The need to focus on employee experience started attracting IT interest in the mid-2010s, but the pandemic has really put it on a pedestal. With the Great Resignation rearing, organisations had to sharpen their focus on factors important to employees, including burnout, shifting personal and professional priorities, and a desire for stronger communication. In response, many organisations turned to technology to innovate their employee experience strategies. Now, the modern workplace must prioritise the employee experience to attract and retain talent.
What is employee experience?
Employee experience, otherwise known as EX, is the culmination of all the interactions and experiences that employees have during their entire tenure with an organisation—from their initial interactions with the company to their exit and beyond.
Employee experience, and all of its components, span multiple areas and can be viewed from a number of angles—the company’s culture, the physical work environment, and the technology used. It’s also the employee’s impressions and perceptions—gathered through their thoughts, observations, and feelings during their time with the organisation. Lastly, it includes a personalised journey between the employee and employer to shape the experience—making the employee experience a comprehensive way for employers to leave a positive impact on their workers through a number of touchpoints.
While employee experience has been a hot topic for the past several years, the need to focus on EX gained traction at the start of the 2020s. As an indicator of this, one of Forrester Research’s 2022 predictions was that “2022 Will Go Down As The Year Executives Were Forced To Care About EX” – a prediction that has largely come to fruition.
But for your IT organisation, a 2019 Forrester Research quote offers up a more explicit focus for its IT service delivery and support capabilities: “…the most important factor for employee experience is being able to make progress every day toward the work that they believe is most important.” This quote points to employee productivity as a critical driver of EX, but there are other implications beyond productivity. For example, insights from the 2022 Freshworks State of Workplace Technology Report include not only that “… nine in ten (91%) employees are still frustrated by workplace tech” but also:
“Seven in ten (71%) business leaders acknowledge that employees will consider looking for a new employer if their current job does not provide access to the tools, technology or information they need to do their jobs well…”
“…nearly half (49%) of employees surveyed report that inadequate workplace technology causes them to feel stressed, and 48% claim it has negatively impacted their mental health.”
These statistics extend the impact of poor EX beyond productivity to employee retention, recruitment, and wellbeing.
Most organisations today understand EX’s importance even if they have not yet taken action. For example, the AXELOS 2022 ITSM Benchmark Report stated that EX is “an ITSM trend that has been on the rise for over half a decade”. Its survey found that 67% of respondents stated that their organisations understand the need to deliver a better EX. Another 18% expected them to in 2022. Only 9% of survey respondents thought their organisations would never see the need for improving EX.
How service management solutions can improve EX
For any organisation seeking to improve employee productivity and EX through improved and new IT capabilities, there’s no “one size fits all” solution – because EX-based improvement needs to be focused on what matters most to your employees. There are, however, some IT EX-improvement “building blocks” available through mature ITSM tools.
These ITSM (and also broader enterprise service management) capabilities include:
Omnichannel access to services and support. This capability brings greater choice and better employee experiences, mirroring the access and communication channels available in B2C environments. For example, chat, chatbots, collaboration service bots, and social media channels (such as WhatsApp) in addition to the traditional email, telephone, and self-service channels.
Service request catalogues that provide employees with information on and technology-enabled access to the IT services they need.
Automated support and service fulfilment. This capability meets consumer-world expectations related to accessibility and the immediacy and accuracy of response that delivers better employee experiences. Your IT organisation benefits, too, not only through the superior EX but also by reducing costs and freeing IT staff from potentially high-volume, low-value tasks to focus on higher value-adding activities.
Artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities that employ machine learning and natural language understanding (NLU) to deliver “better, faster, cheaper” operations and outcomes, including a better EX. Example use cases include employee-facing chatbots, virtual assistants for IT staff, intelligent search, and intelligent ticket routing that automatically categorises, prioritises, routes, and even actions incoming employee requests.
Knowledge management capabilities help IT staff do more thanks to collective knowledge sharing and employee access to self-help via a shared knowledge base.
System integrations that not only allow work to flow better between different teams but also across business functions. Allowing the systems employed by IT and other business functions to provide better employee experiences.
If you want to improve your company’s employee experience and make it more efficient, then service management software is an excellent way of doing this. It can help you streamline IT processes, get feedback from employees regularly and even empower agents with self-service knowledge bases. For this process to work properly, it needs to be implemented correctly by someone who understands how it works or else everything will fall apart!
Xcession helping companies improve their employee experience
At Xcession, we specialise in helping organisations improve employee experience, agility and service management productivity by providing consultancy, professional services, application-managed services, support and maintenance around ITSM solutions.
A passion our entire team shares is supporting businesses with planning, implementing, and executing their ITSM solutions.
With our highly experienced team and multiple vendor relationships, we understand which ESM software best fits your business and – more importantly – how to maximise its value. We ensure that your solution delivers outcomes efficiently and effectively but also evolves by combining traditional ITIL service management best practices with best-of-breed products. Everything we suggest is to help your business get the most out of its ITSM and deliver a fantastic experience to your employees.
If this grabs your interest – I’d love a chat.