Expanding the Employee Experience Conversation Through Creating a Digital Employee Experience Strategy

Author(s): Shruti Mathur

By Shruti Mathur

Do your communication and collaboration tools enable employees to function effectively?
Do employees find it easy to access information they need?

If you are unsure of the responses to any of the above questions, you may want to develop a clear vision for your digital strategy and how it fits your HR and larger organizational strategy.

What is digital employee experience (DEX)?

Physical boundaries at work have faded. The employee experience (EX) conversation needs to expand into technology. Most of us are accustomed to a seamless technology experience in our personal lives and expect the same level of digital ease at the workplace.

DEX is the employees’ perception of how well the organization’s technology helps them do their jobs. It encompasses perceptions of the quality of the user experience touchpoints, IT processes, digital tools, communication platforms, self-service HR systems, etc. If employees find it taxing to access or share information, or if your systems/applications hinder their daily tasks, it negatively impacts their productivity and engagement levels. Data collected through McLean & Company’s Engagement survey found that employees who agree with the statement “I have all the resources and information I need to do a great job” are 3.61 times more likely to be engaged than those who disagree, reflecting the importance of conducting an in-depth needs analysis to assess if the current tools and technologies facilitate or hinder employees in achieving organizational goals.

Some of the advantages of having a DEX strategy include enhanced employee engagement, higher productivity, higher retention, and improved collaboration between teams.

Crafting a DEX strategy

The onus of improving employee experience often rests with the HR team, and McLean & Company’s HR Trends Report 2023 postulated that for HR to be seen as a strategic partner, adopting digital transformation is key. Designing and delivering a seamless digital experience is a cornerstone of digital transformation and involves:

  • Connecting the impact of implementing digital initiatives to the organization’s strategic goals and objectives
  • Evaluating the organization’s readiness to adopt technological changes and assessing the current state of digital infrastructure and capabilities. Factor in the financial cost, workforce requirements, and intensity of technological change at this stage.
  • Getting input from HR, IT, and functional leaders for a variety of perspectives on the ideal state of DEX.
  • Adopting a design-centric approach that keeps the user-centricity as the focal point to humanize your DEX strategy. This can be done by understanding the digital touchpoints in each role or employee’s journey, reviewing user adoption metrics, gathering feedback from employees on their pain points, and assessing their receptiveness to technological changes.
  • Drafting a high-level communication and technology deployment strategy, including visualizing the employee training.
  • Testing the prototypes of solutions created before launch and making modifications.

Elements for creating a seamless DEX

  • User-friendly interfaces
  • Seamless collaboration tools (real-time messaging, videoconferencing, document sharing, project management tools)
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Providing employee self- service (self-service options for tasks such as requesting time off, accessing HR information, managing benefits)
  • Personalization and customization (tailoring digital experiences to employee needs and preferences)
  • Automating repetitive tasks
  • Enhancing device and program reliability
  • Offering training and resources on technology implementations

Fading physical boundaries and rapid advancements in technology are driving up the demand to rethink how employee experience can be enhanced. Continuously gathering feedback and monitoring the effectiveness of your digital initiatives can differentiate you from your competitors.

Speak with a McLean & Company analyst today to support your organization better!

McLean & Company Resources

Employee Experience Center
Design the Employee Experience
Design Thinking Primer
Catalyze Cross-Functional Collaboration

Works Cited

Morris, Weston. “3 Ways IT and HR Can Prioritize Employee Experience.” Harvard Business Review, May 2022.

McKendrick, Joe. “Let’s Talk Digital Employee Experience: Not Good Enough, Say Employees.” Forbes, Aug 2022.

Violino, Bob. “What is digital employee experience? A key worker retention tool.” Computerworld, Aug 2022.

“A beginner’s guide to designing the digital employee experience.” Qualtrics, July 2023.

Fontein, Dara. “Digital Employee Experience & the Future of Work.” Thought Exchange, June 2022.

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