Agile & Digital

Latest apps or Outlook only – how is your employees’ digital experience?

There’s a lot of talk about improving our customers’ digital experience, and rightly so. However as employees, we are also customers of other digitally advanced companies. We have come to expect a similarly seamless digital experience at work – but are often left disappointed.

“When we started this journey, we had a gap that existed between how someone interacted with relative ease in their personal life — to tap on an app and do his online banking or to quickly look up the weather where they lived — and how they interacted at work”, explained Steve Milovich, senior vice president of global HR at Disney.

Now Disney employees can use sophisticated apps to conduct employee performance reviews, book conference rooms and apply for internal jobs.  Employees can make requests for new apps which are prioritized by Disney executives with the aim of creating a coherent digital road map for the future.

Most firms still have a long way to go.  Whilst 97% of global executives realize it’s necessary, just 7% see their internal HR organizations as capable of shaping a digital experience for their employees, according to Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends survey.

Interestingly Mercer found quite a range of readiness globally – with HR professionals in the UK seeing themselves as least prepared, only 24% of Asian executives agreeing that they provide a digital experience for their employees and 39% of US executives saying that the “digital HR experience provided to employees is consumer-grade”.

A great exercise is to think about your best recent digital interaction as a customer: how did it look and feel? How does this compare with your own internal employee experience? What would need to change in your area of operation to replicate this?

Or what would your department look like if it was run by Disney, Amazon, or Google, or a tech start-up? Think broadly in terms of how you work with your team, with your internal and external customers, your systems and in what you deliver.

Many companies are finding that to retain their best talent, employees are expecting a more personalized experience at work where their individual requirements and interests are accommodated more fully – just as they are used to experiencing now as digital customers.  Nathalie Cheveau, global talent manager at luxury powerhouse LVMH shares how “borrowing from marketing fields like user experience design, we’ve been able to reconsider crucial aspects of recruiting, onboarding, development, and retention to create journey maps to enhance the digital employee experience.”

Other firms such as Rackspace and Apple are tracking an Employee Net Promoter Score (“On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work?”) based on a similar idea to the customer NPS successfully introduced by many firms over the last 15 years. Even if this is not an official survey run by your company, this is a simple question you could ask each of your team/ community members to answer anonymously to give you a snap shot of engagement.

How else could we as managers improve our teams’ digital experience at work?

It is worth the effort – Mercer’s research shows that the “high-performing HR organizations realize significant results through analytics and technology when compared to their lower-performing peers”.

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