedule that works for them. It allows them to get the most out of their day at home and work. As a result, they can take care of important personal matters without negatively impacting their jobs. 

Flexible work policies are especially helpful for families. Many schools now allow hybrid learning arrangements, which means parents must be home while their children attend class remotely during the day. Hybrid and remote options give people the needed flexibility for situations like this, as well as everyday family matters like activity schedules and sick days. 

Increased Employee Loyalty and Engagement

Retaining top talent requires creating an environment that supports employees’ needs. Work flexibility shows that a business cares about its workers’ health, time and work-life balance. It also builds the foundation for mutual trust between company leaders and employees. 

Workplace flexibility has a real impact on employees’ success, as well. It improves engagement by allowing them to build a schedule optimized for their peak productivity, which results in higher-quality work. For example, research shows that financial businesses that used flexible policies improved service quality by 23% due to higher engagement. 

Flexible work builds trust and support for employees, encouraging top talent to stay. It also results in higher engagement on the job, creating tangible benefits for businesses and their customers. 

Improved Health and Wellness

Employees are less likely to let serious health and wellness issues go unresolved when they have a more flexible schedule. Most doctors’ offices are only open during the week, so employees may be reluctant to take time off to schedule an appointment when needed. 

Work flexibility lets employees shift their hours or projects to make time for self-care and doctor’s visits. Flexible schedules and remote work options also allow more time for wellness activities like jogging and yoga. As a result, people can take better care of themselves, improve their performance at work and reduce sick days. 

More Diverse Teams

Work flexibility can open up new hiring possibilities. Remote and hybrid environments allow businesses to recruit from a larger geographic talent pool. As a result, they can find employees they might not have met otherwise. 

Businesses can build more diverse, high-talent teams when their work environment is accessible to more people. Flexible hours and location make a job more appealing and functional for a larger number of employees. These workplaces can build more diverse teams, powering creativity and a better customer experience. 

It’s also worth considering the needs of employees with mobility challenges. People with limited mobility or access to transportation are often highly talented but may have more difficulty getting to offices. Flexibility for remote work increases workplace accessibility for these employees. 

Lower Energy and Real Estate Costs

Businesses worldwide spend thousands or even millions of dollars annually on office-related expenses. A remote or hybrid work environment reduces the need for large office spaces. Companies can significantly reduce their costs by adopting more flexible arrangements. 

Research shows hybrid work can save tens of thousands of dollars yearly on office real estate and operating expenses. A work flexibility policy means the building doesn’t need to support every employee simultaneously. Businesses can rent smaller office spaces and purchase fewer desks and equipment. 

Additionally, businesses can lower their office utility expenses by allowing employees to work partly or fully remotely. Smaller buildings use less electricity to begin with, but hybrid employers can also schedule “dark office days” when everyone works remotely. 

Both options lead to major cost savings on electricity, HVAC, internet and more. Less utility consumption also reduces carbon emissions, which helps build a good environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile and supports workplace sustainability. This is especially appealing to eco-conscious employees and customers and can improve your reputation as a green company.

The Transformative Benefits of Work Flexibility

A flexible work environment supports employee wellness, improves productivity, increases engagement, expands the hiring pool and reduces office expenses. Flexible hours and locations can make a monumental difference in the worker experience with tangible business gains. When people have the support to do their best work, customers receive the highest quality service and products possible.

ERP: A Tool For Improving Employee Relationships

Customers get all the attention. After all, they’re the ones keeping the lights on. Your processes and procedures are designed with them in mind, you make critical decisions based on their needs and asks, and you do everything in your power to attract and retain them.

Bending over backward for your customers is by no means a bad business practice. What it does mean, however, is that it’s easy to become hyper-focused on all things “customer” and to lose track of other areas of importance. In this case, another critical group of people—your employees.

You value your employees tremendously. They are the backbone of your business, and their hard work is recognized through salary increases, promotions, and other commendations. 

Employees love incentives—especially cash incentives. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding your employees for a job well done. It’s certainly part of a winning strategy. But, it’s not the only component that goes into building the best business possible when it comes to employee relationships.

Your investments in your employees need to go beyond bonuses, holiday parties, and awards. In some ways, your business needs to look at its employee relationships in the same light it would its customer relationships. It’s important to embrace how technology can improve areas such as employee communication, the onboarding process, reduce employee burnout, and the overall efficiency of their daily experience.

In short, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) under the umbrella of business management technology is capable of facilitating a better, more efficient employee experience that improves employee engagement—disengaged employees cost companies between $483 to $605 billion per year, and companies with more engaged employees outperform their counterparts by 202%.

business management software erp productivity

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that business management technology can facilitate a more engaged, productive workforce and how that can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

How ERP Benefits Internal Communication

Even before the advent of widespread remote work, maintaining organization and accuracy in daily communication channels was a challenge. Now, the challenge has risen to an entirely new level.

If you have employees out in the field, they will most likely be calling or texting back to the office. Young and tech-savvy employees working remotely will have the inclination to use their favorite group messaging apps. The term is known as shadow IT where employees use familiar (to them) apps that have not been blessed by your IT department, typically for cybersecurity concerns.

And—even more prominently—most employees will still rely on traditional email chains as their primary method to relay information. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these channels of communication. However, there are two glaring problems when it comes to how they’re used: 

1. They’re all disconnected systems that do not have a single, verifiable source of centralized data. 

2.  There is now an extraneous layer of separation between these communication channels and the work being done.

Transparency and Inclusion

One of the biggest and most immediate benefits that business management software offers in terms of employee communication is the fact that discussions are all happening within the system, with everyone on the same page.

In an atmosphere where all employees are encouraged to communicate, problems will be solved quickly. Oftentimes, problems that would have shown up later down the line will be stamped out quicker than ever when communication is at its peak.

Enabling transparent and inclusive communication empowers your employees to work productively and relay data faster. Another great way to empower employees is through corporate awards; in this way, they will feel more appreciated and productive. It will be favorable among your employees, and it will have a trickle-down effect on your customers who are seeing their problems and needs accounted for much more timely and efficiently.

Accurate, Real-Time Data

Sifting through various mediums of communication to find the “correct” set of data is one of the biggest time wasters that a company can face. One study found that employees spend 19.8% of their business time searching for information to do their job effectively.

If you’re not keeping your data clean, you could be missing out on opportunities to reach new customers or nurture relationships with existing ones. To create and maintain better data, you can use employee survey software tools and have better management.

Needless to say, improving the ways in which your employees send and receive information can save your business time and money.

Project Management Efficiency

Every type of business spends time working on projects of some kind. Whether it’s a construction job site, a catering event, or a financial planning document, you will have information in need of being stored, co-workers in need of being brought up to speed, and work that needs to be reviewed and revised. Thus you can give corporate awards to the most successful employees and enable their trust and dedication. 

Instead of communicating about projects on a separate software app, communicate directly where the project data is stored. This way you can point to specific information, upload additional documents, and see a definitive edit history. You’ll be able to spend less time clarifying back-and-forth remarks and more time accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Adapting To Your Employees

Your employees are all truly one of a kind. Some employees are aces in analytical positions, while others are better suited for labor-focused tasks. Skillsets aren’t the only area of importance here—personalities also play a major role in the workplace. Some may be best suited for customer-facing positions, while others thrive in the back office environment. 

Differing and diverse talent and personalities among your employees is an unequivocal strength. The hard part comes in pairing employees with others that complement their respective skill sets and personalities. While that requires some managerial expertise, business management software plays a vital role in empowering your employees to maximize their unique potential. Perhaps, take a look at branded corporate achievement awards to improve employee relationships and recognize outstanding achievers. 

Automation Enables Creativity

While automation doesn’t directly contribute to creativity, it provides more of the most significant element necessary for creativity to flourish—time. Right now, 67% of organizations are implementing business process automation solutions. And around 85% of business leaders, believe that automating some of this workload will give employees more time to focus on crucial company initiatives.

The truth is, one of the easiest ways for employees to become burnt out and unproductive in their role is when they are required to perform large amounts of menial and repetitive tasks. By utilizing business management technology, your employees can get back to not only the work that they do best but also the work that keeps them highly motivated and productive.

Remote Work

Some employees work best in a lively atmosphere surrounded by lots of people and activity, while others work best in quiet solitude. In the last couple of years, the latter type of worker has thrived. While not every person is at their best working remotely, nor can every job be completed in this way, it can be highly productive for those that embrace it.

remote work erp software productivity

47% of employees that work remotely are more productive, and on average these employees end up working one additional day per week.

ERP business management software gives your employees the freedom to work in an atmosphere that suits their strengths while not sacrificing any of the communication or data visibility traditionally reserved for those working in the office.

Enhanced Decision Making

While you still may leave the bulk of the decision-making up to the executives within your business, it’s always a good idea to aggregate ideas from every person involved, not just executives. Using the tools that business management software has to offer, your employees will have faster access to better data, enabling them to make smarter decisions.

Giving employees more leeway to dive headfirst into data facilitates more openness within your organization and gives way to better ideas being developed. Even if your average employee isn’t responsible for making the final decision, having those conversations within your organization from top to bottom will prove the theory that two heads are always better than one.

Wrapping Up

Focusing on the relationship between you and your employees—as well as the relationships that employees have with each other—is really important. In fact, it can be viewed as an extension of focusing on your relationship with your customers.

CEO Doug Conant quote

If your employees are empowered to work their best, they’ll be best set up to serve your customers in an optimal fashion. Giving your employees the tools to communicate about projects, allowing them the opportunity to make intelligent decisions, and overall promoting an atmosphere of open communication, inclusion, and transparency will help every employee in your company reach their full potential, thereby helping your company achieve the most that it possibly can.

10 Signs That It’s Time For An All-In-One Business Software

Is your business prepared to grow by 50x in the near future? 

The answer is yes—if you’re prepared. A profitable business model and hardworking employees are baseline requirements, but it takes more than that to push your business over the top—it takes an all-in-one business management software platform.  

In the spirit of preparation, take a minute to assess what a 50x growth would logistically entail:

  • Hiring new employees (and onboarding them)
  • Purchasing new materials and equipment (and cataloging them)
  • Expanded remote capabilities and office space
  • Keeping track of 50x more documents
  • Expanding your CRM capabilities
  • Increasing your accounting workload
all in one business management software growth

The list above is surely incomplete in terms of the new costs, challenges, and variables that come into play as a business grows. 

Many of these challenges can be addressed by utilizing all-in-one business management software. It’s understandable that your first thought may be “I don’t need that, at least not yet.” 

The key word? “Yet”. Though business management software can help businesses of all sizes, it’s absolutely imperative to organizations that are poised to expand their business. So, don’t be behind the 8-ball—here are 10 signs that it’s time for your business to enlist an all-in-one business management software solution.

1. When Growth Is Imminent

Growth is exciting. It can also be nerve-racking, stressful, and full of growing pains.

upward growth trend of Bitcoin superimposed over a gold bitcoin token

In a hopelessly-romantic, Hollywood-esque way, it can be easy to believe that growth will hit in one tsunami-like surge—a big “aha” moment, a mega-deal with a corporate giant, or an upward profit chart akin to the likes of Bitcoin.

Not featured on the big screen, however, is the groundwork that is laid slowly behind the scenes—years and years of trial and error, finding the right employees, and testing the waters of various markets.

Albeit slowly at first, growth can actually materialize in an instant—that marketing campaign you launched went viral thanks to some verified retweeters and suddenly, you’re fielding calls from what will end up being the largest accounts your business has ever managed. 

The point here: growth is built slowly, but can unfold all at once. Don’t be unprepared for that moment. You’re confident in your business—be just as confident in your ability to produce results.

As the old adage goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Look at business management software in the same light—invest in an ERP for the company you want to grow into, not for the company you are at this very moment.

2. When Customer Relationships Need More Attention

Customers are the backbone of your business. Attaining a loyal customer base is hard work—it’s easy to become wrapped up in the exuberance of an influx of new customers.

Before your customers are customers, they’re leads. Is your sales staff equipped to not only handle managing additional customer relationships, but the additional amount of fresh leads coming in?

Help your employees assess the profitability and priority of each opportunity with an automated sales funnel. With an influx of new leads and customers, you may think hiring additional sales staff is the answer. While that may be a step you want to take at some point, it’s important to focus first on maximizing the efficiency of your existing employees.

Some of the biggest benefits all-in-one business management software brings to growing businesses lie in its CRM processes. 

customers enjoying all in one business management software

Automating marketing campaigns, visual dashboards to track the entirety of your sales pipeline, instantaneous synchronicity with the rest of your finances, and customer feedback portals are some of the tools that can help you attract and retain a loyal customer base. 

3. When You Find Yourself Making “Educated Guesses”

Going with your gut is a natural instinct. In the early days of your business, it was probably even profitable. Heck, you’ve probably made a gut decision today. But as your business grows, decisions will require more than just a hunch.

Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) will enhance your productivity and profitability across the board. Every business contains nuanced differences in its approach—analyzing the data that is relevant to your business is what counts.

ERP systems with customizable dashboards and report-generating functionality bring you the information you need to make an informed decision at a glance. Your business is unique—the business management software you choose needs to mold to your needs, not the other way around.

4. When Tedious Tasks Eat Up Your Day

Some days, work might not even feel like work. On other days, an hour might feel like a lifetime. The reality is that not every part of your job is thrilling—those mundane tasks you dread are often some of the most important (crunching numbers, taking inventory, etc.)

While these are important tasks, it’s just as important to not let yourself spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on them. 

Automation is the key to working smarter—automate the tasks that eat up your time, and use that time to focus on the bigger-picture goals that will help bring your business to the next level. 

All-in-one business management software will help you do just that. From accounting to inventory to sales, many parts of the process don’t require immediate and constant attention. 

Aside from automation, delegation is important, as well—monitoring the status of all assigned tasks without filling your inbox with unnecessary back-and-forth “confirmation clutter.” 

5. When You’re Spending Too Much On IT Systems

Repair costs are a necessary evil. Laptops bear the brunt of coffee spillage, and interns overestimate how many monitors they can carry at once. It happens. 

colored networking cables plugged into back of equipment

But what about the cost of non-accident-related expenditures? Software updates, new servers, and backups for those can chew up a budget very quickly. 

With cloud computing, you’ll be able to exert more control over your finances. A cloud-based ERP removes the need for excessive hardware spending, costly software upgrades, and backup costs. All of these needs are handled off-site—and at a flat, fixed, predictable rate—so that you can focus on your business, not the tech behind it. 

6. When You Need To Double Down On Regulatory Compliance

Regardless of the industry you operate in, you most likely have someone in your organization tasked with monitoring compliance. Whether you’re a manufacturer, contractor, consultant, or educator, rules are rules—and it pays to follow them.

Most of the work of a compliance manager will come in the form of keeping track of documents and ensuring on-site traceability. Checking off boxes may seem mundane, but it’s arguably the most important part of the job.

Another example, construction managers are responsible for overseeing the safety of their crew and all associated subcontractors. Before the job begins, OSHA compliance needs to be taken care of. If these certifications and qualifications are not met, it could set a problematic ripple effect in motion—delays in compliance could cause a project to go over budget and disrupt your timeline for other jobs (including the schedules of your subcontractors). A bid could also be lost outright due to a lack of compliance, causing an unpleasant impact on your bottom line as well as negatively impacting the trust your employees and subcontractors have in you.

In short, it pays to stay on top of regulatory measures by keeping all pertinent documents in one centralized, easily accessible location. 

7. When You Need To Back Up Your Data

These days, data security isn’t solely the responsibility of your tech-savvy staff—it’s everyone’s job. Having a data security infrastructure in place is key, and probably something you already do to some degree. But how much of your data is backed up? And more importantly, where and how?

all in one business management cloud erp

If you are not currently leveraging any ERP solutions, the odds are your data is not sufficiently backed up. Sure, you may have redundancy measures in place on your local system, but more can be done.

In 2021, global cybercrime damage costs around $190,000 per second. Cybercriminals are everywhere and are unrelenting in their efforts to undermine legitimate businesses. If your data is stored in a singular, localized location, you may think it’s safer. But in all reality, this is not the case. If this one data center is breached, your systems will cease to function.

By utilizing a cloud software system, your data is not only decentralized and duplicated across servers, it’s backed by world-class cybersecurity professionals. Sure, your computer’s firewall is great—but having that firewall and a cybersecurity infrastructure tailored to your business needs will prevent any malicious actors from disrupting your business. 

8. When Working Remotely Isn’t Efficient

Remote work is here, and it probably isn’t going anywhere for quite some time. In many respects, that’s a good thing—workers are achieving higher productivity levels, both companies and employees are saving money, and every organization’s talent pool has gone global.

There are many prerequisites to achieving successful remote work habits. Deploying proper management strategies, project management techniques, and a new kind of HR department are some of the adjustments that need to be made. But the common theme here is what lies underneath the human-based element of successful remote adaptation: using better technology.

The right all-in-one business management software doesn’t just need to be able to crunch the numbers and track your inventory, it needs to enable your people to be more effective in their roles. Track the status of projects, customer leads, and even new hires all from one place.

If your employees are able to have a centralized location where they can both find all of their work-related data and chat with their co-workers, they’ll be able to be focused and efficient no matter where they’re working from.  

9. When You’re Unsure Of Your Employees’ Day-To-Day Schedules

Managing is a tricky job. On one hand, you want to be actively involved in your employee’s work. Their success is often a reflection of yours. On the other, most managers are savvy enough to know that micromanagement is not typically a successful method.

If you’re unsure about what your employees are doing on a daily basis, that’s a problem. Now, you don’t want to go breathing down their necks and asking them what they’re up to every day—that wastes both your time and theirs. The answer lies in the middle.

While you and your employees almost certainly use some sort of calendar app, are these calendars synced? Do you have a uniform, master calendar to access? 

Not only should you have access to a universal calendar, but you should also have access to all of the tasks and projects that your team is working on. Instead of sending a dreaded “Hello! Just circling back on the status of this project! Kind regards!” type email, look to your software system for the answers. This way, you and your employees can be less focused on updating each other through emails and chats and be more focused on producing high-quality work. 

10. When You Can Tell Your Employees Are Stressed

Hearing employees complain is never easy, especially when it comes to things beyond your control. Sure, there are some things that you wish you could provide them, but not every request is feasible or grantable.

One request that is feasible? Upgrading your software systems.

Stressed office worker with too much demand on thier time

Duplicate data sets, missing files and links, incomplete financial records, chicken-scratch notes strewn across an office—all of these problems slow down employee productivity. Even if your employees don’t verbalize their complaints, read the room. Frustration bubbles to the surface in different ways for every individual, and some may be more prone to silence than outward voicing of complaints.

At fixed monthly payments with top-quality customer support included as part of the base package, an all-in-one ERP is a much better solution to employee complaints than to Frankenstein together with various software that may or may not communicate with each other.

The best part? Most top-quality software is free to use at first. 

It’s Always The Right Time For All-In-One Business Management Software

No businesses are alike. Products, customers, strategies, and everything in between all vary to a large extent depending on your industry’s specific needs.

However, people are a lot alike—we are stronger when working as a unified, coordinated front, climbing towards a common goal. While it’s people that allow your business to be successful, it’s software that allows them to reach their full potential.

The world is becoming increasingly digital, synchronized, and competitive. Enlisting the right all-in-one business management software for your business will help you stay ahead of the curve.