Business is moving into the digital age at breakneck speed. It seems that everywhere you look, companies are doing all they can to introduce innovative tech solutions to attract and retain customers.
Over recent years, companies are starting to wake up to the fact that going digital isn’t only about improving the customer experience. Technology also presents organizations with the opportunity to digitize and automate many of the tasks and workflows that encompass their job description.
It’s All About Employee Engagement
As a result, companies find that they start to see higher levels of employee engagement and productivity, increasing company revenues. Every company wants engaged employees that are willing to go the extra mile for the company.
By implementing a digital transformation of the workplace, you give your employees the tools they need to work fast and achieve business objectives.
Many companies fail to see the connection between the digital workplace and the employee experience. That’s okay; we put together this article to show you the inter-connected links between the two concepts, and how they fit together to make your organization ready to face the digital age.
What is Employee Experience?
Many organizations place very little value on the employee experience. Companies spend big when it comes to creating a fantastic customer experience, but then fail to do the same for the employee experience as well.
However, research shows that those companies offering a better employee experience, retain top talent, attract new workers, and have higher revenues. Therefore, there must be something to the employee experience that’s worthy of note to employers.
The employee experience defines everything that your employees do on the job. It’s a summation of every interaction they take with the company and the outcome of those interactions. HR typically leads the way in managing, monitoring, and measuring the employee experience, but EX reaches across all departments, and at all levels, in the organization.
The employee experience is no longer a buzzword that HR managers use around the water cooler. It’s a distinct business strategy that vital to the success of any company. The primary driver of creating an employee experience that works is the introduction of intelligent, integrated, and innovative tech solutions designed to change the way employees do work.
When you have a tech solution that delivers results your employees can use, it optimizes the workplace, leading to higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.
What Is the Digital Workplace?
The digital workplace is another buzzword you’ll see flying around HR blogs and forums online. With technology advancing more each day, there are always new tech solutions on offer to revolutionize the way people communicate, collaborate, and manage workflows.
The digital workplace defines a workspace that utilizes tech solutions such as CRM to manage client files, digital workflows to find and fill out forms, e-signature programs that allow for easy authorization of documents, and much more.
Organizations need to introduce tech solutions into the workplace that make work easier for employees, improving efficiencies in the workplace. With digital solutions in the workplace, employees no longer waste time trying to sift through client files to find information.
Communicating with team members gets easy through the use of innovative tech solutions designed to enhance collaboration and communication between teams.
Today, there’s no need for everyone to be present in the boardroom or salesroom for a meeting. Tech, like Skype and project management tools like Basecamp, makes communicating and collaboration possible from any location where employees have an internet connection.
Now, all they need to do is open a laptop or mobile device, and they have the information they need right at their fingertips.
The digital workplace is how the business environment is moving. Those companies that embrace the change, and manage the process of digital transformation, will be the organizations that thrive in the coming decade.
How Does the Digital Workplace Affect Employee Experience?
The digital workplace is one of the most critical factors in the employee experience. The workplace is where the rubber meets the road for your organization, and you need to provide your team with everything they need to do their job effectively.
When employees feel out of their depth, or like they don’t have the support they need from management and the C-suite, they are more likely to start looking for other employment opportunities, typically with your competition.
This situation is the nightmare that all companies are trying to avoid. Training staff, putting time and effort into their development, only to have them walk away with all of the company’s investment, leaving you for the competition.
Therefore, the digital workplace means a great deal to your employees, and it’s one of the primary factors shaping the employee experience. Your employees want a workspace that’s user-friendly, efficient, and readily available.
When employees have the right tools to do the job, it increases employee engagement. Engagement defines how your employees feel about their work and your employer brand. Highly engaged employees are willing to do more for the company because they believe that they have purpose and meaning in their work.
The Next Generation Workforce
Millennials already comprise a significant portion of the modern workforce, and the employment numbers for Gen Zs continues to rise steadily. These generations of workers are entirely different from any that have come before them.
Millennials and Gen Zs are the first generations to grow up with technology in their hands as kids. As a result, these generations are now entirely mobile and technology-driven. Today’s millennials and Gen Zs get a consumer-facing digital experience through apps on their mobile devices.
As a result, these generational employees are now demanding the same type of user experience in business-facing applications. The digital workplace needs to provide a means for millennials and Gen Zs to do work efficiently and remotely.
In a survey, both millennials and Gen Zs state that they would instead work for a company offering a better employee experience, than one offering a better paycheck.
It seems that today’s employees have a focus on their career, and maintaining a positive work/life balance, more than they want to stack money in their bank accounts. Companies need to take this into mind when creating a digital workplace.
All too often, companies make their new digital systems overly complicated, resulting in confusion and frustration for employees. However, by maintaining feedback loops with employees when rolling out the digital workplace, managers can adapt the tech to suit the user, resulting in a clean and capable digital system that enhances productivity and employee engagement.
Employees Want a Consumer-Style EX
Millennial and Gen Z workers demand a digital workplace solution that’s as easy to use as opening their ride-hailing or food delivery app. By introducing a consumer-style app to your teams, you give them a digital workplace solution that they want to use.
By introducing user-friendly systems in your digital workplace, you get increased employee interaction with the policies, enhancing employee productivity and engagement. However, building out these systems is often challenging for IT teams.
IT has no connection with other departments, like marketing and sales. Therefore, they have no idea of what solutions will make a difference in the employee experience.
Therefore, management must create effective and efficient feedback loops between the relevant departments rolling out the tech solution, and IT.
Creating feedback loops allows IT to deal with real feedback coming from the employee levels. As a result, IT can tweak systems to leave out functionality that employees don’t use, and introduce features that employees want on the job.
Feedback is paramount to developing the digital workplace and enhancing the employee experience with digital solutions that make a difference in their day-to-day operations.
Why Create a Positive Employee Experience?
We could go on about how creating a digital workplace solution that improves the employee experience should be the primary driver for businesses to undergo a digital transformation. However, the reality is that all companies want to increase profits, and that’s the primary concern when dishing out the investment necessary to roll out a digital transformation.
When companies start to realize that increasing employee engagement is the key to getting more out of its people, then we can expect a mass migration into the digital workplace. Undertaking a digital transformation is challenging for companies, but when it works, those companies see dramatic increases in company revenues.
It makes sense that increasing employee engagement leads to higher levels of productivity. In turn, higher productivity levels lead to increased revenues and happy shareholders.
How Can Organizations Manage a Successful Digital Transformation?
Starting a digital transformation is a challenging process for any organization. However, the connection between the digital workplace and the employee experience is evident. Those companies that introduce intelligent, innovative and integrated tech solutions into their business will thrive in the next decade.
Many companies realize that IT and HR don’t have the necessary skills needed to manage a digital transition effectively. Therefore, the rise of the Chief Employee Experience Officer is starting to gain traction. Companies can leverage CEEOs to lead the digital transformation, providing a conduit between employees, managers, and the C-suite.