Just over a decade ago, employees primarily cared about one thing. How much they were getting paid. Now, with the global pandemic, globalization of jobs, interconnectedness of the world economy and the evolving employee-employer relationship, it isn’t just about the money for workers.
Companies are finding it tough to attract, hire and retain talent, especially when there is such a high level of competition within certain industries. One thing HR management and teams can do is implement, innovate, and optimize the digital employee experience management.
What is Digital Employee Experience?
Similarly stated in a previous article, the employee experience is defined as every single encounter that an employee has with their employer and workplace. However, the digitalization of work has shifted the landscape of the traditional “workplace” and it is vital to recognize the importance of digital employee experience. Apart from that, the employee experience is rooted well before an employee becomes an employee. It can start from their first perception of the company all the way to the day they retire. Thus, creating a successful employee experience and digital variation, is all about the nuances and understanding the broader picture.
Now diving deeper into the digital portion of the employee experience, this is where IT and HR must work together. The employee experience isn’t solely a responsibility of HR, but rather the conjunction and synergy IT and HR can produce to achieve the best results. This means, there has to be an understanding of good and bad tech, experience gap, the employee lifecycle within the organization, the real use of technology in the workplace and finally, how to combine the digital with the real world.
So, What is Digital Employee Experience Management (dEXM)?
Having gone over what digital employee experience is, management simply refers to the “process of creating and measuring employee experiences and identifying ways to improve the experiences throughout the entire employee journey.” This can be measured in various methods, but primarily is determined through data.
A study done by VMware* found 5 major areas where dEXM is vital and how it is beneficial for organizations and companies alike to even boost profitability.
Starting off with the correlation between the company's position in the market, its growth drivers and employee sentiment. These 3 factors have a strong correlation with employee experience. The better these factors are, the higher the employee experience. It also found that positive workplace experiences make an employee more satisfied and likely to represent the company in a positive manner. This could be done as an affiliation or through recommendations. The study also found that while IT departments believe they are rapidly improving and deploying the right technologies for employees, less than half of HR and employees believe they have the right tools to succeed. This further shows the importance of HR and IT synergy.
The dEXM requires many points of contact and consideration, but can boiled down to the following:
- Prioritizing the employee experience
- Cutting-Edge equipment administration
- Perpetual administration of enterprise suites, both anywhere and anytime
- Enhancing user security through data and UX design
- Autonomous use of services to rapidly scale
This means it is critical for companies to prioritize accessibility at the forefront of HR and IT emerging responsibilities, as to ensure all pieces of technology are available.
Why is Digital Employee Experience Management Important?
As earlier mentioned, companies are finding it harder and harder to attract, hire and retain employees. As the demands and preferences of workers are constantly changing, a pay raise isn’t the only thing keeping employees around. Furthermore, it is vital to maintain a reputable employer brand to attract, hire and retain the people who will help grow your company. Despite this, companies often neglect this experience and don’t include the digital employee experience in their roadmap.
This is where dEXM comes into play. Employees are looking for the best digital employee experience. This could be through the right technology, understanding the experience gap and more, but ultimately, the dEXM enables companies to attract, hire and retain employees. As a result, optimizing the digital employee experience can not only offer financial benefits but also a competitive advantage. Thus, organizations need to proactively induce a positive digital employee experience in order to reap a plethora of benefits.
Many studies have shown that a positive digital employee experience results in optimal productivity. As employees feel they have access to the right resources, they also feel that work becomes simpler, allowing them to be more result-oriented, engaged and ultimately productive. This means companies need to leverage the right technology to deliver enhanced workflow for their employees.
2. Bottom Line
One study done by IBM** found that a positive digital employee experience leads to higher profits for companies. The study found that:
- Organizations that score in the top 25 percent on employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.
- Organizations that score in the top 25 percent on employee experience report double the return on sales compared to organizations in the bottom quartile
3. Employee Engagement
As companies adapt to the digital economy, one aspect of employee behaviour that is often missing is engagement. The company culture doesn’t convert as heavily as it once used to, and that means employee engagement needs to be re-worked and digitised. That’s why dEXM measures and aims to improve employee engagement with how much effort people are likely to put into their work.
4. Employee Retention
Finally, with the ability to work in a global economy, employees have the freedom to leave and enter new job markets consistently, especially during the time of the “Great Resignation”. Therefore, having a great dEXM can help improve employee retention. When employees are happy with their digital work experience, they are more likely to be brand loyal and their perception of the brand will improve, resulting in better employee performance.
How HR and IT can Improve the Digital Employee Experience Management
Earlier, we mentioned that the dEXM isn’t just an HR policy, but a synergy between HR and IT. This means that IT must work with HR to determine different factors like the right technology to use, the experience gap within the workforce, and what employees want from the technology.
What is the Right Technology?
There is an expression that says, “keep throwing the spaghetti at the wall until something sticks.” Well, for technology, this isn’t the way to go. Companies that throw everything and anything in terms of enterprise suite of apps, different software’s, programs and technologies, employees become confused, frustrated, and discouraged. Thus, there is a difference between good technology and bad technology. Good tech will promote healthy activity and will enable optimal productivity, efficiency, and creativity. It will allow for a smoother workflow which would integrate whiting your digital tools. Contrary to this, bad tech is unresponsive, redundant, and results in a negative dEXM.
How an Experience Gap Within the Workforce can Shift the dEXM
Another important factor to consider is the experience gap within your workforce. For HR and IT managers, it is important to understand the employee skills and abilities in order to enable them with the right tools to improve efficiency. To understand this, managers must simply not impose systems that are useful for them but are useful for the entire organization. This essentially means there is a symbiotic relationship where everyone’s needs, wants and abilities are deployed to ensure people can do their job properly. This simple dEXM tool can ripple to the customer experience.
How to include Remote Workers in the dEXM
With the increase of remote working, dEXM is the most important function to retain strong talent. A study done by Gartner*** found that 74% of employers will shift employees to remote work. This new reality means companies need to holistically improve their dEXM, but not only in the way of technology. But also, in the way of management systems, communication and omni-channel systems.
Meeting these demands for a different subset of workers is a challenge, but it is imperative as remote workers are here to stay. Organizations must use modern technology and agile systems to deliver accurate communication, culture, and workplace environment from the home. Addressing these issues will encourage engagement through technology and allow employees to feel comfortable with their virtual surroundings.
Digital employee experience management isn’t optional anymore—rather mandatory for companies to stay competitive. Taking into consideration employee preferences, perception, workplace culture and the HR-IT synergy, companies will have to adapt seamlessly to transition into a new future workplace. One where employees engage digitally, there is higher retention, better productivity, and ultimately increased profits.