SXiQ’s General Manager Digital Transformation, Cameron Smith, puts some perspective around the concept of Digital Employee Experience and the role of IT teams in its creation.

One way of looking at Digital Employee Experience is the further consumerisation of the IT experience which began with client/server architectures – when personal computers replaced green screens and users began to have a customised experience.

The next advance was Web 2.0 – when social media and user-generated content transformed the experience from just another static medium. This delivered savvier, more demanding technology consumers who were no longer content being confined to IT-mandated Standard Operating Environments. IT departments were required to enable BYOD and internal app stores, transferring power into users’ hands.

Another aspect of the Digital Employee Experience is immediate, ubiquitous access via the internet and wireless networks – to any system from any device or location. (At the same time, all access and data must be supremely secure… but there’s little new about that!) There is no patience for lengthy IT processes – so you also need self-service tools that streamline policy-compliant IT delivery without delays.

What exactly is Digital Employee Experience?

Designing an Employee Experience (EX) has some fundamental similarities with creating Customer Experience (CX) – as I highlighted in my article, What Digital Employee Experience has to learn from CX principles.

Simply, Digital Employee Experience is a worker’s digital interactions between their social or cultural, technological and physical environments. What really matters to employees is what they experience moment to moment, as they try to do their jobs productively leveraging technology.

One aspect of the Digital Employee Experience is touchpoints along the career path – from recruitment and onboarding, through advancement within the organisation and eventually their leaving it. The quality of these experiences will affect how employees feel, and either engage or alienate them. Certainly, Digital Employee Experience can affect the organisations ‘brand’ as an employee – making it easier (or harder) to compete for new talent. It’s important that organisations look at the supporting technologies and processes that influence and drive the employee lifecycle end to end.

The other aspect of Digital Employee Experience is how it contributes to productivity and the ability of individuals and teams to achieve their potential. This includes the technology they interact with and how technology supports collaboration, without geographical barriers.

It also covers access to the data they need access to in order to make decisions, as well as insights derived from it, to speed progress and streamline their experience. And, of course, it includes processes, supported by intelligence, to reduce errors, prompt next steps and streamline interaction between different teams and with customers. This all leads to the curation of a Digital Experience that has the employee as the central priority.

All hands on deck

Creating an end-to-end EX, especially, is an organisation-wide endeavour. But it’s worth the effort. Analysis by the Harvard Business Review in 2017 found that companies that invest in EX are four times as profitable.

However, IT teams have a critical role to play in creating a holistic Digital Employee Experience. A 2018 Forbes article discusses some fundamentals:

  • ‘Generation Me’ employees (or millennials) demand the same quality of experience as customers
  • Redesign IT processes to put the employee at the centre – because achieving connected, mobile employees and moving to cloud-based systems should be at the top of your priorities
  • Leverage data to identify patterns of behaviours and create customised EX is also key – but knowing is just the beginning; turn this understanding into actionable data to improve actions and decisions via automation processes

Employee experience is the future of the workplace, so it is important to connect IT initiatives with greater company goals and corporate values for enhancing engagement throughout the employment lifecycle.

To learn more about the thinking and methodology behind creating a customised Digital Employee Experience, watch Cameron’s presentation on enabling employees by unlocking both technical and social systems or contact us.

Cameron Smith

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