Enterprise Applications and Their Impact on Employee Retention

Although it may not receive as much attention as product innovation or quality customer service, employee retention is just as critical to an organization’s success as any other facet of business. In this article we will discuss how enterprise applications can help lead to organizational retention.

When Employees Leave

Retention is important largely because attrition can lead to a company-wide domino effect:

  • When the employee departs, he or she often leaves with a unique skill set that may be specific to the company and therefore extremely difficult to replace
  • Decision makers are forced to spend time and money in the recruiting process: vetting candidates, conducting interviews and evaluating various assessment
  • During the interview stage, the functions the recently departed employee had been performing either halt or are taken over by another employee who may not have the requisite expertise and has a host of other tasks on his or her plate
  • When a new employee is finally hired, it generally takes months before the hire can produce at a level anywhere close to the person he or she replaced

Looking at the ways in which turnover impacts a business, it is hardly surprising that on average, it costs at least twice as much as an employee’s salary to onboard and train a replacement, according the Wall Street Journal.

Considering Millennials now comprise a majority of the American labor force—a generation characterized by a desire to switch jobs routinely, according to data from the Pew Research Center and U.S. Census Bureau—finding ways to retain these younger workers will be paramount moving forward.

Pushing Millenials Out the Door

Research has repeatedly shown that many Millennials place a greater emphasis on their employers’ technical savvy. After all, this is a generation of workers that grew up in the Internet age, with mobile phones in their pockets and tablets on their laps.

This crop of workers has little patience for systems that don’t work properly or an inability to communicate and collaborate with clients and co-workers.

One of the most effective tools to ensure these challenges don’t arise in the workplace is through the use of enterprise applications.

Enterprise Applications to the Rescue

Enterprise applications, when properly developed and leveraged, help organizations improve processes and streamline operations in a number of ways.

For instance, the application can be used as central location for various departments to share information. If the marketing, sales, finance and customer service divisions of an organization can easily share consumer information using one application, instead of three or four disparate systems, organizational complexity will be reduced significantly.

An enterprise application can offer numerous other advantages as well, including:

  • Cost reduction: On top of removing unnecessary complexity, robust enterprise applications enable employees to share information and collaborate in one location, which lowers costs by eliminating the need for numerous systems.
  • It builds culture: One the most difficult challenges contemporary businesses face is how to foster a sense of community across various divisions within their organizations. An enterprise application can help build a culture of togetherness by making it easier for employees to collaborate on important projects.
  • Improvement to the user experience: One of the benefits of reducing complexity, with regards to information sharing and collaboration, is that it makes life more convenient for employees. This is a significant advantage for companies focused on retaining their top talent over the long term.
  • Boosts productivity: An enterprise application also allows staffers to work more efficiently, as they no longer need to spend copious amounts of time searching for and sharing information. Increased productivity is obviously beneficial to the business, but it also helps boost morale for employees.

Getting the Most Out of Your Enterprise Application

Like any other technology-based tool, enterprise applications can do more harm than good if it is not developed and implemented properly. For instance, if the application is difficult for some employees to use, they may become frustrated and abandon it. What’s more, if some workers are using the tool and others are not, communication can break down completely.

Such an application should also be developed with a company’s specific needs in mind. A tool that boasts numerous features that the company’s workers do not want or need actually adds complexity to daily operations instead of reducing it.

So before a company jumps into the development phase it must conduct user research to see what the employees actually want and need to ensure seamless adoption.

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