At some point, your employees will ask for a new piece of technology. It could be to boost their productivity, to solve a dilemma at hand, or to improve customer relations. As much as it has a purpose and you want to be a good boss, you have to evaluate such tech requests first.
Sure, you have the budget, but you have to remember that tech requests aren’t just fringe benefits. It should have a pivotal role in your operation and it should boost your bottom line in some ways.
Even if you provide the technology, it could still lead to unfavorable outcomes. To prevent that from happening, we recommend the following tips:
Don’t give in right away, but don’t reject it either!
Some employers tend to give in to their employees’ requests for the sake of keeping them happy. However, most are quick to dismiss the request as unnecessary.
If your employee sent a tech request, don’t do any of the two above. Remember that your employee will not send the request without a good reason. Also, your employees know their job and they will surely give further details that will enlighten you about the purchase.
Also, if the request isn’t too expensive or far from your line of work, you should consider giving it a go. We said ‘consider’ because you have to think of the succeeding aspects first:
Ask why your employee needs it
After receiving the request, it’s best to talk to the employee. Ask why they need it and where they got the idea. Most likely, you’ll discover that you’re missing out on new trends and your employee is just exerting the effort to uplift the company.
Also, it’s possible that your employee just got hyped after seeing a specific gadget that they want to try on their own. Still, if there are productivity gains, you can move to the next aspect. If not, and it’s just a plain product of excitement, then you should advise your employee that it’s not a cost-efficient choice.
Still, if your employee insists, give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Ask the person to support the request with documentation and proof that it will really benefit the workplace.
Assess the cost and benefits
Once you find some good reasons to entertain the purchase, it’s time to assess its cost and benefits. Be real with the dollars and factor in the price of implementation and maintenance. If it’s a sophisticated piece of technology, you may need to spend more on re-training your IT team.
Sometimes, even if the technology is worth it, some small businesses just can’t afford it right off the bat. You should be honest with your employees about this.
Tech requests are part of running a harmonious workplace. By allowing your employees to send their ideas, you’re also promoting productivity. Still, you should evaluate each request carefully to ensure that the purchase is truly worth it. If so, investing in it won’t just improve your bottom line; it will also make your employees feel valued and heard.