The Digital Essentials of an Employee Experience Strategy

In the early 2000s, organizations were interested in employee satisfaction. Later around 2010 the interest is shifted to a popular concept of employee engagement. Today the focus is moving to a new dimension termed employee experience.

Employee experience is the combination of culture, technology and physical environmental interactions an employee has with the organization.

 By 2022, organizations that made sustained investments in employee experience will achieve a net 10 percentage point improvement in employee engagement scores.
Gartner

According to Gartner, employee experience will bring immense value to the organization resulting in increased engagement, apart from an increase in the impact on the business outcome of critical IT projects.

Organizations are leveraging modern technologies like digital workplace which provide a simple, seamless and intuitive interface to streamline employee workflow process. This has led to increased employee experience, efficiency, and productivity. ‘When you invest in your employees, they’ll invest right back in you’, is the adage of the new age workforce.

Importance of Employee experience

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, organizational culture, engagement, and employee brand proposition remain top priorities in 2017; employee experience continues to remain a major trend again this year. Nearly 80 percent of executives rated employee experience very important and others reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.

Organisations are measuring employee experience by linking it to different aspects influencing workplace efficiency, powerful diagnostic capability, prescriptive guidance and prognosis of future outcome.

According to Gartner report, employee experience is recognized as one of the eight building blocks of the digital workplace.

When employees are given certain privileges in the decision-making process, they tend to obtain a sense of ownership which eventually maximizes their contributions to the business growth and enhances employee experience strategy.

Digital essentials to bolster your employee experience strategy

51% of business leaders plan to create individualized employee experiences comparable to consumer experiences.

The rise of the digital workplace is an important factor influencing the new reality of work. Through digital technologies, enterprises can cost-effectively drive personalization at scale and deliver a great employee experience.

According to Gartner, personalization is a process that creates a relevant, individualized interaction between the two parties designed to enhance the end user experience.

Defining an effective employee experience strategy creates a win-win environment for both employees and organizations on their way to success. It improves employee interaction, promotes innovation, contemporary product design and boosts adoption of your digital workplace.

Technologies that impact employee experience strategy:

Communication and Collaboration tools

Many leading organizations have implemented a digital workplace strategy by combining collaborative technologies to break down communication and collaboration barriers.

Improving employee experience in organizations also creates a digitally savvy workforce and increases productivity, work efficiency, growth, and innovation.

Here are few collaboration tools:

  • Messaging channels

Collaborative spaces which provide messaging and chat functions like Skype for business, Microsoft Teams, Surface Hubs, Slack etc. are often viewed as one of the best business communication tools. It helps employees communicate, meet virtually, and collaborate to enhance employee experience.

  • Discussion forums

Forums are one of the communication tools enabling open discussion to bring management and employees together. It facilitates knowledge sharing and boosts employee experience, by providing a common place to participate in the most happening workplace discussions.

  • Internal blogs

An internal blog is also considered a good communication tool where employees get relevant information quicker and have the ability to share ideas.

Internal blogs help to broadcast and highlight employees knowledge, create a searchable archive of articles in a knowledge base, promotes open discussion and collaboration among the workforce, connects employees across departments to improve employee experience and work efficiency.

  • Intranets

The demand for employee experience strategy is playing an important factor in today’s workplace dynamics. Intranet takes a far more holistic view of how employees experience their working day and their overall time spent at a company.

Bringing all of the above collaboration tools together in a single solution like intranets, allow employees to collaborate, communicate, work effectively and increase productivity.

A Modern intranet tool is the backbone of employee experience and is a single digital hub to connect, communicate, collaborate, engage and share information.

Nielsen Norman Groups Latest report on Intranets confirms organizations are swiftly making their intranets the central hub for content access, collaboration and communication.

Intranets are evolving from simple information-centric sites to collaborative and business process-centric workplaces. Organizations focusing on employee experience need to continue updating their intranet to meet changing employee experience needs.

Mesh is a modern intranet solution with the capability to improve employee experience by shifting focus from traditional, physical workplaces to virtual, digital workplaces and acts as a central hub to culture, values, processes, communication and collaboration.

How do intranets contribute to the employee experience?

Modern intranets play an important role in supporting a positive modern digital workplace environment with its rich features influencing employee experience.

Here are some features a modern intranet requires in order to fuel employee experience:

  • Customization feature allows employees to add and remove features based on their requirement. Its improved user interface fulfills employees needs and helps communicate in a more personal way improving the employee experience.
  • Intuitive interface for creating and managing content helps employees update relevant and timely content tailored to their organizational needs. Workbench or CMS in Mesh helps authors easily create news articles, announcements, events etc. and supports one-click publishing, editing and automated archival.
  • The intranet is all about finding content. Advanced enterprise search feature in Mesh helps employees find what they are looking for easily. Employees pull information by searching through specific keywords or phrases, categories etc.
IDC data shows that “the knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information.
Learn how Mesh can help you employees find the right content at the right time without any delay.
  • Culture change happens with dialogues and conversations over a social platform. Mesh comes with a socializing feature where employees interact with individuals and engage through forums – this includes sharing ideas, adding likes, comments, and tagging content.
By 2020, there are expected to be 639 million paid users of enterprise social networks
  • Intranet with an engaging mobile-driven design will bring simplicity and ease of accessibility. Employees can log-in from anywhere, anytime on smartphones and various other devices, avoiding last minute hustle and bustle.
By 2020, every day, 60% of smartphone users will interact with more proactive personal and professional smart agents than apps – Gartner
Employee self-service (ESS) tools

Most organizations across the globe are facing challenges in managing employees related activities, like leave record maintenance, performance reviews, viewing payslips etc. A comprehensive solution to address these challenges and making the life of employees easier is the need of the hour.

In such cases, employee self-service options are acting as perfect drivers addressing these challenges. ESS will focus almost entirely on the employee experience, delivering personalized, innovative solutions to support employees and organization growth. Innovative self-service tools are becoming an integral part of organisations employee experience strategy.

By 2018, the ability to rapidly create and retrieve relevant content (knowledge) will be a key attribute of leading enterprises.

Digital self-service technologies help employees get details about fellow employees such as contact details, birthdays, hobbies and so on. At the same time, it reduces traditional paperwork and time-consuming processes for employees to know about any discrepancies in attendance, leave requests, payslips, deductions, PF, ESI, TDS etc.

The current trend in the ESS tools is about incorporating NLP/ML, which is playing a key role in self-service personalization. Integrating AI-powered chatbots into ESS applications creates a self-service interface where an employee can apply for a leave, access personal details, payroll details, update contact details and also resolve basic IT issues by interacting with a virtual agent.

Employees can chat with the chatbot using conversational user interface and ask to raise a request on their behalf. This helps employees increase work efficiency and enhance employee experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies

Technology is the silver bullet to empower and engage your workforce to be highly capable, adept and autonomous.

AI technologies are playing a critical role in supporting employees with uninterrupted technology services, thereby improving the employee experience.

  • Chatbots

Today’s companies are racing towards artificial intelligence to make it a big part of their digital workplace strategy. Chatbot is the latest wave of new technology adopted in the workplace to enhance employee experience. In today’s increasingly digital world where everything is transparent and easily trackable, employees desire a productive, engaging, and most importantly an enjoyable work experience.

At the recent Gartner Digital Workplace Summit, much of the conversation focused on the next evolution of employee engagement and how AI capabilities, such as chatbots, are beginning to reshape companies service employees.

Leveraging AI technologies in the workplace, chatbots act as a virtual employee and facilitate automation of routine tasks. Employees take the opportunity to improve non-routine tasks, thereby increasing employee work efficiency.

By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly nonroutine tasks will rely on AI to do a job – Gartner

AI-powered chatbots offer opportunities for making communication collaborative, concise and interactive.

Integrated AI-bots in the communication systems helps improve employee performance, engagement, pattern identification, behavior analysis and predictive analysis etc., to improve the employee experience.

By 2019, 40% of enterprises will be actively using chatbots to facilitate business processes using natural-language interactions – Gartner

Organisations need to assess their internal operations and recognize areas in which chatbots can help them increase productivity. Here are a few B2E chatbot solutions:

IT helpdesk Bot: Acuvate’s IT Helpdesk Bot, a new member of the IT support team helps people with support requests and quick resolutions.

Intranet Bot: Acuvate’s intranet-based MeshBOT helps mitigate intranet adoption challenges and empowers employees to optimally utilize intranet.

Sales Bot: Improve your revenue by making informed decisions using Sales Intelligence Assistant – SIA Bot.

By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development – Gartner
Predictive analytics

Measuring employee experience is made easier and much more accurate using predictive analytics.

Workplace experience makes the culture of the company. To lift the culture or the overall experience of an employee, organizations are developing a focus on predictive analysis. Also, with machine learning, technology will adapt to fit employee needs to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency.

The predictive analysis uses a talent index that compares performances and identifies problems associated with different teams and managers. It helps analyze real-time data and provide recommendations.

It estimates the impact of employee training programs, talent management functions on business revenue, revenue per employee generated today and likely to be generated in future. It also identifies new employees characteristics, job history etc. to predict the probability of high performance over the next 12 months.

It helps to keep a check on employee costs in comparison with business revenue.

83% of companies are using or piloting predictive technologies that anticipate employee experience needs.

It has almost become necessary to use predictive analysis to improve employee retention, employee performance and ultimately generate more business revenue. Overall, an organization is empowered to make good business decisions with predictive analysis.

People Analytics Tool

People analytics is one of the key aspects used to analyze employee experiences in an organization. People analytics tool uses statistics, technology and expertise datasets, to make better management and business decisions.

It paves a way to organize instances of workforce trends and improve workflow processes. Multi-dimensional screening is required to analyze people behavior patterns to make smarter and strategic decisions, helping to maximize the ROI of an employee experience strategy.

People analytics with sophisticated data science and machine learning helps organizations manage employees more efficiently. This new breed of technology enables organizations to visualize data, providing deeper intelligence into its employee force, intuitive workforce planning, an understanding of how employees actually engage with applications, their preferences, pain points and so on.

This knowledge can, in turn, help the organization easily create, manage and execute accurate plans and improve the overall employee experience.

Conclusion

According to Gallup, highly engaged teams achieve, on average, a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.

Employee experience has a direct impact on organizational growth, customer experience, revenue, employee and client retention. With the best employee experience strategy, your workforce contributes to an effective organizational culture, with increased efficiency and commitment.

Gallup report states that engaged, satisfied employees, represent up to 59% more growth in revenue per employee.

Employee experience is a powerful concept which helps both employees and organizations grow simultaneously. Creating an effective employee experience requires a dedicated and holistic approach. Digital workplace strategies in organizations can improve collaboration and communication, enabling employees to work together effectively, regardless of location or device.

A modern workplace is designed to amplify your employee experience. It acts as a centralised hub to access all your self-service, communication and collaboration tool, providing vital facilities such as communication, learning opportunities, helping employees complete tasks and so on.

Check out Mesh – a digital solution that leverages mobile, social collaboration, machine-learning, and other emerging technologies to deliver employee experience.

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