Employee experience is EX and digital employee experience is DEX. It is a subset of the EX and consists of all the tools and applications that aid employees in completing their work. The digital employee experience is a holistic perception of the employees when they use technology and digital tools like software, apps, and devices that help them deliver their work. A good DEX translates to a better EX which in turn enhances the customer’s experience or the CX.
How important is DEX?
Good workmanship with the right tools can create magic in any job. On the other hand, the absence or lack of the right tools will dishearten even a self-motivating employee with good energy levels.
For instance, let us take an example of a local pizzeria that has a good customer base. The guy has to cut the pizza with a blunt knife instead of a sharp rolling cutter. He is unable to cut the pizza slices quickly. As a result, the pizza is not as hot when it is finally served. This simple tool will not only frustrate and slow him down but spoil the customer’s experience in the process. Whereas, if the employee had a sharp rolling cutter, he would have sliced the pizza, and enjoyed serving customers.
Be it a mundane job serving pizza or ground-breaking product development that can change the way a process in an industry is carried out for the better, the right tools matter. In every field where technology is used, the existence of DEX is important. Hence it is the most preferred solution for HR leadership and head hunters who attract talent based on the features of digital tools that are used in an organization.
Barriers to effective DEX
Experiences affect perception. And perception is influenced later by first-hand experience and first through individual needs, peer comparison, cultural expectations, education, and mentors. It is important to give due regard to human perception when we talk about employee experience as it is the driving force in how we respond or react to a situation.
In any organization, employee perception is a lot deeper than it seems. If the initial interaction between two unrelated but good employees was not desirable, likely, they would not like collaborating on a project together. This is the reason employee perception must be consistently reviewed through effective employee engagement and a holistic assessment of the digital workplace solutions that employees can use.
Employees are engaged when they are trained to use all the resources a digital workplace has to offer. A company has to prioritize training and re-assessment through small recall quizzes before setting up a team to use new technology or tools. Unless proper skill training is given to the team members, they may have no clue how to make the best use of the software and hardware a company invests in.
Non-alignment between teams
Several organizations cannot succeed at establishing an optimum DEX because of the non-alignment of views between major departments, specifically human resources and IT. HR departments focus on the happiness of employees and IT looks at enabling the best in technology. But there is no proper alignment between these two departments and they may not be on the same page. So some strong employee experiences and great technology acquisition are not changing the overall DEX as both events may be independent of each other.
How to improve the digital experience for employees?
Employee engagement will focus on valuing every employee for their contribution periodically by team leads, function heads, and hr managers. Motivation is a big factor and often the only reason why a person beats all odds of the grind and still gives their best at work.
Most of the work a team does daily can be repetitive whether it is interesting in comprehensive purview or not. And mundane things can tend to be uninspiring for the employee unless there is motivation and recognition in all various forms of communication like team huddles or common team emails.
Considering the gen-z workforce are aware of a lot of things and is self-starters, the motivation of working with digital tools that can bolster their work output is very important. Before looking at improving DEX at the workplace, entities should look at a few points:
Is the technology being used relevant or needs to be upgraded to offer the experience to all stakeholders, be it employees or customers? What are the current tools? Are they relevant and being used by the concerned teams
Communication between teams is very important. It is a good point of reference to see how employees prefer to interact with each other. Is it through a project management tool, an email, or through chats? If the chances of using all three in equal measure for different forms of work are more, then business intelligence tools that are used to measure consumer insights can also be used to gauge employee insights.
As iterated employee engagement will influence their experience and the role of digital tools play a crucial role in improving or compromising with EX. Employees’ perspectives about the digital tools in a company will help an organization improve its platform. Do employees find the technology to be easy to use or cumbersome, is there use of semantics and natural language processing (NLP) that is intuitive and reflects how employees feel without them stating it explicitly?
Employee engagement also differs for different categories of employees. These days there is a generational shift within four-five years of age. So young employees may not be in sync even with team members who are slightly older than them. It is difficult to give different digital tools to different age groups. So it is better to give employees enough training and introduce buddy systems where one employee trains another.
Summing it up
With changing demographics of workforces, and workplace changes from in-person to total remote in pandemic to a hybrid model, organizations around the globe have faced a lot of challenges only through digital tools. Now that remote working has been normalized, a good digital work experience is imperative for seamless workflow management.