NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Maria Gerlinger
Technology has permeated our lives and revolutionized the way we do business. Love it or hate it, we cannot hide from it or do business without it. The endless development of technology (hardware and software), however, can contribute to workplace anxiety and stress, affecting company performance and organizational stability.
It is easy to get anxious and stressed. It seems that every year, if not more often, there’s a new hardware, a new operating system, a new update, a new platform… Any technology stagnant for longer than six months is considered outdated. We are chasing time as if we could live more. Rather, we simply need to do more within the same timeframe.
And with that, companies are constantly raising the quotas for higher performance, faster production, quicker results… They demand employees to “invest in themselves” and seek technology training on their own time and dime in order to be able to fulfill job related tasks.
Yes, some employees are motivated to do so with the full understanding that once they achieved higher education and skills, they can seek better opportunities. But I don’t think that is what employers want. In fact, the very friction that this attitude creates is another source of anxiety and stress in the workplace.
So, what can leadership do to combat technology related anxiety and stress in the workplace?
Prevent it by improving the hiring process. Starting with the job post, it must directly state the required technology-related skills, especially if the company uses trade-specific software. Testing technical skills is also a great practice. It not only helps to evaluate technical competence, but it also helps assess candidates’ comfort with technology, change and ability to problem-solve.
Provide technical training. Having the skills to do the job effectively and efficiently not only benefits employers but also employees. Not knowing how to accomplish a task with a deadline can be stressful, especially if it involves technology. Having someone in the office to provide training would be ideal, but providing third party resources could also be sufficient. There are a multitude of online platforms offering high-quality technology training at no-cost or minimal cost. Allocating time and providing access to training materials during work hours can be perceived mindful and appreciative by employees.
Evaluate employee’s technology skill. Applying new technology might be necessary, but if the learning and coping skills of employees are not assessed prior, productivity will suffer. Understanding your employees is essential to develop training strategy and minimize technology related workplace anxiety and stress. Nothing creates more damage to an organization than a disgruntled employee who resents change.
Technology innovation is not stopping, just beginning. Building a team that welcomes change is the key to success.
Maria Gerlinger is Account Executive at CoStar Group, Inc. and NCET’s VP of Event Management of Special Events. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.