Losing to the Great Resignation? Be a Workplace IT Destination

Much has been written about the Great Resignation, which some attribute to the COVID-19 pandemic, and others do not. But there’s one element that everyone agrees on, and it centers around two words for workers: choice and flexibility. Choice in where people work from, and flexibility in how they work. How can organizations accommodate these new requirements? It’s all in their technology stack.

Essentially, the pandemic accelerated a phenomenon that was already gaining momentum—the rise of consumer-grade work experiences. Employees expect seamless, connected experiences across devices and apps, from the moment they start their day—whether at home, in a cafe, or at the office. And, to be clear, these options are no longer considered a perk: according to the Adobe Workfront report, 49% of U.S.workers said they would leave a company if they felt frustrated by their workplace tech. Suddenly, for growing a successful business, the worker experience is almost on par with customer satisfaction. 

Concurrently, we’re seeing a rise in security attacks. Last year’s Verizon Data Breach Report found that 89% of all web app attacks are caused due to credential abuse. This indicates that the traditional network perimeter, with its passwords and firewall-based security, is no longer truly viable. 

Sound daunting? Read on for a step-by-step roadmap to retaining happy workers, while keeping your company secure. 

1. Move to the cloud

According to Gartner, by the year 2025, 85% of organizations will be cloud-first. As legacy systems age, there’s a cost of maintenance and ownership that, over time, grows exponentially. This is one of the many reasons we’re seeing organizations, even enterprises, shifting their IT infrastructures to the cloud. Even a hybrid model allows workforce operations to be more dynamic, easier to use, and less costly to maintain. 

From a security lens, modern, cloud-based architectures have no singular network perimeter to protect. Networks are both local and in the cloud, and people can access apps and services from anywhere, from any device.

What does this mean for employee retention? A nimble, dynamic IT infrastructure translates to quicker, easier workforce app deployments and a tranquil IT team (more on them soon)—which trickles down to enabled knowledge workers. If you add the competitive job market to this scenario, hanging on to legacy structures may cost you in dissatisfied end-users.

2. Enhance employee retention with productivity, mobility, and appreciation

According to this year’s Okta Business at Work report, “...as we begin 2022, the U.S. job market is on the upswing, with the unemployment rate falling to a pandemic low. With the focus turned to employees, employers are overhauling employee experiences as some return to offices and others choose to stay remote.” Once again, choice

Companies are heavily investing in platforms to support their employees, deploying collaborative, fun tools like Slack to entice remote workers. The report also found that, for the first time, five different collaboration tools (Notion, Figma, Miro, Airtable, and monday.com) made the “fasting-growing apps list in 2022". These kinds of apps play a key role in improving employee engagement and uniting geographically scattered teams. Good technology experiences make it easier for employees to collaborate, contribute, and innovate. 

Another moving target that keeps workers happy? It’s the self-service cloud apps you don’t know about—but that make your employees more productive. An if you can’t beat them, join them attitude, with responsible security contingencies, can win the hearts and minds of your workers. 

Essentially, as consumer expectations bleed into our workplace, employees will continue to demand the ease and access they feel they need—even if they have to slip past IT to get it. Don’t waste time with a restrictive mindset. Better to assume that self-service is happening and make it work for you. 

What are the work-life experiences that lock in happy, satisfied employee end-users? 

3. Simplify and automate your IT operations

Now let's focus on the employee experience of those at the forefront of tech ops—your IT teams. Keeping these employees may be the most critical of all, as they distribute and enable these workforce tools. The more automation and the less friction these employees experience in their jobs (and administer to their end-users), the more likely these highly-technical, hard-to-find workers will stay put. Offloading repetitive tasks for this cohort allows them to focus on innovation and growth in their roles. 

So, how can you free your IT workers?

4. Fortify your security posture

Pulse and Okta recently partnered to survey 500 IT, security, and HR professionals, asking a central question: how does an organization's security posture impact their jobs? We found that 66% of respondents say “secure and trusted” is the most important attribute when using technology for work.

We also found that BYOD is king, with nearly half of respondents (49%) saying they use their own apps for work more than 40% of the time. Yet, only 27% of respondents say they are fairly well or very well informed about the security risks to their company and the steps they should take to mitigate them. This indicates that, while employees may care about security, their BYOD use is still dictated by their own conveniences. 

Here are ways to lower exposure for large and small-scale organizations:

Roadmaps aren’t always straight lines and trying to define “happiness in the workplace” can lead to a hundred paths. But Okta solutions can bring all of these tenets together. A vendor-neutral identity platform, Okta allows you to respond to ever-changing market pressures while securing your people, partners, and technology—and providing your employees with the seamless experiences they crave. 

Intrigued by the possibilities? Check out our An Identity-First Strategy for IT Modernization datasheet.