Many companies have dedicated great resources to improving the customer experience. Now, with more staff working completely online, they should also focus on improving the digital experience for employees.
Investing in the employee digital experience is critical for company leadership and perhaps the most direct way to invest in the health of any business, especially now. More than a quarter of paid work in the United States remains remote or hybrid for the foreseeable future, so it’s imperative that employees log onto and log off company ecosystems feeling satisfied and happy with the digital employee experience (DEX).
But why worry now? For enterprises performing at the highest level, an employee’s online experience can be a litmus test of how well software is operating, an attractor for prospective hires, and, often, the thin line between high retention and increased turnover. The online experience for employees, especially for those whose only company interaction is completely online, is the lens by which they come to know and understand their employer.
Recent research into this topic underscores these points, finding that 63% of business and IT decision makers believe failing to meet the digital experience demands of the younger generations in the office would have repercussions for business. Worryingly, 68% of leaders agree millennials and Gen Z employees would consider leaving the company if their digital experience failed to meet expectations. Employees, especially Gen Z and millennial workers, are expecting their employers to deliver seamless digital experiences without technology bottlenecks, sluggish workflows, and poor collaboration tools. Creating an outstanding digital employee experience is now more important than ever as organizations struggle to attract and retain the most promising talent.
Want success? Use DEX
Digital employee experience (DEX) is how employees feel about and react to the technologies that are a part of their digital workplaces. DEX data is tracked and assessed based on employee interactions with business applications and software, which then allows a company to make better decisions about what tools and workflows they invest in or deprovision. Strong DEX programs will lead to improved enterprise technology overall because their goal is to make sure employees have the best possible technology for collaboration and productivity.
To collect DEX data, business leaders might use employee survey components or a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to ask users about the useability and health of mobile applications, networks, and devices. An NPS, an industry-standard scale for calculating customer satisfaction, can also be used to determine employee satisfaction. An NPS number allows organizations to have an enhanced view of user engagement and productivity straight from the employee. Scoring and input from employees provide leadership with measurable, actionable data on what software is running smoothly or what applications need to be changed to improve DEX.
Putting the “AI” in “DEX”
When employee feedback is captured, the aggregated data is tightly correlated to human reactions, creating a bond between the quantified and the real-life lived experience of a team member. For large enterprises, combing through sheets of this data to provide remediation and corrective strategies is impossible. However, with the help of automation and AI, the relationships between data points and human experiences can be quickly and accurately indexed and linked to automatic, AI-generated alerts and responses. For example, a survey might collect data from a disgruntled department about their ability to access shared files. Then, that information can be programmed to automatically trigger an alert for the IT and procurement teams, who can then assess whether a software change is needed.
In addition to single DEX events, leadership will also be able to map trends and journey analytics across a variety of devices and locations, all by consolidating interactions across an enterprise with automation. This network of experiences allows leadership to trace the successes and challenges of certain departments, units, or teams and immediately provides guidance to improve the overall experience of employees. It also provides a historical legend of past technology successes and challenges, which can then be used for forecasting when IT and procurement are looking to onboard new software or workflows. This is how an improved DEX program can boost overall IT effectiveness for companies, as it allows leadership to take preventative measures to protect and better the experiences of their employees – well before IT incidents happen.
Integration Is Key for DEX
Organizations committed to successful DEX should have a dedicated person to not only manage the platform but also oversee the integration that supports it. Easy integration is a central component of a strong DEX strategy.
It’s reasonable to assume that a company that is exploring the value of DEX might already have applications and processes in place to collect employee feedback. Those might involve subscription software or even manual workflows like employee feedback interviews done by managers. In any case, whether a business is dealing with disparate tools or tedious processes, choosing a DEX platform that is easily deployable and integrates well with existing systems is crucial. By selecting a single tool, too, rather than three or more providers, companies will be better positioned to create an efficient DEX protocol.
Continuous improvement and benefits, with DEX
After deciding upon a DEX strategy, companies are likely to see benefits in several aspects of the business, including the overall employee experience, productivity, and budgets. Perhaps most importantly, leaders will notice that employees are more satisfied with software ecosystems and online experiences. Improved DEX allows the interactions of team members to be the guide on how enterprises make technology changes, building in greater input for employees. DEX strategies and workflows put employee experience front and center, ensuring a smooth and productive digital workplace environment.
Employee happiness isn’t the only positive outcome from DEX. Successful DEX implementations lead to fewer technology issues and disruptions that impede productivity. By ensuring employees have the best tools for collaboration, IT leadership can create a maximally productive ecosystem for project teams, leading to less time needed to launch initiatives and sell. Consequently, DEX also has a direct impact on revenue and time-to-market for product teams. Better insight into qualitative feedback allows for reduced software expenditures through software license reclamation. Leadership will also have more data on objective and subjective success measures by being more plugged into the reactions and experiences of individuals and departments across the organization. These insights demonstrate to investors and stakeholders the agility and real-time successes across an enterprise.
At face value, DEX can help a business become more human-centric, but it has far-reaching implications for those IT leaders who make it part of their technology strategy. By understanding DEX, enterprises of the future will have a complete view of the digital experience for their own teams and the customers they serve.