By Dennis Jones
Funny enough, it turns out that mobile professionals are a lot like consumers. How so? Well, let me back up a little. A while ago, digital officers at consumer brands caught on to the fact that customers who were mobile, i.e. better connected, tended to be more engaged. And more brand engagement led to greater brand loyalty. And greater brand loyalty led to you checking your iPhone obsessively for the latest J. Crew sale on Madras. Ok, maybe not that dire.
But the same principle holds in business. Just sub out customer engagement for worker engagement. And if you’re asking, “Is worker disengagement really a problem? Yeah, my guys look a little bored, but is that impacting the bottom line?” The short answer is yes, and a lot.
Low employee engagement significantly damages worker productivity. How badly? A few years back, Gallup surveyed businesses to find out just the answer. And they found that each disengaged employee costs an organization $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary. What does that mean on an economy-wide scale? Hundreds of billions of dollars. You read that right; actively disengaged employees cost the American economy somewhere between $450 billion and $550 billion annually, that’s the GDP of many middle income countries.
So now that you understand the scope of the problem, let’s talk about the solution, which is making your company mobile first. In its global study, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found a “measurable link” between a mobile first workplace and an increase in employee engagement. Specifically, the study found that mobile-first “pioneers” saw a 16 percent jump in productivity, as well as increases in creativity (18 percent), satisfaction (23 percent) and loyalty (21 percent), when compared to companies that did little to support mobile technology.
What does a 16 percent boost in employee productivity actually mean for your company in raw numbers? It means an additional 6.4 hours per week in a 40-hour work week. That’s an extra 41 days or eight weeks that every employee can devote to getting more done.
These findings make it pretty clear that going mobile first has to be at the top of every business leader’s priorities list. And that effort entails not just deploying a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, although that’s important; 40 percent of study respondents said they would not work at an organization that forbade personal device use in the workplace. Beyond BYOD, your mobility strategy needs to incorporate a connectivity solution that allows your employees to work and access mobile information wherever they are. Being able to connect anywhere, anytime, preferably via global Wi-Fi, is crucial to developing workplace freedom, fostering creativity, and improving the ability to collaborate.