Michel van den Berg, GM of EMEIA, Jamf
According to PWC, 78% of millennials believe having access to the technology they like at work makes them more effective. The good news is that businesses are realising the benefits that technology can bring beyond the realms of business operations. In a report by Randstad Sourceright, 92% of C-suite and HR leaders believe technology enhances the attraction, engagement, and retention of employees – this is up by 13% in comparison to 2016’s results (79%).
Business leaders, HR and IT teams who continue to work with employees to understand and determine how technology can be used to create positive experiences and support business productivity, are on their way to a brighter future. The key to unlocking this success is by gaining a holistic view of how devices are being used and managed outside of company walls to protect and empower employees to deliver great work while safeguarding the business.
Why employee choice matters
Providing employees with the devices they are familiar with and love can inspire them to create, communicate and collaborate to achieve amazing results. As such, there has been an influx of consumer-friendly devices, such as Apple’s iPhone, Mac and iPad, making their way into the enterprise and now directly influencing employee experience and business productivity. According to Strategy Analytics, there are now more than 235,000 business apps available in Apple’s App Store.
Evidently, employees want and expect the same experience from their technology at work as they do at home and more enterprises like IBM and SAP, have begun to invest in Apple devices to support their employees’ needs. In fact, IBM stated that, as a result, there were 22% more macOS users who exceeded expectations in performance reviews, compared to Windows users.
Technology is a strong enabler when implemented with the employee in mind. Focusing on individual needs and personalising experiences at every level is essential to ensure technology continues to deliver a positive impact for the company. And it begins the minute an employee unboxes their device – it is essential to make them feel engaged and integrated into the company, no matter where they are located.
This is where an Apple Enterprise Management solution, such as Jamf, will support the IT department to keep each employee productive and protected so that they can continue to have a positive experience using their devices. Configuration, software and patch updates, and apps can all be rolled out over-the-air, in a ‘click and done’ approach so that employees can focus on performance. The IT department can also gain full visibility into their fleet of devices to ensure each employee has what they need for their role.
Staying connected with the remote employee
The Pandemic has driven businesses to think differently about employee engagement, but moving to a remote working structure has also created a minefield of new challenges. How can businesses keep employees engaged and secure online when they are outside the company walls? How can new joiners have a positive onboarding experience and build relationships with their teams and employer without meeting them?
With the right technology tools, employees can adapt and continue to feel connected to the company. A study by Hired reported that 64% of respondents are now very open to being remotely onboarded if the right resources and support is provided.
Implementing a company-wide zero-touch device deployment is a great strategy, particularly during a pandemic. When receiving a new Mac, iPad or iPhone, employees can simply unbox and power on, and their devices will automatically connect to the company’s mobile device management (MDM) solution, where it can be supported and protected.
From there, IT teams can ensure all the latest apps are deployed to the device using a third-party Apple Enterprise Management solution. To keep employees safe, the IT department should also look to set restrictions and leverage built-in Apple device security to keep content and apps from being utilised in unmanaged destinations. Additionally, for businesses that are handling confidential customer or financial data, the Apple Enterprise Management solution can also deploy the latest regulations pertinent to the business.
How technology provided light in dark times
Keeping employees engaged during a world crisis is no mean feat. When the Pandemic first struck in March 2020, Jamf was able to move its employees to their home environment with Apple devices quickly, saving time and effort. How? With a remote-first vision at the heart of the company, Jamf had existing protocols and a remote-working strategy in place that made it less challenging.
Without needing to manage cumbersome technology, Jamf could focus on what mattered: employee health and safety. The company implemented several measures designed to protect the welfare of its staff, knowing that they needed time to adjust and feel supported in their new ‘workplace’ without having to worry about how they were going to set up devices to remain productive.
A specific Covid-19 taskforce was formed to provide employees with a stipend to furnish their home offices, as well as pandemic and wellness resources for staff to tap into if they needed additional support. The team also surveyed employees to monitor engagement and sentiment so that they could address any concerns as quickly as possible.
As a result, employees were able to settle into their new work environment with relative ease. Regardless of where the employee was located, security and privacy concerns were addressed by an IT team member, who could support in real-time. Employees were also empowered to be self-sufficient with certain IT tasks such as installing approved apps or setting passwords so that they could work efficiently. As a result, Jamf successfully supported more than 1,600 of its employees to work remotely within a matter of days and they continue to thrive in this new environment.
It’s important to have a continuous open dialogue with all facets of the business and a robust enterprise management solution that can provide vital insights to truly support and protect employees and company data. By placing employee experience at the heart of technology investment strategies, businesses can reap the benefits of an engaged workforce in 2021.