Opinion
Protocol | Workplace

How a company’s mobile tech strategy can help it retain employees

Samsung's GM of Mobile B2B explains the importance of better tech for hybrid work.

John Curtis

"Equipping employees with the right mobile technology sends a signal that you're investing in them and gives you an advantage in the war for talent," says Samsung's GM of mobile B2B.

Photo: Samsung

John Curtis is the vice president and general manager of Samsung Electronics America's Mobile B2B division.

Donut Fridays do not thrill. Free apparel is largely out of style.

For years, talent retention and acquisition have been top priorities for businesses. Soft perks like those aforementioned will be generally welcome — hey, people like free — but in the so-called Great Resignation that saw 3% of all U.S. workers quit their jobs between August and September, it is critical for businesses to better understand their workforce.

Firm benefits like health care and retirement planning are the baseline. Those are a given. Beyond that, what perks move the needle?

One answer is probably in your grasp now, or within close reach.

Samsung conducted a survey of 1,000 IT decision-makers and employees in the financial services to better understand how to maneuver the evolving landscape in hiring and retention in a risk-averse sector. As part of these findings, we saw 69% of finance employees report themselves as likely to switch companies for access to better technology.

More than nine in 10 IT decision-makers (92%) said that updated mobile technology results in a recruitment advantage, and 76% of decision-makers expressed concern that employees will depart their company if not provided with the right technology.

Logic supports these findings, which appear in the Future of mobility: Finance and banking report.

The pandemic gave rise to the most mobile-driven workforce in history. Office spaces are more flexible. Employees are more dependent upon devices to fulfill their work responsibilities, which can be associated with attaining balance in their personal lives.

It stands to reason that these same employees demand to be equipped.

New era, new expectations

The financial services industry is probably not unlike most others. To meet mobile-motivated employees' demands, there is more work to be done.

In the report, half of finance employees said they are unsatisfied with their company's mobile technology, and 78% have seen inferior technology hurt a customer relationship. They are also looking for ways to better connect with colleagues. For example, 72% of finance employees and 85% of those who work remotely said mobile technology is critical to improve productivity and collaboration.

The value is known. It's here. As 2022 nears, this isn't a hypothetical reality.

Here are three ways companies can answer their current and future employees' call for better technology.

  • Making "work from anywhere" a reality. Even before the pandemic, many of us used mobile technology to answer an email at our kid's soccer game or quickly review a spreadsheet during a beach vacation. But the pandemic taught us how to truly work from anywhere. Now, many employees are simply refusing to return to a traditional office arrangement. More than half of people who can do their jobs from home want to continue telecommuting, even after the pandemic. Some leaders, notably in finance and banking, are resisting, saying remote work doesn't offer the same benefits as in-person. But customers have already changed their behavior: 44% of bank customers are using their mobile banking app more now than before the pandemic, and Bank of America saw mobile business deposits more than double during the pandemic. The right mobile technology is critical to enabling employees to connect with customers in new ways, anytime and anywhere.
  • Making new ways of work possible. During the pandemic, telehealth skyrocketed as health care workers quickly embraced mobile technology to care for patients. For example, home health care workers minimized in-person contact by using mobile devices to consult and even take vitals from their car in the patient's driveway, going in the home only for essential tasks like administering medicine or caring for wounds. Innovations like this are making these and other jobs more adaptable to the needs of workers and customers alike.
  • Making work easier and more efficient. Online shopping also surged during the pandemic, and not just for hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Retailers scrambled to deploy technology that would allow employees to better collaborate with each other and respond to customers, all in real time. For example, one major retailer equipped all store employees with mobile devices to improve customer service throughout its operations. Sophisticated device-management tools meant the phones could be securely used for work and personal life, which was an added incentive for employees.

The pandemic disrupted industries already grappling with technological and social change. And now that we are on our way back to a new version of "normal," employees have made clear they aren't going back to the way things were. Equipping employees with the right mobile technology sends a signal that you're investing in them and gives you an advantage in the war for talent. The right tools, the right technology and the right team can help you define the next normal and ensure your business thrives.

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