Employees increasingly use digital means to remain in touch with their jobs and employers. Digital employee experiences (DEEs) provide a unique and valuable method for employees to engage with their employers. This could be through checking their email on their phone, streaming business video on their home screen, or utilizing a corporate website. Employee digital experience summarizes how successfully employees use digital technologies at work.
With the increase in remote and hybrid work environment options, the digital employee experience is becoming a more significant and vital aspect of the entire employee experience.
Today, technology and the employee experience go hand in hand. Almost all employees use technology in the course of their work. The digital employee experience lifts the lid on how equipped and empowered employees are to accomplish their duties, wherever they are.
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an undisputable need for digital tools to enable remote work. Companies that had never incorporated a remote or hybrid labor force now realize it's here to stay. As a result, digital employee experience is necessary to help employees feel connected and valued whilst having flexible and remote work options.
According to research by McKinsey, 85% of companies accelerated their workplace digitization due to the pandemic, and the trend is likely to continue.
AIHR indicated an increase in the importance of Digital employee experience in the Post-Covid workplace.
Digital employee experience ranges from Human Resources applications, applications used in the employee's core business, email, instant messaging and the organization's social media and virtual meeting tools.
The digital workplace incorporates all the technologies employees use to get work done in the modern workplace. For an effective digital employee experience, the employer needs to provide employees with the tools to collaborate, communicate and connect.
The employer should implement clear roadmaps to ensure the digital workplace brings measurable business value while reducing risks and observing compliance requirements.
Importance of Digital Employee Experience
Increase employee productivity
Productivity is based on employee satisfaction. Workers connected with access to the resources they need to complete their tasks are more content and productive. According to research, businesses with robust digital social networks are 7% more productive.
Although many elements affect your employees' productivity, giving them the right tools for the job is undoubtedly essential.
Employees who lack access to technology that streamlines and simplifies work will spend time and effort figuring out how to use ineffective systems or devise solutions to carry out daily duties. This frustrates them and reduces their productivity.
By providing simple technologies, you can make your employees' days more productive and get more work done. For instance, the Dutch shipping business Anthony Veder Group replaced a paper-based approach with an online dashboard for controlling its ships. Employees may now view everything they require on a single screen in real-time, saving significant time.
Increased employee engagement
Retaining employees may be costly for a company. A disengaged employee is more likely to leave if presented with a better opportunity. However, if you provide your employees with the resources they need to build relationships, advance their careers, and produce their best work, they will be more likely to feel engaged and stay.
A study by Gallup found that "companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147% in earnings per share" and that an exceptional digital workplace leads to increased employee engagement.
Increases efficiency and profitability
An excellent digital employee experience directly impacts your bottom line. According to SAP, 80% of businesses strongly supporting digital transformation experience an increase in earnings.
Improved customer experience
The founder of hotel conglomerate Marriott International, J.W. Marriott, once remarked, "Take care of associates, and they'll take care of your guests."
According to research, customer and employee experiences are intertwined. Businesses with superior EX outperform their rivals. Employees are more likely to believe in your brand when they feel empowered and respected. The interactions they have with clients will inevitably, both directly and indirectly, reflect their positive outlook. Customers will experience more positive contact and have a positive impression of your business.
Automating time-consuming manual business operations, such as switching from speech recognition software to a legal assistant transcribing phone calls for a lawyer. Reduction in the requirement for travel to in-person meetings through the use of collaborative office productivity tools, digital or online whiteboards, and videoconferencing solutions
Improve overall employee experience
Digital Employee Experience affects overall EX and can promote worker engagement. Access to hands-on digital tools increases employees' likelihood of remaining with the organization. This increases the rate of retention.
Additionally, word-of-mouth endorsements from happy workers about what a terrific place it is to work for your company can help you become known as an employer of choice.
Best tools to support Digital Employee Experience
The company's overall digital employee experience is made up of the following:
- Messaging- Real-time communication like chats, email, and internal feeds.
- Productivity- Calendars and tools to enable work.
- Company resources- Human Resources access portals, training manuals, and organizational charts.
- Communication- Blogs, announcements, new initiatives, and documentation.
Digital platforms and tools are a vital element of an effective digital employee experience
These are applications used by employees to work together to improve outcomes for the employee and the business. The purpose is to support a group of employees to accomplish a common goal. These tools allow employees to collaborate. They help employees work together.
- Project management tools that describe tasks across the group, e.g. Teamwork
- A chat application that allows several employees to brainstorm ideas, e.g. chanty, Google docs
- A video conferencing tool lets employees talk face to face, e.g. Zoom, Skype for business, and Microsoft teams.
- A file sharing program that gives many employees access to company files, e.g. dropbox
These are online platforms for regularly connecting organizations with their employees through mobile devices with features like personalization, two-way communication and interactive components.
Examples are Microsoft Teams, Work Vivo, Slack, Bookkeeper, Google meet, Flock
Elements of Digital Employee Experience
A digital employee experience is not just how employees experience the technology (applications and devices) but also how the IT department works with the employees to address issues and service requests, deploy new technologies, train employees, and collaborate with employees to understand and deliver on requirements. Therefore, employers should make sure the IT department addresses the following:
Performance of devices and programs: Are devices and programs fast and well configured to enable employees to do their work efficiently?
Dependability of devices and programs: Do applications crash? Do computers slow to a crawl to the point where they need to be restarted frequently? Do work-issued mobile devices connect seamlessly to the company VPN?
Mobility: Can people work productively anywhere with the right tools?
Collaboration: Do applications give employees the tools they need to work well with their teammates? Do they increase output? Do they aid in the success of businesses?
How to create a unique digital employee experience
Create personas and outline employee journeys for the digital employee experience
Group employees into new employees, the technology enthusiast and the technology averse.
Different sectors will interact with technology in different ways. To create an excellent digital employee experience, it is critical to understand employee personalities as well as how people learn and utilize technology.
Create a logical, repeatable strategy for change management
Employees will be more likely to adopt technological changes and support efforts for digital transformation if a consistent approach to change management is established.
Create the best platforms for your intended audience
Prioritize your employees' needs over technology. The purpose of digital technologies is to help employees, not the other way around. Effective digital platforms should target the problems that employees have. They pay attention to the user experience rather than just the steps of the job process it facilitates.
To understand the benefits and drawbacks of employees' current everyday experiences, seek input from them before beginning the digital transformation process. Utilize surveys, focus groups, or interviews to get the staff from each department and any pertinent analytics you have at your disposal. Analyze what is and is not effective with the tools they currently have. What would give them the ability to operate more effectively?
The goal of technology is to simplify the lives of workers. Any digital effort will fall short of its goals if it doesn't prioritize having a good effect on the employee experience.
What are the success criteria, and how will they be assessed?
To offer a sound Digital Employee Experience, your firm must make numerous decisions. Having a clear path can help you weigh your alternatives and overcome obstacles as they arise.
Make your goals known
Digital Transformation demands an investment of both financial and human resources as well as interdepartmental collaboration. You will need to gain support at all levels. When there is skepticism and a lack of support within the business, even the most carefully designed Digital employee experience plan may fail. To ensure its success, you also need open communication at the local level.
Building consensus requires being transparent about the advantages of DEX for employees and what it will do for the business. They will comprehend what is happening, why it is changing, and ultimately how the change affects them.
Create a cross-functional team
A comprehensive workforce perspective helps identify areas where digital tools may empower staff. As a result, responsibility for carrying out the DEX improvement strategy efficiently and timely should fall to a cross-functional team of people who bring multiple perspectives to the table.
The team can consist of essential employees who will test the tools and promote the digital experience across the organization.
Instead of creating gaps visible to your staff, a unified team can bring results that increase DEX and align competing priorities. Employees do believe that "IT and HR might work better together to improve the digital employee experience,"
Do some research and select a system
As people get used to new technologies, workflow is impacted. To put it in another way, you must ensure that the tools you're using are effective and worth the time and money you spend using them.
The ideal digital workplace promotes productivity while remaining simple. It's important to protect your employees' data, so ask providers how they handle data privacy and security. Before choosing one option over another, weigh your options carefully and try out demos and test versions.
Equally crucial are features that enable customizing and customization to meet the requirements of various teams. Your products should also work together seamlessly to give users a great experience. You should be involved in organizing the technology research and selection process.
Give adequate training
Your employees should be given the best possible training. Support them during their training by offering technical advice and creating a friendly environment where making errors and seeking aid are acceptable. Without the proper instruction, there's a chance that your staff members won't be able to use the new system and will become demotivated.
Work on improvements
Naturally, DEX is a process that extends much further than the implementation stage. Therefore, don't just concentrate on designing the experience; additionally, manage and enhance your digital workplace. Your data will assist you in identifying potential areas for improvement as well as the pain points.
Since technology will undoubtedly keep developing, you will need to continuously advance and shape your DEX.
Common challenges for Implementing Digital employee experience
The challenges related to addressing an organization's digital employee experience include:
A good Digital Employee Experience involves time, work, and a significant financial commitment. You will need to provide evidence of how the first investment will pay off in the short and long terms to secure the required budget and resources.
You may face a natural resistance to change from other stakeholders. Some people don't want to move from how things have always been done. Some may think digital transformation is unnecessary. You may also need to convince employees initially until they learn how to use the technology effectively enough to make their work easier.
Selecting the right technological tools
You must select suitable technology that will support your employees to be more productive. The tools and systems must also integrate to streamline, not complicate, the employee digital experience.
Several adjustments and alterations will accompany digital transformation. Employees will need to be trained, and workflows and business procedures will need to be altered. This transformation will require cautious planning and compliance.
In conclusion, for an organization to achieve the best digital employee experience, technology should enable and support employees in their work. The Human Resources and the IT department should work together to achieve an employee-centered digital workplace focused on making employees more productive.
This article was written by Logical Zivurawa, a consultant at the Industrial Psychology Consultants, a Business Management and Human Resources Consulting Company. She can be contacted at [email protected]
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