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Connected Employee Experience: why the right tools are not enough?

In my previous Directpl post on HR & IT functions working together to enhance employee experience I gave couple of examples on how Directpl can help companies to achieve that via selected ServiceNow platform modules.

Today I want to take a step back to reflect on how the modern workplace is evolving and what does it mean for employee experience and true employee-centric digitization.

Nowadays, mainly due to Covid-19 restrictions, digitization is not limited to market leading, big or innovative companies only. It is simply a must to make employees feel safe & secured and in many cases is the pre-requisite to survive on the market. Naturally, it has immense impact on workspace and employees work conditions, raising new challenges just by the scale itself.

Digitization is even more important now to help employees to adopt to the new conditions to sustain motivation and performance. On the other hand, it is not as simple as just having the right tools in place.

Here are some considerations that may help in designing an optimal IT infrastructure that makes a difference for employees:

  • Go beyond office desk & office tools
    • needless to say that in remote mode everyone’s conditions are diversified (from internet connection quality to individual workplace setup) and impact the work experience significantly
    • ensure employees mobility by considering solutions that work equally on PCs, tablets, smartphones to allow for flexibility that may be required by individual circumstances
  • Go beyond “silo” approach of one business function alone
    • consider wide range of employee needs across functions, from HR (e.g. finding HR documents, updating employee data) through IT (e.g. password change, new laptop), finances (e.g. pay issues) to procurement (e.g. employee purchases) or legal (e.g. NDA updates, compliance questions)
    • as employee needs are cross-functional, the digitization platform needs to be cross-functional as well
  • Go beyond fragmented employee experience
    • this is typically caused by multiple systems & tools used within and across functions. Consider integration options aiming at “one stop shop” interface and end-to-end processes for employees
    • consider guided UX/UI patterns based on workflows
  • Go beyond just work-related engagement
    • don’t let your employees to feel disconnected or alone working remotely, consider team-building online initiatives that help employees to balance their social needs
    • yes, this is also about digitization to an extent: the way in which people interact remotely can be hugely impacted by way they are engaged e.g. video call is no brainer but this is just a baseline; there is enough space for creativity in digital space, like online team quizzes, games etc.

Although the above list may not cover all the aspects of how digitization can increase employees experience, but for sure the digitization process itself can be quite complex and time consuming from end-to-end perspective, so it makes perfect sense to not “reinvent the wheel” and use best practices that work and can be applied in your case.

One of the first hints to start the digitization journey would be: start slowly, bit by bit. Focusing on one key change that adds instant value to employees could be enough for them to digest and get their buy-in (just like in a restaurant: serving a small but really tasty meal triggers hunger for more instead of indigestion) and additionally it gives managers a space for learnings to drive future decisions.

We actually helped one of our clients exactly in that way: developed a small but important bit for employee portal that made their lives significantly easier via ServiceNow integration (automated ticketing directly from the portal without a need to re-direct employees to ServiceNow). That single change alone was much appreciated by employees and the portal adoption rate & employee satisfaction increased immediately. This is a simple example of addressing fragmented employee experience and baby-steps approach to digitization.

Hope you are in your digitization journey already or at least planning your first steps? I’m curious of your experiences and your considerations, would be great to get your comments here!

Piotr Sokołowicz
Piotr Sokołowicz
ServiceNow Product Manager
tel: +48 512156990

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