“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” – Steve Jobs

Technology is a powerful tool that empowers people to do what they want to do and to do it better. “It is all about potential; the right tools provide the right people with multiple opportunities to improve their skills and capabilities, ultimately delivering higher quality work,” explains Regine le Roux, Managing Director at Reputation Matters. “Technology and a stable infrastructure play an important role when it comes to running an organisation and ultimately your reputation,” she adds.

When employers provide employees with the right tools, they empower them to be creative and productive in the workplace; it helps employees learn things that they didn’t think they could learn before. “Operational capability is the ability to align critical processes, resources and technologies according to the overall guiding vision of an organisation, coupled with the ability to deliver these processes effectively and efficiently,” says le Roux.

Having the right tools at your disposal is key. “An organisation’s technology does not need to be the latest and greatest investment. It does, however, need to work and be used properly,” says le Roux. “A chink in one part of your organisational armour, regardless of how small or insignificant you may think it is, could have a major impact on how you are perceived; ultimately affecting your reputation,” she continues.

One can only be so innovative or creative with limited tools at your disposal; investing in the right tools and infrastructure is therefore really important, especially when your reputation relies on it.

When it comes to investing in tools to do your job, consider the following:

  • Keep it simple; you can do amazing things with inexpensive technology ideas.
  • Align your organisation’s technology needs to your overall business strategy.
  • Let your technology choices be kind to the environment.
  • Don’t fall for the latest fads.
  • Consider your technology partners carefully.

You don’t need expensive tools to engage with your stakeholders. “You can do wonders with a single phone line and link to the internet (when they both work). Mind you, these days you can do amazing things armed with a smartphone and the right Apps at your disposal,” explains le Roux.

“In one of our research studies, it was clear that employees’ morale was quite low, and on further investigation, we saw that each branch felt quite isolated because none of the branches knew what the others were up to,” says le Roux. On an individual level, employees said that they felt invisible. “With a very limited budget, we tested two ideas, which once again proves the value of research and importance of technology. Firstly we sent an SMS to someone on their birthday from the MD’s office, and also a text to the rest of the organisation to let them know who was celebrating a birthday. We also introduced an internal mailer where stories across the divisions and branches were shared to keep everyone in the loop,” she adds. Both these initiatives are still being used successfully today and it did not cost an arm and a leg to set up or maintain.

Being innovative and investing in technology leads to better use of valuable time and resources. It is important to stay on trend, keeping up to date with the latest technological tools aimed at making your organisation more efficient. Do not, however, fall for all the latest technology fads; this can be quite an expensive investment financially and a waste of work hours if not managed strategically.

“Technology, as Steve Jobs says, is nothing; it is about arming your troops with the right tools and believing in their skills. Having the right support, infrastructure and technology opens your world to new possibilities and proves that anything and everything is possible if you have the right mental attitude and the right tools,” concludes le Roux.

For more information on managing and investing in your reputation, visitwww.reputationmatters.co.za or call +27 (0)11 317 3861. Reputation Matters is also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yourreputationmatters) and Twitter (@ReputationIsKey).