5 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Employee Experience in 2022
As we kick off 2022, the employee experience as we know it needs to grow and develop to adapt to the continued world of hybrid working and employee expectations. To remain competitive and retain and attract talent during the ongoing Great Resignation, you need to adopt a digital employee experience (DEX) to create a digital and in-person collaborative approach.
But what does this mean? First, to be successful, you need to understand your current digital employee experience, review your digital HR tools, identify the gaps and close them.
And if you’re not convinced, we have five reasons why you need to adapt your approach to the employee experience to embrace digital now for the future of work.
What is the employee experience?
If you consider the customer experience, where your customers are unlikely to stay with your company if they’re not satisfied, it’s not dissimilar for employees. If they don’t like working at your company, they might go elsewhere.
So, tracking the employee lifecycle (this may include culture, performance management, and technology etc.), makes it easier to see which employees are engaged and why. This is vital to attract and retain employees, reduce turnover and improve productivity and the customer experience.
How is the workplace changing?
Workplace trends and priorities have changed in recent years, affecting the employee experience and what employees want and need from their employers. For example, it’s predicted that 70% of European and US companies will move to a hybrid work model after the pandemic. Those who adopt this working model may improve the employee experience and retention and gain business benefits.
Therefore, you must strategize how to adapt the employee experience to fit this work pattern change, and this is where technology will really play a part. This is because what you did in the past to motivate and engage employees in the workplace (i.e. motivation through your impressive office, facilities, work events or dress down Fridays) will become less relevant in a hybrid world.
What is the digital employee experience?
The digital employee experience involves the technology you use and introduce to your employees, its quality and how it impacts their engagement. For example, before the pandemic, many employees may not have worked from home or had the technology to do so. This has changed. Many employees require this remote working technology, and if they don’t have it or it’s not working well, it could negatively affect their employee experience and engagement.
The digital user experience can be affected by issues such as technology types, mobility, performance, security, ease of use and model. Examples of issues that affect the digital employee experience include problems with network connection, slow or old programmes or software etc. If any of these issues are consistent, it’s likely to impact employees negatively.
The Future Organization uses the Employee Experience Index to rank over two hundred companies globally (including Google, Apple and LinkedIn). Interestingly they identify the variables they believe employees most care about (and therefore measure in their index) as technology, physical workspace and culture.
How can an effective digital employee experience benefit your company?
Analysts Forrester researched different companies on the effect of the digital employee experience. They found that those places with mature digital employee experience programmes were 62% more likely to report higher retention rates and 33% more likely to report employee satisfaction rates. And over 50% were more likely to agree that they had a better remote work experience due to their digital employee experience programme.
Furthermore, Deloitte’s research into the digital employee experience found that 38% of business leaders were satisfied or very satisfied with their work-related technology.
5 reasons to focus on the digital employee experience
Specifically, here are the reasons why an effective digital employee experience programme is beneficial to your company:
1. Improve attraction and retention of talent
Perhaps the most obvious reason to focus on your digital employee experience is to attract great talent and retain the best people you have. Digital HR tools can help you attract talent, document recruitment records and activities and help with the selection and onboarding processes.
Potential recruits may be pickier now about where they choose to work, and a lack of digital transformation may turn them to others. In addition, when individuals seek a new position, they may question you about the technology you provide for remote working or check that you’re using current systems or technology.
Gen Z employees are certainly a group to consider when reviewing your digital transformation. Research by Dell of over twelve thousand Gen Zs found that 80% want to work with ‘cutting-edge’ technology. In addition, a staggering 91% said that technology would influence their choice of future employers.
2. Improve internal, cross-team and team communication
With teams and individuals now more scattered physically than ever, it’s vital to keep them communicating with each other, whether across teams or the company. The digital employee experience can solve this issue with various technology solutions that improve employee communication and collaboration.
Single apps can offer employees ways to celebrate key milestones and interact personally by sharing updates, celebrations messages or milestones in a personal and fun way.
3. Cost and time savings
If you’re increasing retention, then it goes without saying that you’re likely to be making recruitment cost and time savings. But the digital employee experience goes deeper than that. A more engaged workforce can improve productivity and customer satisfaction which can, in turn, create a better customer experience.
Traditionally in-house systems have meant multiple systems for tasks rather than a unified engagement platform. For example, a new joiner may need to complete forms on different systems for compliance, HR, security, IT etc., as part of the onboarding process.
However, a unified HR digital system could streamline the process, and it could save the employee time and potentially a great deal of frustration! Furthermore, such a seamless way of offering a digital experience could also increase engagement and modernise a company’s digital approach.
4. Ongoing learning and development
As hybrid working continues, it becomes more challenging for teams to train in person together or for individuals to attend group training sessions. Therefore, you need to research and invest in digital HR tools that offer remote learning and development and ensure your performance management process uses up-to-date systems to develop and motivate your people all through the year.
In addition, consider if you’re using technology to gather feedback for performance management and if not, what technology or apps can you invest in?
5. Inclusive workplace culture
And finally, technology can help you create an inclusive workplace culture. If you create a digital strategy, work across the company and collaborate with other teams, the digital transformation can embed into the company culture. Regardless of where your people are physically located, you can ensure that digital HR tools help gather employee feedback, manage surveys and measure engagement on an ongoing basis. Technology will also allow you to communicate the results across the business and create action plans.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for digital transformation and inclusion in the employee experience. Improving the digital employee experience may enhance employee and customer engagement, increase cost and time savings, improve internal communication, and reduce turnover. The existence of hybrid working means that employees need the relevant systems and technology to enhance communication. And finally, don’t forget that a digital approach is ever-changing, and company champions should gather feedback and review and report on the changing digital landscape.