Technology and Systems that can Improve Employee Experience

In a previous blog post, I talked about the “Employee Experience Venn Diagram” we like to share with prospective customers and partners. The diagram includes three business areas that intersect in the center. The space in the center represents the complete experience an employee has with an organization, which is comprised of the three business areas.

The three business areas are:

  • Technology and systems
  • Communications and productivity
  • Collaboration and culture

Let’s start by diving into the relationship between technology and systems on employee experience as a whole.

We know from our time with Forrester analyst David K. Johnson that what employees desire most, above all else, is “making daily progress in the work that they believe is most important.” So it stands to reason that that’s also what drives the overall employee experience as well.

We also know that technology plays a key role in getting our work done each day, and in getting our work done better and faster in general. So when you’re thinking about workplace technology, consider these options, which can drive a positive employee experience at your organization.

Tech your employees use at home

If you take a step back and look objectively at the technology you use in your personal life vs. the technology you use at work, how do the two compare?

For instance, to play music at home, all I have to do is shout, “Alexa! Play Classic Rock on Amazon Music.” I can open my garage doors from my phone (sometimes just for fun), I can start my car from the comfort of my living room during a snow storm, and I can order a pizza by tweeting Domino’s.

Imagine how jarring it would be to go from that experience at home to a 3-year-old laptop in a cubicle farm where you have to brew your coffee in a Mr. Coffee machine from the ’80s (I actually like my Mr. Coffee, but I digress) and cram into a conference room for every meeting because there’s no video conferencing hardware.

Nothing kills employee experience like old technology. It’s a drag, and it sends a message of apathy. If you want rockstar employees, give them the technology they love to use, and they’ll use it to make your business successful.

Mobile-first applications

Not to beat a dead horse (which is a horrific statement that is used much too casually in my opinion), but everyone has a mobile device, and every tool should work on those devices. It’s table stakes at this point – if you can’t operate it on a tablet or smartphone, nobody will use it.

So, again I ask you to look objectively at your workplace applications. Can you access them on your cell phone? If so, that’s a great first step. If not, that’s an issue worth addressing. With so many options available in the market, settling for one that doesn’t meet your mobility needs is not worth it.

If you answered “yes” to my previous question, the follow up is: Can you use all of your applications’ features on your cell phone? Once again, if your answer is yes, you’re in a good place. Your employee engagement and overall experience is probably much higher than at other organizations. If your answer is no, I refer you back to my previous statement. With so many options available in the market, settling for one that doesn’t meet your mobility needs is not worth it.

A socialization tool

This one might fall under the “communication and collaboration” umbrella, but it’s worth mentioning here too.

An enormous part of an employee’s experience with an organization is determined by their relationships with other employees. Just as customer experience often hinges upon associate/customer interactions and even customer-to-customer interactions, interpersonal relationships play a major role.

“Strong social connections make people happier and physically healthier, which can translate into work performance. Employers who support social connections in the workplace and help employees form strong relationships with one another help build a successful workforce.”

Alan Kohll, Forbes Magazine

In a physical workspace, socializing is fairly easy to encourage. In its digital counterpart, however, you need to invest in the right tools. Applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams provide chat functionality, Zoom and Webex are great for video conferencing, and Google Hangouts are fun spaces for work and play.

A unifying system to pull it all together

One last item to add to your virtual shopping cart is arguably the most critical. Because when you purchase and implement a whole list of software, but none of the pieces work together, you end up with a bigger problem than the one you started with. Multiple logins, inability to share content between applications, and analysis paralysis when choosing a tool to use.

A single location to house all of your tools under a single set of credentials and permissions reduces confusion and streamlines work. You can see in the image below, how Banner Health used the Akumina employee experience platform to build a centralized, single pane of glass experience where users can log in once and access all of their applications.

Banner Health reports a predicted $6.2 million annual cost savings by implementing Akumina for their modern intranet needs.

To summarize, the technology and systems that you invest in can make an enormous impact on employee experience at your organization. So when choosing your systems, consider whether the technology is as good as or better than the technology your users enjoy at home, ensure that mobile devices are supported, allow your team to socialize, and unify everything in one location for ease of access and use, as well as cost efficiency.

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