Attracting and retaining talent is a top priority for most organizations, including those in higher education and research. According to a recent Gartner report, turnover in the U.S. could see a 20% increase this year. Heightened stress and workplace displacement during the pandemic, as well as an increasing number of individuals reaching retirement, serve as contributing factors to the turnover increase. The problem is far more complex than simply hiring a new employee to fill a position. As employees leave, they take with them valuable institutional knowledge, leaving a considerable knowledge gap within the team. Advanced technology is bridging this gap, offering a single source of truth and collaborative workspace to ensure continuity of process and research activities.
Technology can’t buy happiness — but it can significantly improve the employee experience. In fact, studies show employees are drawn to workplaces that invest in technology to support their work. Leading organizations around the world are adopting innovation to attract and retain talented employees.
And it’s no different in the world of research administration. Access to state-of-the-art technology leads to higher employee retention, lower risk, increased productivity, and more efficient workflows.
Modernizing the workforce
“Every company is a tech company.” It’s a popular expression among business leaders, and today, it holds even more meaning. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to modernize their processes quickly and in ways many thought impossible prior to 2020. Virtual meetings, remote work, and cloud-based platforms are now the rule rather than the exception. By July of 2020, when McKinsey surveyed 800 senior executives around the globe, two-thirds said they were stepping up investment in automation.
But the research world hasn’t been as quick to embrace digital transformation. For research administrators, advanced technology makes a huge difference, but much of research administration is stuck using processes and procedures that are in some cases outdated. These traditional processes are siloed and often heavily reliant on manual data entry and verification. Where cutting-edge analytics are available, some research institutions struggle to use them well.
Consider these statistics on research institutions:
- 52% have no clear strategy for using data analytics.
- 61% have no dedicated team to analyze and optimize sponsored activity.
- On average, researchers spend 44% of their time on paperwork instead of active research.
Technology has its benefits
By delaying, limiting, or avoiding technology adoption, research programs are opting out of the advantages innovation brings — and according to Cayuse research, those advantages are significant.
The following examples illustrate the benefits research institutions realize with the Cayuse platform:
- The University of Oklahoma saved 100 hours of proposal preparation time.
- New York University Abu Dhabi improved the efficiency of internal funding by 50%, and review time for research proposals dropped from three months to six weeks.
- Chapman University saw 95% faster compliance disclosures.
- Denver Health eliminated proposal errors entirely.
- La Jolla Institute for Immunology reduced ordering time by 75%.
An integrated digital solution minimizes research program risk, reduces administrative overhead, increases collaboration, and maximizes efficiency. These features contribute to a workplace employees want to experience.
Technology matters to talent
Brad Anderson and Seth Patton, writing in the Harvard Business Review, note that technology and workplace tools are “becoming central in attracting and retaining new talent, fostering workplace culture, creating productivity, and more.” Employees are 230% more engaged when they have access to technology that supports their work — and 85% more likely to remain in their jobs for more than three years.
For administrative teams, automating manual processes is the most significant and immediate difference for the employee experience. Gartner estimates up to 65% of tasks currently performed by managers will potentially be automated by 2025, and responsibilities will shift from mere task management to employee and customer experience management.
With leading digital tools at their fingertips, research administrators are empowered to build more effective and efficient processes for saving time and money, while scaling more quickly. Cayuse provides administrators with a virtual communication and management hub for eliminating inefficient work, including extraneous emails, meetings, paperwork, and manual data entry, freeing up time to focus on more strategic initiatives. Cayuse’s solutions integrate entire research ecosystems and relieve the constant pressure on research administration.