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Why HR needs to be more tuned in to mobile tech

A company’s digital technology is no longer just the concern of IT staff – it has become an integral part of the employee experience. Jon Moger, Senior Director EMEA Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, explains why it has become essential for HR managers to be engaged with mobile tech.

There is a strong likelihood that you are reading this article via a smartphone, perhaps sitting on a train travelling to or from work, or even sipping a Latte using the coffee shops wifi. There is an equally strong likelihood that the majority of people sitting around you have their faces buried in a smartphone or tablet. We are all well aware of the impact mobile technology has had on the way people interact and consume content but its adoption in the workplace is more of an enigma.

You’d be forgiven for disregarding the impact of technology within your office – that is of course the duty of those guys in IT you sometimes approach with a computer-related issue of sorts. However, our research shows that the way a business manages its mobile technology is becoming paramount to keeping staff productive and satisfied in a role.

A study we conducted with business insights and research specialists Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed a direct correlation between mobile optimised work environments and employee engagement. Companies that were rated as pioneers in mobile technology by employees saw a rise in productivity (16 percent) satisfaction (23 percent) and loyalty (21 percent).

The ability to work in any location and at any time is the top driver of satisfaction (38 percent) and collaborating effectively is the most crucial factor behind loyalty to a company (33 percent). In what feels like a flash, a strategic and flexible digital workplace has moved from being a simple perk for employees to an expectation that has a direct impact on their engagement in their roles, and to understand their needs requires, in part, a solid understanding of the company’s tech.

Here at HPE Aruba we believe in driving the need for a new skillset for the HR Director role, but with it has come a unique opportunity to maximize productivity and morale within your company. A crucial requirement of businesses moving into an increasingly digital focused world is the closer collaboration of HR and IT departments, and I’m certain that this is a trend we’ll start to see more and more over the next 18 months.

This relationship starts from the ground work of IT departments building and implementing digital technologies, with modern employees being increasingly concerned with how this affects their access to servers remotely, ability to work on multiple screens, Wi-Fi from different areas in the office, etc. HR needs to be tuned in to the changes that are being made by IT departments in terms of BYOD and remote working, so they can communicate these developments to the company’s staff and ensure they are satisfied with the alterations, understanding their responsibility to observe security policies.

The collaboration here is twofold however – an IT department’s role is becoming increasingly human focused, and they require the skills of HR to ensure staff are comfortable with the way mobile technology is being managed. The pace of change will require IT departments to leverage platform based models in order to react to the changing demands of GenMobile, without the constraints of proprietary technology, but they will also need to ensure they partner closer with HR to create employee experiences that fuel the productivity promises of a Mobile First world.