words Al Woods
Technology adoption is rife in the real world. File-sharing, communication and online communities function almost effortlessly as part of our day-to-day lives, and this is a phenomenon which is only going to continue gaining pace. Yet our workplaces can’t seem to keep up.
While we seamlessly flit between a variety of apps on our phones to manage our personal lives, many people find themselves coming up against roadblocks in their working day caused by outdated systems.
As a result, HR industry professionals are starting to talk about digital employee experience (DEX) as a fundamental concern for organisations when it comes to boosting productivity, retaining staff and generally engaging their workforce.
But digitisation can be either a help or a hindrance, depending on how it’s introduced. How can organisations get their employees using digital tools more smoothly on a day-to-day basis?
What is digital employee experience?
Digital employee experience is the sum of an employee’s digital interactions in the workplace and their feelings, opinions or impressions of them. It’s closely related to the more well-known topic of employee experience (EX), but focuses specifically on the use of technology to complete daily tasks.
It’s become something of a hot topic as organisations realise that to be effective in a modern era, digitisation isn’t an option but a necessity.
How to optimise DEX
The number one mistake that organisations make when attempting to digitise the workplace is introduce every cutting-edge system that is offered to them with a promise of transformation. Deloitte reports that the average number of systems workers use to complete their daily tasks has risen from 8 to 11.5 in recent years. This causes more obstacles, not less.
Ideally, you want to minimise the number of back-end technologies your employees are using or at least integrate your systems to make your processes more straigthforward.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communication at work is often misunderstood. There are really two aspects to it: transmission of information and connectivity across your workforce. According to Deloitte, 27% of workers lose up to an entire working day per week to irrelevant emails. Corporate comms should be as simple as possible, with limited room for tangents and duplicate messages.
Then there’s the sense of unity that communication can bring to your workplace. Teams in large organisations can often feel cut off from one another or alienated by their senior management. This leaves plenty of room for resentment and frustration to build, which can impact your ability to retain staff. Ideally, your digital employee experience should be supported by horizontal, as opposed to ‘top-down’ communication.
Your workplace is about more than just work. Some organisations feel that introducing social channels and corporate perks divert attention to core tasks, but they’re missing a massive opportunity. Company culture isn’t a distraction from productivity, but a core component of it.
Digital employee experience is a chance to introduce community in your workforce, recognise top performers, continually update your staff’s knowledge with gamification and deliver training.
It’s clear that digital employee experience isn’t as simple as slapping a technology-based band aid over your current employee experience issues. It’s about finding a solution that makes life easier, not more complicated, for your workforce and creates a company culture they’re excited to work in and stay loyal to.