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Should we treat our employees in the same way as our smartphones?

Our mobile phones have become our new best friend - an amalgamation of all our daily needs

If we treated our employees with the same undivided attention that we devote to our smartphones, we might see general productivity increase and motivation to soar.

We all know the morning drill: don’t leave home without the keys, wallet and smartphone, and perhaps a delicious packed lunch to save on buying those awful sandwiches from the canteen at work.

They wake us up with a cheerful chirrup; help connect us to the outside world; help us to keep up with current events on Twitter; enable us to chat and share with friends and family on Facebook; are indispensable in times of emergency, when we are stuck in traffic, bored with Aunt Maisie’s lengthy description of what she had for dinner last night or when we need to order a late-night takeaway from the Thai restaurant around the corner.

Our smartphones have become an almost permanent attachment to our lives and we are at risk of becoming an isolated and anti-social society locked into our own personal worlds, unable and unwilling to make eye contact with our fellow beings. It is a sort of dysfunctional love affair with an unquestioning, submissive partner.

In essence, the joy of our smartphones is that they provide us with information quickly and concisely at the touch of a fingertip. Their productivity is clean, uncluttered and unquestioning, and essential to our existence.

We can’t live without them. They form a part of our daily lives. We devote a large part of our working day to our smartphones, organising our diaries and calendars on their touchscreens and texting if we are running late or arriving early.

Estate agents know that demand for housing stock is greater in areas where the broadband speed is faster. Those who are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs recognise the inevitability of the change of focus on broadband as our most basic need at the bottom of the eponymous triangle. Broadband speed has become as important as the air we breathe.

Think of yourself as a broadband service provider for your employees, providing them with the speed of your efficiency and attention that any broadband service provider would offer to customers to ensure their devotion.

Greet your employees by name and make eye contact with them daily to show that they matter. Remind them of their obligations, but give them a cheerful heads-up when you arrive in the morning. Give of your time – that most precious commodity – and watch productivity soar and motivation increase.

We are all at risk of anti-social behaviour – of being locked into mortal combat with our technology; however, the best way to get the most out of our employees is surely to connect with them and to treat them, to a certain extent, much as we would treat our technology: with total focus, attention to their needs and concerned care.

Perhaps we need to treat our employees in the same way that we treat our smartphones.

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