Organisations today are recognising that good employee experience (EX) goes hand in hand with good customer experience management (CX) and increased revenue.
EX ideas and processes are continually evolving with the needs of employees and the organisations they work in. Typically, the HR department is the driving force behind integrating these changes into the workplace as seamlessly as possible. Though, more recently we're seeing HR and IT work together to implement the technology required.
It is important that your HR, IT or any other team involved, understand where opportunities and challenges affecting EX might arise. Equipped with this knowledge, they can put in place strategies to prepare your workplace and employees to continue collaborating and thriving in the years to come.
AI to enhance EX
Advancements in technology will lead to more artificial intelligence (AI) tools and processes finding their way into your workplace. Employees will need to be confident and comfortable enough to rely on AI technology in their day-to-day tasks. Some organisations are already using chatbot services like Talla to automate the process of answering employee questions, and managing and prioritising requests. At the same time, more organisations will implement AI to monitor employee behavior, analyze sentiment and provide recommendations to improve EX.
Preparing your workplace for effectively adopting AI technology involves:
- Surveying all levels of management to understand general opinions on AI. Feedback can be used to identify change advocates and prepare additional coaching programs for those resistant to AI technology.
- Encouraging department leaders and senior managers to become public advocates of AI technologies being introduced.
- Including levels of management in any trials of AI tools and processes, eliciting feedback, alleviating concerns and ensuring it is embraced by managers.
- Asking employees to participate in satisfaction surveys to refine AI tools and processes adopted.
- Re-designing training and coaching programs for managers – moving beyond program and process skills to soft and interpersonal skills. This will help them inspire employees, and foster a culture of change and new ways of working.
Intranets continue to respond to EX needs
Intranet solutions currently have the capability to improve EX in a range of ways from presenting relevant information during the employee onboarding process to keeping employees informed of organisational events and shared achievements.
As organisations shift focus from traditional, physical workplaces to virtual, digital workplaces, intranets will play an even bigger role in EX - becoming a central platform in helping to replicate the culture, values, processes and activities of a physical environment.
Your intranet will need to continue evolving to meet changing EX needs.
You can prepare your workplace for this by:
- Undertaking a mix of field research and data analysis to discover issues and opportunities affecting employee productivity. Then looking at ways your intranet can assist. Start with processes and areas that offer the highest sales and productivity gains for your organisation i.e. duplicate and outdated information across multiple, disconnected internal systems leading to inefficiencies for sales representatives trying to quickly create sales proposals.
- Placing more emphasis on creating or updating intranet content strategy and management documents based off insights from continually measuring intranet performance to ensure your intranet provides optimal EX.
- Training your HR teams and Intranet Managers to become EX experts. New intranet designs and functionality need to be examined from an EX lens.
- Observing individual behaviour and actions while employees are performing day-to-day tasks to understand how new features and updates can be used to improve productivity. This will also help you craft a personalised intranet experience that drives compelling EX.
- Ensuring new features and applications conform to the design and functionality of the rest of an intranet; productivity and EX can be stunted if these aspects are very different to what an employee is expecting.
- Making it easy to and ensuring remote employees know how to access new features and functions via mobile device or from a non-local workstation.
- Organising training events and scheduled webinars for regular education and skills training.
Further reading: [Blog post] How to Deliver Great Digital Employee Experiences
Digital literacy affecting employees
With the move towards digital processes, more organisations are choosing to employ digitally literate candidates. It is now becoming a key factor for HR teams when hiring and onboarding new employees. There will also be a growing need to create positive EX for digitally illiterate employees with the existing skills, experience and knowledge required for organisations to succeed.
Preparing your workplace for the push towards digital literacy involves:
- An understanding of the varying levels of digital literacy across the organisation from junior to senior employees. Then using this data to create training and coaching programs for each level delivered either online or in person.
- Providing employees with continual access to industry-standard (or above) hardware, software, resources and facilities.
- Offering continual training and coaching for all employees to ensure they remain confident and comfortable in their roles as new and updated digital processes and tools are introduced.
- Encouraging and rewarding improvements in digital literacy.
Understanding your digital workplace and effectively preparing it to adapt to these changes is not a simple process; it will involve a large amount of time and effort from your HR team. Though the reward of a compelling EX and a thriving digital workplace will make it all worth it.