Why is employee digital experience important?

High-quality customer experiences are now considered table stakes in the digital world. While great user experiences may not actually get achieved in practice, everyone acknowledges that businesses should aspire to improve customer UX. But what about employee digital experience?

Some progressive organizations are investing more here, yet most enterprises still pay only scant attention to "EmpEx" — UX for the tools their employees use everyday.

It's not that organizations find employee engagement unimportant. Rather, they fail to make the connection between the quality of digital workplace tools and employee engagement.

Attention to the Physical Office

Perhaps inspired by the likes of Google, most enterprises will pay deep attention to getting their physical office environment right.  Leaders will spend a lot of time sweating the details: situating the office in a convenient location, the office layout, collaboration zones, the overall “look and feel,” and the furniture.

There's a vision for how employees will work, and work together.

LinkedIn New York Office Design
Figure: Informal Collaborative Space at LinkedIn's New York Office. Source: OfficeSnapShots

The underlying assumption here is that such investments will pay off — that a comfortable workplace means employees will be more productive, more engaged, and less likely to depart.

But What’s the Real Office?

For knowledge workers — up to half the workforce in developed countries — their primary workplace is increasingly a glass screen: the digital applications they use to get work done.  Does your enterprise have the same vision for how employees will work, and work together?

Just like organizations have their own distinct cultures, the digital applications your organization chooses embody the digital culture of your organization. The quality of these applications and tools will have a direct bearing on their productivity and job satisfaction, as well as ultimately employee engagement.

So the case of high-quality employee digital experiences is a no-brainer.  At RSG we often get asked: where to start?  Consider the three categories in our EmpEx 200 chart:

  • Collaboration & Communication
  • Self-Service
  • HR and Major Lines of Business

Employee Digital Experience Supergraphic
The EmpEx 200 (click to enlarge). Source: RSG

These are the tools that nearly everyone has to use.  Get those right, and you’re headed in the right direction.

And before you purchase any of these systems, get the inside scoop on the vendors' real weaknesses and strengths.


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