According to Harvard Business Review, 87.5 percent of digital transformations fail.
Why is that?
There are many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that many organizations overlook the digital employee experience (DEX).
And in a post-pandemic world that embraces hybrid work, DEX is something that organizations can no longer afford to overlook. It’s now an indispensable part of employee experience.
In this article, we’ll explore strategies, solutions, and practical steps for effective DEX management—with examples of companies that have undergone successful digital transformations.
You’ll discover everything you need to know about creating a digital experience that engages your people and helps them perform at their best.
What is digital employee experience?
To understand DEX, it helps to have a clear idea of employee experience vs. work experience too.
While all these terms sound similar, work experience refers to a person’s professional background.
Employee experience, on the other hand, refers to how a team member feels about an organization throughout their different interactions with it—from preboarding all the way through to offboarding.
DEX evolved from that as companies began to rely on digital technology to accomplish their work. DEX is the experience a person has when interacting with digital tools within your organization. It also refers to the support they receive when using the technology. Examples of digital tools include email and videoconferencing applications, HR systems for booking PTO, learning platforms, and any other applications that help a person carry out their day-to-day work.
Digital employee experience management
DEX management can have a significant impact on various aspects of your business:
- Productivity. When your people have access to digital tools that make their work easier, their productivity increases.
- Engagement. A smooth digital experience means your people are likely to feel engaged and fulfilled in their work.
- Collaboration. Good DEX helps your team members collaborate with each other —whether working from home or in the office—boosting innovation within your organization.
- Retention. Poor DEX can leave professionals feeling frustrated, contributing to high rates of turnover.
- Employer brand. An organization that has a strong focus on DEX will have satisfied people who promote its employer brand.
- Customer experience. When your people are happy, it has a knock-on effect on your customers, improving their interactions with your company.
- Revenue. Because of its effect on productivity, retention, and customer experience, DEX has an impact on your revenue, too.
So how do you ensure an employee digital experience that benefits all aspects of your business?
Good DEX requires intelligent strategy to be successful. By implementing the practical strategies below, you can create a DEX that meets the needs of your workforce and contributes to your organization’s success:
- Putting your people’s needs first. This means giving team members the tools they need to perform at their best. Consider the needs of people working from home as well as the office.
- User-centric design. Prioritize digital tools and applications with user-friendly interfaces. If you provide tools that are easy for your people to use, this will contribute to a positive DEX.
- Personalization. Create personalized dashboards, tailored to individual roles and preferences. Data analytics are helpful here for understanding user behaviors and customizing digital experiences.
- Inclusivity and accessibility. Ensure everyone within your organization has easy access to the digital tools they need to carry out their work and connect with their fellow team members. Make sure applications are also responsive and compatible with mobile devices.
- Training and support. Provide comprehensive training programs that show team members how to use the relevant digital tools. Make sure it’s straightforward for your people to access technical support when issues arise.
- Continuous feedback and improvement. Gather regular feedback from your people through surveys and meetings to gain insights into their digital experiences. Make improvements as necessary.
- Collaboration platforms. It’s particularly important to enable collaboration among team members in a hybrid working environment. Use platforms that make it painless for your people to stay connected and manage projects, whether they’re working at home or in the office.
- Digital wellbeing programs. We now spend an average of around seven hours a day in front of a screen, so it’s important to promote digital wellbeing. Encourage breaks and consider putting policies in place that support a healthy work-life balance. Establish initiatives that take care of the wellbeing of remote team members, as it can be easy for them to slip through the cracks.
- Cybersecurity awareness. With the majority of work taking place in a digital environment, your organization and its people are at greater risk of cyberattacks. Educate your people about cybersecurity best practices, secure the use of digital tools, and carry out thorough security measures to protect sensitive information.
- Integration of tools. A lack of integration is one of the main reasons why DEX can suffer. Make it effortless for your people to work with the various tools they need by ensuring all applications are compatible.
The employee experience and digital transformation
Similar to an HR transformation, a digital transformation is when an organization makes significant changes by incorporating digital technology into all areas of the business.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, most digital transformations unfortunately fail. One of the main reasons why they fail is because companies don’t prioritize the digital employee experience.
A successful digital transformation makes it easier for your people to do their work, which is why considering DEX is indispensable for the digital transformation process.
After all, the goal of a digital transformation is to make processes more efficient and effective, contributing to the prosperity of the organization.
Focusing on DEX can even speed up digital initiatives. By considering the needs of your people first, you’ll be implementing digital tools that are useful to them and their work—making them open to adopting the transformation’s initiatives.
Real-world examples of successful digital transformations
Let’s take a look at some companies that have undergone successful digital transformations (and that are great company culture examples, too):
What do you do if your team members are in 40 different countries, speak 19 different languages, and tend to work away from their desks?
That’s the situation the International Rescue Committee (IRC) faced. The IRC is a charitable organization that helps people living in areas experiencing conflict and disaster.
The biggest issue for the IRC’s operations was the isolation of departments. With team members spread all over the world and regularly traveling to refugee camps, communication and collaboration were an issue.
To address this, the IRC went through a digital transformation. The organization improved internet bandwidths and launched an intranet that allowed its people to stay in touch and get access to translation services.
The result? The transformation broke down communication silos between departments, helping them continue their important work while staying connected.
One of the challenges of hybrid work is ensuring the wellbeing of your people.
Videoconferencing software company Zoom addressed this challenge by launching the Wellness Coach app.
The app allows team members to access desk exercises, mindfulness tips, and guided meditations. It also encourages recreational activities by connecting team members to each other through book clubs and virtual yoga and meditation classes.
With this solution, Zoom is able to look after its people’s wellbeing and address feelings of isolation when working from home. This has created a positive employee experience that is helping their people feel and work at their best.
Team members at Mono, a creative agency, found it difficult to rely on different communication platforms for emailing, texting, and calling clients.
They implemented a communication platform that allowed them to integrate all the different forms of communication in one place—making it easy for both clients and team members to stay connected.
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Exploring digital employee experience software solutions
While managing DEX can seem overwhelming, there are software solutions available that make things easier.
A DEX platform, for example, helps you detect and resolve tech issues that affect your people. With it, you can monitor devices and applications and optimize the user experience, resulting in a more productive and happier workforce.
Employee experience platforms (EXPs) can also assist you in improving aspects of DEX. They’re software platforms that allow you to track and improve your people’s wellbeing, engagement, and satisfaction.
With an EXP you can carry out core HR operations, create surveys, manage performance, and design an engaging onboarding experience for new hires.
EXPs and DEX platforms give you everything you need to create a great employee experience in the office and in virtual workspaces.
The role of DEX in fostering a positive workplace culture
DEX plays a pivotal role in cultivating a positive workplace culture. Its focus on making the most out of technology enhances various aspects of a person’s tenure at a company.
A main priority of DEX is the integration of different digital tools and platforms. This makes it easy for your people to access all the tools at their disposal, improving communication, collaboration, and work efficiency.
A solid DEX can also encourage continuous learning and development among your professionals. Learning programs that incorporate DEX strategies are more engaging for team members, improving the effectiveness of your learning initiatives.
With the demand for hybrid work increasing, a good DEX can also spread a positive company culture to the homes of your people.
DEX supports flexible work by providing your team members with digital tools for remote collaboration, promoting a culture that values work-life balance.
And by rolling out digital initiatives that take care of your people’s wellbeing, wherever they’re working, you’ll be contributing to a culture that helps your people perform at their best.
By prioritizing DEX, you can create an environment where technology enhances, rather than hinders, the wellbeing and job satisfaction of your people, contributing to a positive workplace culture.