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Digital Employee Experience: Do You Measure What Matters?

Sponsored by: Ivanti

You’ve heard the adage “measure twice, cut once.” It’s good advice from the sewing world. The idea is to encourage people who want to achieve an excellent outcome to be precise and cautious before they act. If we’re supposed to be that conscientious about measuring a piece of fabric for a sewing project, why would we be cavalier about measuring something as critical as the digital employee experience?

Nevertheless, that’s what countless IT and business leaders around the world are doing by default. They’re implementing employee engagement programs based on what sounds right or feels right. They’re not relying on data-driven intelligence to make decisions about these programs. And they don’t know in advance if these programs will actually produce the outcomes they want.

Here’s the truth: If you don’t carefully measure and re-measure your digital employee experience, people will cut themselves right out of your organization. Even if you’ve been using classic employee experience measurement tools—such as an annual survey—that’s no longer enough. Today’s organizations require more complete insights focused on the digital employee experience.

Why Is This Digital Shift So Vital?

The remote and hybrid work landscape (what we call the “Everywhere Workplace”) has forever transformed work life and organizational culture. Now, a vibrant work experience is no longer about departmental happy hours, unlimited free soda, pizza Fridays, or a ping pong table in the employee lounge.

Instead, it’s about what happens in the flow of work. It’s about communicating and collaborating through tools that are smarter, easier, and more effective. It’s about seamless accessibility, usability, security, connectivity, and the ability to do your job without navigating frustrating obstacles or jumping through endless hoops.

Of course, HR teams still focus on employee experience. But now, IT professionals are just as deeply focused on this, as well. Why? The traditional employee engagement survey—once conducted and managed by your HR department—isn’t designed to capture the nuances and critical insights associated with hybrid work environments. If you want to gain useful intelligence, you’ll want to get IT specialists involved—and the sooner the better.

It’s no longer enough to assume people have what they need to be connected, productive and comfortable as they navigate the Everywhere Workplace. You need to know where the connections are working (or not). That means you need to measure what’s happening. Not just once, but over and over again.

After all, if you don’t know where you stand, it is impossible to move forward. Both HR and IT leaders need real, meaningful, actionable insights into the digital employee experience as a process. It deserves a commitment to continuous improvement. And that means you need to understand where it stands now, and how it is evolving over time.

Criteria For a Digital Employee Experience Survey

What should you include in a digital employee experience survey? To glean useful insights, you’ll need to go far beyond limited indicators like post-ticket surveys. To measure and improve the digital employee experience, you’ll need a holistic picture. For instance, consider the value of knowing answers to questions like these:

  • How are people accessing information?
  • What do they think about that process?
  • How many steps must they move through to accomplish these tasks?
  • How often do they run into trouble?
  • How much time do they spend trying to securely access information, tools, and resources they need to do their jobs well?
  • Do they even have access to the right information, tools, and resources?
  • Are they able to connect and engage with colleagues?
  • How effective are these communication channels, in their view?

Post-ticket surveys don’t capture any of these things. And yet, these factors can make or break a digital employee experience. They can spell the difference between an employee who is highly productive, happy, loyal, and engaged—versus one who is forced to waste time on logistics and is likely to be frustrated. Perhaps even frustrated enough to leave.

How to Measure Digital Employee Experience

If you think this isn’t an issue for most employers, consider this statistic:

30% of IT leaders currently have no process or metrics in place to evaluate the digital employee experience. And among the 70% who do, few have established the kind of robust metrics and evaluation strategy today’s Everywhere Workplace demands.

Clearly, the stakes are high. Many organizations assume that measuring digital employee experience in a holistic way is expensive, overwhelming, and resource-intensive. Sometimes it is. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

What’s the secret? Automation.

By automating digital employee experience measurement, leaders can laser-focus on KPIs that matter most to the organization, without bandwidth and expertise from HR or IT—and without badgering employees for manual reports.

In other words, you can automate the collection and reporting of data about issues that commonly impact productivity, especially issues that traditional reports don’t easily track. For example, automation can help you monitor, quantify and evaluate slow devices, outages in network connectivity, where and when apps crash, and other problems that are difficult to capture accurately in a survey.

Of course, it’s important to gauge employee-generated insights as well. But automated, granular, data-based insights can round out the picture with a comprehensive view of what’s happening with digital workflows and how they impact engagement and productivity. Plus, with automated data collection and reporting, continuing to measure key factors over time is much easier. That’s essential to understanding your organization’s progress and how it maps to employee feedback.

Final Thoughts

“Measure twice, cut once” works well for sewing. But it’s not the answer for a modern enterprise that embraces the Everywhere Workplace. Instead, think about measuring once, and then measuring again and again. That’s how you can gain valuable insight into experience indicators and trends that will help you develop and sustain a happy, loyal, engaged, productive workforce.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE: What’s the current state of digital employee experience in organizations around the world? Find out now >> Download the 2022 Ivanti Digital Employee Experience Report.

Photo: Siggy Nowak

#WorkTrends: The Power of Business Readiness

Meghan M. Biro sat down with Tim Minahan, the Executive Vice President of Business Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix, for a frank discussion about being ready for anything in your business — including COVID-19. Meghan and our team at TalentCulture have been talking about crisis management and business continuity quite a lot — in another time we might even say business readiness is trending. But the gravity of what’s happening today has thrust the challenge into a whole new light. And what Tim pointed out will likely ring true for many of us: “The thing about unplanned events is that too few companies actually plan for them.”

Sustaining a business through an unprecedented crisis — whether a natural disaster or a global pandemic — requires foresight and frank assessments. It also takes more than thinking in terms of crisis management, Tim and Meghan agreed. To truly scale up, scale down, or simply sustain tremendous pressures takes being solidly prepared. As Meghan noted, “That’s when you really know you don’t have cracks in your company’s foundation, when you can turn around just like that.” What followed included some inspiring real-world examples of how businesses can make themselves ready — for anything that happens. And a few thru-lines to note here: employee experience has to stay front and center of the conversation, a flexible, work-from-anywhere environment is going to be key, and perpetual learning is going to be more important than ever.

This post is sponsored by Citrix 

Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. 

Twitter Chat Questions

Q1: Why do many brands struggle with business readiness?  #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can improve our ability to navigate change? #WorkTrends
Q3: What can leaders do to help organizations improve business readiness? #WorkTrends

Find Tim Minahan on Linkedin and Twitter

Rewire Your Workplace for the Digital World of Work

Sometimes we forget how much the internet has changed our lives over the last 20 years. On a personal level, it’s enhanced the way we view the world and communicate with each other. But on a business level, it’s redefined the way we work and the tools we use to get work done.

But even with advances in technology, many companies still struggle with information barriers and a limited understanding of organizational expertise. This can have crippling effects on productivity, employee engagement, and the pace of innovation.

The workplace was born before the internet, so it’s not wired for it. That’s why innovative companies are turning to digital workplace strategies as a way of retro-fitting modern tools and technology into their current infrastructure, and bracing for the next wave of challenges ahead. By doing so, these companies put their existing knowledge and expertise in context, while staying ahead of trends that threaten their competitive advantage.

Mobile – Connect and motivate a workforce that isn’t in one place

Today’s workforce is becoming more and more distributed – work is no longer a place, it’s just what you do. In fact, GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reports that approximately 20-25% of the global workforce teleworks at some frequency, and employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. With the ability to work remotely, with flexible hours, from whichever device they choose, employees can be scattered across geographies and time zones and still get work done.

The Generation Gap Find solutions that create a comfortable common ground

The majority of today’s workforce is comprised of two generations that entered the workforce during two very different times. The way Generation X and Millennials process information and the rules they each align to causes friction, and with a widening gap in digital fluency, there’s an urgent need for companies to find digital solutions that ensure everyone is productive.

Bring Your Own App (BYOA)Cater to employees’ preferences while serving the entire organization

As work and personal lives continue to overlap, people are opting to use their personal productivity applications like Google Docs or Dropbox to communicate and collaborate at work. Why? Because they’re fast and familiar – and most importantly, they don’t require any involvement from IT. But accommodating for every employee’s app of choice can counteract communication and knowledge-sharing practices across an organization, not to mention the security implications involved.

The Talent Wars – Create a digital space that attracts and retains your people

People no longer stay at companies for life. This can pose a challenge for companies that haven’t devoted significant resources to attracting, developing, and retaining talent. Gone are the days of top-down management where executives rule from the top floor. Today’s most innovative companies are adopting a ground-up approach that focuses on building a strong corporate culture that protects their most valuable asset: their people. Just as these companies build world-class websites for their customers, they’ve realized a need to create a virtual space to engage their employees.

A view into everything you do

Many companies juggle productivity apps like Google for Work and Office 365; line-of-business systems like CRM and HRIS; or other file-sharing and messaging apps to adapt to the needs of their employees. At the same time, they’re trying to find or create systems that make it easy for employees to access everything they need wherever they are, via mobile solutions and integrated portals.

But implementing multiple disparate platforms and tools can eventually overwhelm people. Even if they promise to be modern, cloud-based solutions, they still require employees to learn new functionality, processes, and ways of communicating and storing information. This can lead to underutilization, nomadic data, and even abandonment of new solutions, regardless of their initial perceived value.

Modern intranets have emerged as the mission critical tool to band disparate apps together. A tool that was traditionally thought of as an IT-sanctioned document store or link farm now represents an avenue for organizations to create a sophisticated digital destination and corporate identity that connects their entire organization – across borders, boundaries, and organizational structures.

A modern intranet doesn’t promise to replace existing solutions or third party applications inside an organization. Instead, it’s a portal through which people can view and access all the tools and information they need to do their jobs.

Create a people-powered digital workplace

Re-wiring your workplace is just as much about the people as it is the technology. It’s about modernizing a company’s brand, values, and ways of working. Companies that find themselves in the middle of this important digital transformation know that any change to the physical or digital workplace relies on a collaborative effort from their IT, HR, and Communications teams.

Any new technology should provide clarity about who should use it, how they should use it, and to support what objectives. Introducing an abundance of technology options with no focus on how they empower your workforce can be overwhelming and ineffective. As the workplace becomes more fragmented and less routine, it’s critical to look to systems that bring people together with a purpose and propagate a company culture that people are proud to own.

A version of this post was first published on CMS Wire.

 

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#WorkTrends Recap: The New Digital Workplace: Four Key Trends

As technology advances and changes our workplaces, many pundits speculate on the trends that we need to be mindful of.

Companies are developing global footprints and with that employ people based in different countries with varying cultural nuances, the need for better digital tools and accessibility to remain connected continues to rise.

This week on #WorkTrends, host Meghan M. Biro was joined by Igloo Software VP of Product Strategy Stephen Rahal to discuss the four key trends every company needs to know today to better prepare for the future workplace.

Stephen shared about how companies can make the most of technology advancements to create an inclusive workplace even though employees might be spread across the globe.

Here are some other key points that he shared:

  • Technology acts as an enabler for Collaboration
  • Bringing people, apps, data, information, and processes together to drive business results is the key to success
  • Leaders must be willing to get their hands dirty

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here: http://bit.ly/2j30a7W

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). On Jan 25, I will be joined by Kurgo CEO Gordie Spater to discuss the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace.

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

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#WorkTrends Preview: The New Digital Workplace: Four Key Trends

Many pundits in the HR and tech space are speculating on trends we need to be mindful of. Many anticipate the workplace as we know it today will be a great predictor of what’s to come.

As more and more companies develop a global footprint and with that employ people based in different countries with varying cultural nuances, the need for better digital tools and accessibility to remain connected continues to rise.

Join this week’s special guest Igloo Software VP of Product Strategy, Stephen Rahal and host Meghan M. Biro as they discuss the four key trends every company needs to know today to better prepare for the future workplace.

The New Digital Workplace: Four Key Trends

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Join Stephen and me on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Jan 18 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: How can digital create an inclusive workplace for remote workers? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: How can companies be better at attracting desired talent?  #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: How can the Intranet create a collaborative culture? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. I invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and our TalentCulture G+ community. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our awesome community any time. See you there!

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