Leveraging Technology To Enhance Your Connection with Staff

Leveraging Technology To Enhance Your Connection with Staff

In The World is Flat, written by economist and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman more than a decade ago, he describes how the world has become flat now that instantaneous communication around the globe is possible. I think we would all agree.

Meetings were once held in board rooms with blackboards and coffee and Danish. And while we still have meetings in actual rooms with people around us, most meetings are now virtual. Videoconferencing is efficient and inexpensive, which makes it possible for us to hear and see colleagues anywhere in the world. We share documents in the cloud, basecamp, dropbox and more. We communicate across the globe with ease.

There’s no end to the changes we’ll see either since technology continues to rapidly evolve. While technology has fundamentally changed how we communicate, technology sometimes moves faster than our ability to adapt. Business consultant Mila Jones in her March 2019 blog readwrite discussed how enhanced technology has changed the nature of business and warns that “What AI already knows isn’t something that universities can predict, as such they can’t make sure that its graduates have all the skills and knowledge necessary. Instead, you’ll need to create your own training programs.” This is good advice.

At The Fedcap Group we work hard to ensure that staff are increasingly skilled in “all things tech”. Technology is foundational to our regular “what’s next” planning sessions. Technology is the backbone of our management of our financial, physical plant and human resources. Yet as we adapt and integrate the latest technology, we work hard to remember that we are not robots, and that no matter how sophisticated the technology, we are still all part of the human family. Because we are an international company, we use Zoom, Skype, Teams and other platforms to stay connected and at the same time, we hold what we call “Corporate Weeks” twice annually where leaders from across our growing footprint come together to share ideas and connect at a personal level.
Both strategies are important.

German blogger Monique Zander offers some tips for optimizing business communication in her blog 99designs. Among others, she suggests finding a way to use technology to our real advantage; use secure cloud storage solutions to make it easy to share data and documents with colleagues all over the world, pay attention to all the modern communication solutions that are arriving on the market now (including tailored apps for employee training), new and improved project management software, smart document management solutions, increasingly sophisticated chat rooms that encourage innovation and idea sharing, interactive dashboards that allow staff to engage in performance data…and so many more.

Technology, like so many things in life, provides significant opportunities and risks. Our jobs as leaders is to stay connected to our people—technology offers remarkable vehicles for doing just that.

Technology as a Catalyst for Employee Engagement

Technology as a Catalyst for Employee Engagement

“Networks are the new companies.” –Harold Jarche


Employee engagement is the measure of an employee’s connection to the mission of their organization and commitment to bringing their best every day. Strong engagement means employees feel they have a say in the business of the organization and they feel they are a part of something larger than themselves. Engaged employees are essential to the growth and success of an organization. They will drive innovation, they will be motivated to stretch beyond their limits, and they will act as owners of the business, deeply invested in its impact and success.

Sadly, research reflects that only 30% of employees feel actively engaged with their organization. Fifty percent are passively engaged, and 20% reported that they are “actively disengaged.” A business cannot thrive, and certainly cannot make an impact if these are its employee statistics.

For an employee to feel engaged, they must enjoy ongoing interaction and collaboration with their colleagues. They must be consistently motivated—and challenged—by their colleagues and their leaders. They must feel safe and comfortable in their work environment. They must receive recognition in a way that truly makes them feel as if they are making a difference, and they must feel they can express themselves authentically and make mistakes without fear of reprisal.

The Fedcap Group is comprised of 17 different companies—each with its own mission, and each with its own unique history and culture. Our geographic footprint stretches—for now—across the United States and the United Kingdom. And yet, we all are united in a common mission to improve the long-term self-sufficiency and social well-being of the impoverished and disadvantaged. Underscoring our united mission is a structure so sturdy that no matter where our employees are geographically or where they sit within the company, mechanisms are in place to shrink time and distance so that there is intentional collaboration and interaction—cornerstones of employee engagement.

Technology is obviously an integral part of most businesses. At The Fedcap Group, we are intentional about using it specifically to enhance employee engagement. The choices we make to grow our technology are always made with the caveat that whatever we choose will support collaboration, interaction, innovation, and drive. Salesforce™ tells the story of our relationships with contractors and stakeholders. Oracle unites our employees with a common language around financials, procurement, and human capital management. Our intranet is a consistent point of outreach to engage employees in questions and opportunities for recognition and topics relevant to our mission.

As we have become more and more intentional about using technology as a tool for employee engagement, there has been a marked increase in employee retention, learning, and professional growth. The result is more innovation, more drive, and more solutions to tough problems. Communication, collaboration, integration, and common language all culminate in an environment where we are better united in our mission and active support—not only of those we serve, but also each other, resulting in strong engagement across the organization.