Cameron Smith explains how designing Employee Experience (EX) has some fundamental similarities with creating Customer Experience (CX) – and why designing a Digital Employee Experience must take these into account.

In the age of mass marketing that eventuated from the Industrial Revolution, customer satisfaction has been the foundation of commercial success. Since the 1960s, elements of psychological theory have increasingly been brought to bear on crafting what has become known in these digital times as Customer Experience or CX.

In our Intelligent Workplace practice, SXiQ has leveraged extensively from the now fairly well-developed principles of CX to bring digital technology to enhance the Employee Experience or EX – to create what we call the Digital Employee Experience (DEX).

CX insights for DEX

So what can CX teach us when designing and implementing effective DEX? Whether from the personal, customer or employee point of view, there are three key elements in an engaging digital experience.

1. Hyper-Personalisation

People – whether as consumers or workers – want and need their experiences to be as personal as possible. This need drives retail and online purchasing decisions and, in the workplace, optimal productivity and effective teamwork.

When Hyper-Personalisation goes to work, just as with CX, it is the hallmark of any successful EX strategy. Creating a Personalised Hub as a ‘front door’ is the first step in creating an engaging digital workspace.

Delivering targeted experiences also involves segmenting the workforce into clusters that share important characteristics. In this way, digital technologies are enabling companies to cost-effectively drive personalisation at scale in the workplace and beyond.

2. Moments Matter

While with CX, the focus is on ‘Moments of Truth’, with EX it’s about ‘Moments that Matter’. Critical moments occur on a continual basis across physical, human and digital dimensions – and today’s employees want to have more choices in defining their experiences. It’s the little things that hurt the employee experience, from an overly complicated expense process to having to access multiple systems just to get some data or information to perform a task.

Practically speaking, they expect a seamless interface offering intuitive navigation and ease of customising the apps they use every day.

3. The Best Experiences are Human

In the same way brands can drive consumer loyalty through interactions with people, human interactions are at the heart of workforce engagement and productivity.

Because employees use technology in their personal lives to do everything from ordering groceries to finding someone to walk their dog, employers must now offer a similar experience:

  • Intuitive, easy-to-use search on par with Google
  • Attractive user interfaces, like those of today’s smartphones
  • Seamless integration between all the tools workers need to get the job done
  • Continuously updated information at their fingertips
  • Data available anytime and anywhere

Making a Start

Further, strengthening human experiences requires a culture of collaboration. Digital technology and virtual workspaces can be leveraged to enhance an organisation’s collaboration and social connection – because everyone in the organisation must take part.


Technology is not the starting point… We bring together three positive elements to help our customers collaborate in ways they never imagined and ensure their DEX initiative delivers lasting change: Methodology, Technology and Organisational Change.

1. Employee Experience Methodology

The first step is bringing together years of CX methodology applied to EX, as described above. At this stage of an engagement, we tie together the social, technical, internal and external factors unique to every workplace and every team within it – taking an holistic approach.

2. Intelligent Workplace Technology

The next stage involves the design, deployment and integration of intelligent technologies to provide smart, seamless experiences for end-users.

Our approach to technology is to use a modular approach. Whilst we work with the latest suite of Microsoft technologies such as Office 365, LiveTiles, Azure and Dynamics, many of our clients choose to leverage their existing investments by integrating what they already have.



Some companies already have a Microsoft investment – and others have implemented technologies including SAP, ServiceNow, Workday and even Jira. Whatever the technology mix, existing ecosystems can typically be integrated to deliver and enhance a complete DEX.

3. Organisational Change and Adoption

Organisational change strategies are integral from the time an Intelligent Workplace – as designed during the EX methodology phase – is implemented and rolled out. Only through end-to-end adoption can a lasting change be achieved, making organisational change an essential investment to reap the full value of DEX.

The war for talent

The final thing to remember is that EX is not a cost, but an investment in the war for talent. With the increase in millennials entering the workplace, talent acquisition and retention are ever more valuable in this competitive landscape – with employee engagement especially recognised as key to customer satisfaction levels.

Organisations today are competing for a smaller talent pool, while also investing heavily in both the development and productivity of their existing workforce. This means that creating an effective DEX is not an IT battle alone… HR and CX executives and are the IT organisation’s most powerful allies in working towards an awesome employee experience.


To learn more about the thinking and methodology behind creating a customised DEX, watch Cameron’s presentation on enabling employees by unlocking both technical and social systems or visit our website.

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