Report: Out-of-Date Tech Threatens Talent Pipeline

More than half of employers say that technology issues have an impact on workers’ desire to join an organization, according to a new report, and that dated tech threatens the retention of high-skilled employees.

Wanna keep your best employees around? Make sure you’re offering them the right digital tools.

That’s the finding of a recent report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, which analyzed the impact of an organization’s technology offerings on its talent at the behest of the tech consultancy Insight.

According to The Connected Workforce: Maximizing Productivity, Creativity, and Profitability [registration], technology has implications for attracting talent, and employers know it: 51 percent of respondents say that weak office technology limits their ability to retain employees, and 58 percent say that technology plays a direct role in whether a candidate is willing to take a position.

“These problems are even worse at companies where the workforce isn’t highly connected today: Among those with low connectivity, 72 percent strongly agree that having outdated technology is making it harder to retain employees with high-value skills and experience, versus only 33 percent of those with high connectivity,” the report states.

Just 49 percent of respondents felt they were doing a good job of giving their employees access to state-of-the-art technology. In fact, technology was often a hindrance for many organizations, with 38 percent saying that their systems prevented employees from working quickly, and 39 percent saying that employees needed help to access certain apps or business data.

The report also notes that many employees want to feel like they control the technology—half say they want to be able to choose their own device, and 45 percent say they want to set up and install their own software and devices. But most importantly, access is key: 63 percent of respondents say employees are asking for more self-service access to critical knowledge.

So why is there such a disconnect between the good tech employees desire and the janky tech companies actually offer? According to the report, three factors are at play: a lacking budget, cited by 55 percent of respondents; legacy tech that doesn’t integrate very well (44 percent); and security issues (34 percent).

But these issues can be an opportunity with the right mindset, says David Mayer, Insight’s vice president and general manager of Connected Workforce.

“The workforce is increasingly tech-savvy and accustomed to highly personalized user experiences,” Mayer said in a news release. “Coupled with the fact that legacy systems are keeping modern technology out of the hands of employees, organizations have a real opportunity to tackle an IT strategy that helps them manage their IT better, facilitate transformation, and create an IT environment that improves employees’ ability to do their jobs well.”

Other issues that the report breaks into include the headaches created by technology shortfalls, how improving connectivity within a workforce can drive revenue, and the ways that many employers hope to upgrade their technology in the coming years.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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