Is your workplace technology slowing workforce productivity?
As consumers, we have grown accustomed to personalized, high-touch digital interactions with brands and businesses. While targeted advertisements and personalized products have become expected components of customer experience, workplace interactions have traditionally lagged behind. Recently, digital employee experience has emerged as an increasing priority in order to optimize office productivity and boost engagement across enterprises.
What is digital employee experience: defining DEX
Employee experience is made up of physical, cultural and digital components. Each plays a significant role in informing an employee’s overall experience of a company and how likely they are to engage with their work and be productive. The digital component of employee experience focuses on how a worker interacts with the technology available to them and the ease with which they are able to communicate and access pertinent information.
There has been much noise about utilizing technology in order to improve employee experience. Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that the technology available to employees has a significant impact on their perceptions of their employer. A report by The Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that the most influential role technology can play in elevating the employee experience is providing access to information, data and insights. Additionally, digital innovation enables employees to work more flexibly, which can in turn improve engagement. Understanding this, it is little surprise that digital workplaces are being looked to as a holy grail for enhancing employee experiences. But what are the specific benefits?
Benefits of prioritizing digital employee experience
Digital workplace technologies have evolved from simple communication solutions or knowledge management tools to holistic platforms that can be used to meet a wider range of demands surrounding engagement, productivity and culture. These nuanced tools can be utilized to counteract some noted engagement leeches, such as a lack of quality communication or misunderstandings regarding onboarding. Below we outline some of the key benefits to employee experience that a modern intranet can offer.
#1. Supporting onboarding
If employee experience is the sum of all interactions an employee has with the company, ensuring the best experience at the start of an employee’s journey is an essential nut to crack. Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Digital workplace platforms provide an intuitive home for curating the onboarding experience. Many companies choose to build dedicated onboarding sites within their intranet, which house everything from important policies and the latest company news to information on future training. The result is that employees have access to the materials they need to reach peak productivity and engagement faster.
#2. Engaging mobility and supporting flexible working
Flexible working is on the rise globally. A 2019 report by Dimension Data found that 40% of organizations have employees working from home full-time today and 56% say they will have employees working from home full-time two years from now. It is advances in workplace technology that have facilitated this change in working habits. Employees can now access the office from anywhere at any time, simply by logging into their company portal. Even on-the-go, workers can reach key documents, policies, and information from their mobile phones by using native apps to tap straight into the workplace. As we know, happy employees are more engaged and productive, which is why many companies are seeking to enable employees to work from home at hours that suit them.
#3. Empowering employee voice
Traditionally, enabling employee voice has necessitated a lot of meetings with managers and hopeful optimism that comments will be fed back to senior teams where they can be actioned. Fortunately, centralized digital workplaces have allowed many companies to begin to address challenges surrounding enabling employee voice. In particular, the introduction of social features—which are now commonplace in most intranet platforms—has enabled dialogues to flourish internally. Giving employees an outlet to express their views and opinions in an open forum builds a sense of trust and agency.
#4. Improved customer experience
In addition to the internal benefits associated with prioritizing digital employee experience, research shows that compelling workforces benefit from higher rates of customer satisfaction. A report by the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School found that enterprises that prioritized employee experience boasted a customer satisfaction rate that is 12% greater than organizations with lower office engagement. The same research also highlighted that the revenue growth rate for these highly compelling businesses is 2.3 times greater than the average of enterprises surveyed. More engaged workers are likely to perform better and more efficiently, which in turn leads to increased consumer satisfaction.
Challenges associated with implementing employee experience initiatives
There are several different challenges that stakeholders should anticipate when striving to implement digital employee experience initiatives within their workforce. Some team members may be resistant towards devoting time and resources to digital employee experience as it is still a relatively new and lesser-known concept. Consequently, some organizations may not possess a full understanding of its benefits and as a result, may be reluctant to prioritize it.
Another potential challenge that may arise is uncertainty surrounding how to best build and implement an improved digital experience. Leaders within an organization must have a clear vision for these innovations; without a concrete plan, digital employee experience is likely to be overlooked in favor of more traditional priorities. A third hurdle that some workplaces may encounter is an over-emphasis on customer experience. Some stakeholders may have a one-track focus on consumer satisfaction and disregard employee experience as a result. The trick here is emphasizing the link between employee experience and customer experience.
How to improve your organization’s digital employee experience
Building a successful digital experience for employees is far from a one-size-fits-all process; in fact, the most successful models are those that are tailored to the unique needs and challenges workers face. Consequently, it is best to take a worker-centric approach towards developing and integrating new platforms. This can be done by taking the following steps:
#1. Appoint a team
Organizations should appoint a team to steer digital employee experience and take full ownership of ensuring that workers across all departments feel comfortable with it. This team can also begin to pinpoint unique personas within the organization and design systems and strategies that are tailored to each set of roles and responsibilities
#2. Understand what matters
Enterprises should utilize a variety of tools that will enable stakeholders to gain insight about day to day challenges and potential holes to fill. These tools can include focus groups, net promoter scores, and webpage tracking. By analyzing the needs of the workforce, an enterprise can create a sophisticated technological experience that heightens productivity and boosts engagement.
#3. Prioritize accessibility and implementation
A cutting-edge digital service is useless if workers find the tools unwieldy and difficult to implement. In order to create a digital experience that is truly impactful, stakeholders must be engaged, eager to collaborate, and attuned to the potential hurdles that might arise. It is essential to check in with employees to make sure every team member is on board and up to speed.
#4. Keep a finger on the pulse
The process of integrating digital employee experience in the workplace is ongoing, as platforms and systems will need to be updated as the enterprise evolves and new technological innovations become available. Expanding organizations that are able to provide a consistently engaging digital employee experience can feel confident that they are building the foundation for a highly productive workforce comprised of team members who are satisfied with their worker experience.