Wiley’s Dummies series is best known for repackaging technical, nuanced material into practical and accessible lesson books. In partnership with Nexthink, the company’s latest addition, Digital Employee Experience, delivers on this same reputational goal.

Most ‘for Dummies’ books are written either from a purely technical or from a higher level, management topic. The challenge for Nexthink was to write from both camps—to provide both a practical guide for IT Leaders with concrete examples and to highlight simple but subtle alterations to management strategies that can positively impact the modern employee experience.

In addition to the step-by-step learning objectives listed at the end of this article, we identified 4 common themes that run throughout the book:

There is an “expectations gap” between digital employees and IT/employers which sets the background for so many problems today.

  • Meaning, as consumers, we’re used to receiving a high level of satisfaction with our devices and online experience. And our expectations are such that we expect the same great service when we log on for work or go to the office. Unfortunately, those expectations are rarely met. Instead, employees face problems with downed networks and devices that don’t respond, and the frustration of having to contact the help desk or figure out their problems alone. The longer this gap remains, the more likely a business will lose talent and suffer from productivity loss, decreased profits, etc.

Whether they want to admit or not, IT are the architects of their company’s work experience.

  • The book argues that since most businesses have transitioned beyond the standard brick-and-mortar concept to either fully remote or at least a hybrid environment, IT has now become the only true agent capable of creating and monitoring the modern work experience. In other words, the lines between HR and IT have blurred to the point where the demands that IT once faced before the pandemic—mostly reacting to technical problems, after the fact—have drastically changed. Now IT is being asked to shape and mold digital work experiences with the aim of providing smarter employee productivity, wellbeing, engagement, and a host of other outcomes that traditionally fell to other departments.

Visibility into the human perspective at work.

  • This is one of the core themes that underpins the entire book. The previously mentioned “expectations gap” can be reined in only when IT breaks down its siloes and visibility gaps with the employee experience (remote, in-office, or hybrid). The silver lining from the pandemic is that it forced companies to change focus from a location-based model to a human-centric one. But in order to view and interpret problems from the perspective of your employees, means that you need complete end-to-end visibility, from the worker’s device to their applications, network connections, and all the important nodes that exist in one’s digital workday. The book does a nice job of laying out how IT can unlock better visibility and contextual data, while also highlighting things to avoid in that quest.

IT as the principal conduit for a smarter way to work

  • Also embedded in the end of the book is the idea that IT can play an influential role in how society thinks about digital work. The book supports the idea that rather than trying to free ourselves of work, we can feel free in our work (with the right IT support model).

Imagine a world where employees receive the exact hardware and software that fits their unique needs. Where they feel energized and liberated from digital distractions or barriers. Or a world where IT doesn’t have to spend all its time managing incidents, but instead it can focus on creative R&D projects. Imagine a world where other departments come to IT to help identify their own excess spending, rather than the other way around. And imagine a world where businesses are more flexible to employee work needs, where they can better impact retention, customer satisfaction, environmental sustainability, and profits. That world doesn’t exist in some fiction book – it’s real and it starts with your IT department.

Ultimately, if you work in a technology role and you want to bring a smart strategy to your company that achieves stronger employee engagement, increased profit margins, and longer employee retention—than this book if for you.

Contents at a Glance:

Introducing Digital Employee Experience Management to your Organization

Measuring Digital Employee Experience (DEX)

Bridging the IT/Employee Divide

Kickstarting Faster Problem Solving

Building a DEX Center of Excellence and Leveraging Experience Level Agreements (XLAs)

Envisioning the Future of Digital Work

Read the eBook: Digital Employee Experience For Dummies® A Wiley Brand