Getting Back To Basics: 10 Signs Your Business Has A ‘Tech Addiction’ – Forbes

Technological advancement forms the backbone of modern society, but some could argue that too much technology has made us less productive. In business, reliance on technology has its benefits in speed, automation and allowing for communication almost anywhere. However, there is such a thing as relying too much on technology, and a business that ends up in this situation can find itself struggling to remain successful.

So how can a business know if it has a “technology addiction” and what should it do to get back to basics? To help, 10 members from Forbes Coaches Council explore variables companies can look at to determine whether they’ve become too dependent on technology, and how to scale tech back to a more manageable level for better productivity.

Forbes Coaches Council members share ways you can tell if your business has become too reliant on technology.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. There Is No Productive Conflict

When you see that your teams do not engage in productive conflict, it is a signal that too many things are left unsaid or many issues may stay unresolved. This could negatively affect people’s commitment to the decisions made. It is time to drop communication via technology and get the key players in a room to help them air their disagreements and commit to the decisions made. – Caterina Kostoula, The Leaderpath

2. The Personal Touch Is Lost

It’s so easy to rely on technology as a proxy for live, human connection. But, when we find ourselves overly dependent on virtual communications, we lose the natural element of personal connection. We literally lose touch with one another. Like many devices, sometimes we simply need to unplug and reconnect. We usually find that things begin to work better. – Mark Nation, Nation Leadership

3. Customers And Employees Feel Frustrated

If the automated parts of the business are becoming sources of frustration for your customers and employees, you may need to dial it back a bit. Ensure that the customer has opportunities at every stage of the automated process to connect with a human being. After all, isn’t that what all the buzz is about, creating a more efficient and gratifying experience for employees and customers alike? – Debbie Ince, Executive Talent Finders, Inc

4. The Feedback Loop Is Dehumanized

Organizations must ensure they do not abdicate their social responsibility and humanity by deferring totally to algorithms. Over-reliance occurs when customer concerns are evaluated solely on aggregated data. Organizations would be best served by humanizing their feedback loop, emphasizing customer and employee experience so that insights and observations remain directional, hopeful and honest. – Dr. Flo Falayi, Hybrid Leaders, Inc

5. You’ve Lost The Attention

Virtual meetings or online messaging can encourage employees and customers to multitask and put your company on the back burner. Ensure you have full attention by asking personalized questions, demonstrating your true interest in their welfare. Get input from everyone during meetings, instead of having one person speak. Adjust AI-backed communication to add a “Talk to Us Now” feature. – Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume

6. Apathy Is The New Culture

When technology replaces relationships, apathy becomes the new culture. While virtual meetings, autoresponders and messaging technology all have a place in making teams more efficient, they cannot be a substitute for real interactions. For leaders to effectively lead a team, they must know their people personally and professionally. For teams to function well, they must understand each other. – Erica McCurdy, McCurdy Solutions Group

7. The Human Voice Is Tuned Out

One thing I learned as a producer for London Records is that getting the best possible performance takes precedence over the technology available in the studio. It’s easy to get enamored by all the recording bells and whistles and start to tune out the most important component: the human voice. The same goes for business: technology’s role is a servant to the desired objective, not the master. – Garrison Leykam, Garrison Leykam LLC dba DESIGN YOU

8. Your Leaders Stopped Traveling

In today’s digital age, some companies choose to significantly optimize travel expenses. Cutting down the expenses might work fine, but if your leaders stop traveling entirely and, therefore, stop meeting your staff as well as external clients in person, this could hinder the business in the long run. Occasional in-person meetings are crucial for maintaining both employee and customer satisfaction. – Marina Cvetkovic, The Peak Alliance

9. The Emotional Connection Is Lost

Leadership is about relationships and connection. A good indicator of an over-reliance on technology is when the emotional connection is lost between a business leader and their team. A leader must pay attention to the emotional needs of their team and spend time developing, cultivating and growing those connections. – Dennis Volpe, LRI

10. Your Inbox Has Thousands Of Emails

Is your inbox in the thousands? How many emails could have been handled via a short call? How many subscriptions do you have that are cluttering your inbox? Chances are, you are not leveraging the technology to work for you; instead, you’re letting it control you. Assess what the biggest inbox “clogs” are and remove them. Implement communication standards and watch efficiency improve. – Maresa Friedman, Executive Cat Herder


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