Digital Employee Experience: What is it and Why it Matters

by | Apr 26, 2022 | Podcast

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What exactly is a digital employee experience? It’s how your employees engage with or use online software and apps. Examples of digital employee experiences include:

  • HR systems that include self-service access to policies, compensation, PTO, and performance management information, etc.
  • Communication and collaboration such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and easy to use phone systems
  • Productivity and Workflow such as project management, document storage, and collaboration tools
  • Education and training such for professional and personal development

The best teams and companies will have high levels of engagement and use the tools to be more productive. It’s 2022, and I get that most companies now use software like Asana for project management and Zoom for communication. Still, the issue is integration and where creating a digital employee experience comes into play. No one wants to use 15 programs to get their jobs done.

I’ll give you an example of what we did at StoneAge. There was a lot of confusion on what collaboration platform to use for different types of communication. We use Teams, OneDrive and Asana, and several employees didn’t know when to use each. We created a simple flow chart that people refer to, and we’ve experienced a high adoption of the tools since clearing up the confusion.

People use seamless technology in their personal lives –think how Apple has made everything interconnected. Think about how easy it is to pay with your phone. Your employees expect the same seamless interaction at work, too. If it’s too hard for your employees to access information or use the tech tools you provide, they will get frustrated, negatively impacting their overall work experience. But when technology is well-integrated with a company’s culture, there is a five times higher likelihood of employee engagement and a  47% lower chance of attrition, according to O.C. Tanner’s 2021 Global Culture Report. The role of technology can’t be overstated when it comes to creating a connected workforce, especially with employees more dispersed than ever before.

Applications must be personalized, integrated and easy to use. And the good news is that most employees feel good about the future of technology in the workplace. Based on the O.C. Tanner study, 77% of employees believe advanced technology will improve their work experience. They know that it will establish a greater connection with the organization and one another.

How do you go about creating a seamless digital customer experience? According to an article published by the Academy to Innovate HR, they suggest the following steps.

  1. Start with the endgame in mind
  2. Define what you want to achieve
  3. Communicate your vision
  4. Assemble a cross-functional team
  5. Research and choose the technology
  6. Don’t expect to transform everything at once
  7. Provide sufficient training
  8. Measure digital employee experience
  9. Work on improvements

I agree with these steps, and it’s exactly the process we use at StoneAge. While it takes time and is a lot of work, we are making progress. We are utilizing tools more efficiently and getting ready to roll out a digital customer experience platform that will make it even easier for our employees to interact with our customers. The hardest thing to wrap your head around, at least in my opinion, is how much work it takes to roll out a successful digital platform. It always requires more resources than you expect, and if you don’t properly resource the project, and let’s face it, what the company does will take longer and probably cost more. My advice is to set your expectations appropriately. There will be delays and added scope.

Question of the Week

This week’s question comes from an old friend who reached out to me on Facebook and said, “Kerry, I am in a rut at work. What can I do to get out of it?”

Do some self-exploration. Ask yourself these questions:

“Why did I choose this career?”

“What’s my purpose at work?”

“What motivates me? What demotivates me?”

Once you have this list, write out two things you will start doing and two things you are going to stop doing. Do this through the lens of “how do I reenergize myself?”

I also recommend taking a few days off and decompressing. Do something you love and unplug from work.

Another way to reenergize yourself is to go back and read emails and performance reviews where you were given positive feedback, which can motivate you to get back on track.

Create a task list of the three most important things you need to get done and then do them. Sometimes powering through and feeling a sense of accomplishment can help.

Be kind to yourself in the process. We all lose our mojo from time to time. Let yourself go through it; like all things in life, our motivation can ebb and flow, and this too shall pass.

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