If you were to put 100 enterprise tech leaders in a room together and ask them if they think their company’s employee experience is dependent upon IT, I’m certain all would agree it is.
But I’m also certain those 100 wouldn’t know:
For IT decision-makers, the devil is in the details. Many are judged by uncompromising Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and shoddy survey data, not comprehensive digital experience trends and indexes. The parallels we sometimes draw between other industry indexes like in economics (GDP) or healthcare (BMI) might make sense on paper, but when we apply those concepts to enterprise IT and the employee experience, they can seem impractical.
IT can measure and influence an employee’s overall work experience… really?
I’ve worked with dozens of IT teams that have chartered impressive improvement plans both before and during the pandemic. From that body of work, I’ve compiled 5 best practices that any technology leader can start implementing today:
The biggest obstacle for IT comes in knowing what their current technology environment really looks like from the perspective of employees. Here’s what we know: roughly half of all IT issues go unreported by employees. So, it’s important you and your IT team truly understand your users’ sources of dissatisfaction and satisfaction.
My colleague, Prabhu Kaliaperumal (Director of Strategic Solutions at Nexthink) has worked closely with several end-user teams since the pandemic hit and he told me, “One of the hardest things for IT is to get a comprehensive understanding of what complaints employees bring up with the help desk and what things they tolerate but would be happy to see fixed.”
Here are a few tips to help you avoid that type of confusion:
Once you’re able to measure your employees’ experience and determine why certain variables impact its score, you next need to figure out who has responsibility over each component.
DEX is a broad and deep concept, so it should be shared among your entire IT department. Multiple groups across end-user computing, applications, user experience (UX), and the help desk can impact DEX, but none are solely accountable. What’s key is that each team who takes on responsibility is working towards the same goals and metrics.
The most successful IT teams that I’ve seen always have a core “DEX Center of Excellence” group to handle the company’s main experience challenges, and help steer the rest of the departments’ projects.
Once you have team leaders assigned to work on your company’s DEX, you’ll need to plan short-term, mid-term, and long-term ROI goals and priorities. Based on what you’ve identified as weaknesses in Step 1, your team should next group those problems into objectives that they can target in the next week, month, or quarter.
For example, many IT departments focus their first few weeks on cleaning up legacy tools, processes, and skill shortages that impede their company’s DEX. Is your user base working with outdated, or soon-to-be outdated, software tools? Can you identify hardware that is better off being reclaimed rather than replaced?
After establishing clear, measurable goals, IT should next focus on how they can effectively ensure employees want and use their work applications. Whether you’re rolling out a new SaaS application or shifting an entire user base to the cloud or a virtualized setup:
Does your team have an ideal trajectory for continuous improvement? How would you measure your team’s overall progress? Over the years, I’ve learned two important things about IT departments:
The point is to make true and lasting wholesale improvements, IT teams need visibility into the problems that exist at every layer of their employee experience, and they need a single index score to track and work towards. Just like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used to track a country’s economic strength, or Body Mass Index (BMI) for a person’s health, IT teams need a comprehensive metric to understand and improve their employees’ true technology experience.
If you’re in charge of an IT team and you want to make serious improvements to your Digital Employee Experience (DEX), know that you can enact these steps starting today. With the right methodology, your team can finally work towards the same goals, make company-wide technology improvements, and know what works and what doesn’t. But choosing not to act will leave your team second-guessing its work and unable to rise to meet modern business demands and practices.