Who Should Be Involved in Determining Company Tech Policies?

August 02, 2022 | Blog
company tech policies
Key takeaways:

  • Your team will be more satisfied when your tech policy is transparent and includes their buy-in
  • Field managers, who have direct contact with rank-and-file workers, can help collect worker feedback to begin shaping policy
  • C-suite and vice president-level staff, who have the broadest perspective of a company’s business units, should have the final say on policy
Introducing a new initiative to a company’s workforce is challenging. And when a company policy is perceived as limiting or overreaching – which can be the case when determining guidelines for mobile devices used to get work done – resistance only gets worse.

So how can you boost employee acceptance of technology policies? The goal of any company tech policy should be overwhelming buy-in and adoption throughout its workforce. Here’s what field managers and C-suite decision makers can do to develop employee-informed tech policies.

Field Managers: Direct Contact With Rank-and-File Workers

Within an organization, field managers oversee workflow. They understand the cadence of different functions in the workplace. They typically are attuned to which work-related applications – or even consumer applications, such as Google Maps – are needed to complete a job efficiently.

Field managers often hold important information that will ultimately influence the design and rollout of technology: They closely interact with employees governed by the tech policy and are integral to the collection of employee input. Their direct contact with the majority of the workforce helps them predict the potential adoption of certain tech policies.

Tasking these managers with reacting to a “first draft” of policies helps provide decision makers with insight as to how rank-and-file employees may perceive these policies. Policies that transparently promote workplace efficiency or safety are more likely to resonate.

Field managers will also be crucial in helping enforce new tech policies and will be among the first to hear negative feedback. If C-suite and vice president-level staff implement tech policies that are unmanageable, the workplace satisfaction of your field managers will be affected.

C-Suite and Vice President-Level Staff: The Final Say

In order for a tech policy to gain favor – and be widely understood and adopted – C-suite decision-makers can lean on data and feedback collected from field managers. Supplied with this information, C-suite and vice president-level staff make the ultimate decision on the architecture of tech policies.

Their bird’s eye view makes their input critical. The highest-ranking employees within a company own the broadest perspective of an organization’s business units, efficiency and effectiveness. And they’ll have the organization’s overall health in mind: The C-suite is charged with guiding profitable growth, and any policy decisions must foster that growth.

Operations Executives

If there is a need for a technology or mobile device policy, chances are technology is integral to daily operations. Operational details, including how different parts of the business work together, are typically under the purview of a COO or similar role. A new policy could positively or negatively affect employees’ ability to smoothly perform duties and impact how information and tasks transfer across departments.

Additionally, operations leaders can handle internal affairs, collaborate with/oversee HR, or manage employee communications (especially around change management). They will need to assess the tech policy’s influence on workflows, productivity, output, and even employee morale.

Safety and Risk Executives

Technology helps to modernize and streamline parts of the business, but it comes with risks – from cybersecurity threats, privacy breaches, to mobile device distractions at dangerous times. Well-designed policies help mitigate risk, so safety and risk leaders play an important role in policy development.

Leaders will want to examine if the policy bolsters workplace safety and protects employees (as well as the company). Does the policy support or hinder compliance goals? Simultaneously, involving these leaders gives them the opportunity to plan ahead for scenarios when the policy is misinterpreted or disregarded – and make adjustments to the policy to prevent serious issues down the road.

A new policy could also mean implementing new safety protocols that align with the new policy. In general, employee training as a consequence of a new tech policy is a consideration for operations and safety leaders as well as for HR who often coordinates company-wide training and maintains employee handbooks.

HR and Technology Policies

HR staff can add needed perspective when designing tech policies. Departments that design workflows around technology may have different policy needs than other departments, so HR’s involvement can keep the policy more balanced.

Policies governing tech devices are generally implemented to govern the entirety of a workforce. The HR department is responsible for that workforce and, to a degree, its overall satisfaction. Workforce retention and expansion is imperative to growth, and HR leaders must ensure that no policy is so overreaching that it causes candidates to favor a competing company or damages the employee experience.

Don’t Forget the Frontline Employee Perspective

Employees are subject matter experts in performing the current tasks impacted by the technology and can make suggestions about what is realistic, helpful, cumbersome, or unclear about a policy (or details missing from a policy). They might perceive how to train their teammates and roll out the policy smoothly. Whether deploying a company-wide survey, forming an employee committee, or having 1:1 conversations, employees are sure to highlight unforeseen issues and opportunities.

Communication with frontline employees early on in the process will also aid in the adoption of the policy. Compliance comes from acceptance, and acceptance comes when people feel heard. This sense of ownership that results from consulting with rank-and-file team members may even inspire them to become evangelists for the policy and related technologies.

Tech Policies Should Be Determined Using a Multi-Faceted Approach

While designing tech policies should be left to the top of an organizational chart, their contours should first begin to take shape based on the feedback of field managers and end users. The success of new tech policies will rely upon an organization’s ability to earn as much buy-in as possible.

Top executives must first collect data and information before formulating and ultimately deciding on tech policies. Adoption and understanding of these policies is critical to employee satisfaction and could have a tangible impact on workplace efficiency and a company’s growth.

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