Digital Employee Experience is something which is getting more and more attention from IT leaders – and it should. Employees are a company’s most important asset, and ensuring they have the tools that they need to do their work smoothly is one of the main reasons that IT departments exist in the first place. Read this blog to learn more about digital employee experience and its many layers.
Why you should care about Digital Employee Experience
According to a recent study, 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech provided by their employers. 65% believe they would be more productive if they had better technology at their disposal. And 26% are considering quitting their jobs because they lack suitable tech!
These figures show that as an IT team, you have a significant role to play in employee productivity, retention, and job satisfaction – all of which are intimately connected to your company’s success.
Digital Employee Experience
Digital Employee Experience, often shortened as DEX, means how employees' digital tools, mainly their computer and software, are functioning and helping them get their job done while keeping the business secure.
Digital Employee Experience Monitoring, often shortened as DEM, means how IT departments monitor these digital tools to better manage them and detect issues. Monitoring is done with a monitoring tool that collects basic and health information from these digital tools.
Monitoring in itself does not necessarily mean that Digital Employee Experience is measured and tracked as a KPI.
Digital Employee Experience Measurement means that the level of experience can be measured and expressed as a Key Performance Indicator or KPI. Clear KPIs are imperative for any true improvement over time.
Most monitoring tools do not measure digital employee experience as such.
Some better Digital Employee Experience Monitoring, or DEM tools, such as Applixure, measure experience based on monitoring data and use sophisticated scoring algorithms to provide always up-to-date measurement of the experience.
As such measurement is based on under-the-hood data, many IT departments also measure experience with an annual survey to check that perceived experience is in line with measured experience, and reasons for deviations are well understood. Surveys alone do not provide enough information for improvement, and results are often heavily skewed by the recent experiences and current situation of the employee.
Digital Employee Experience Improvement (DEXI)
Digital Employee Experience Improvement, or DEXI, means a data-driven, proactive approach where the IT department actively monitors, measures, and continuously improve the Digital Employee Experience based on KPIs and a clear understanding of what people actually have on their computers, how they are being used, and if they have any issues or vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, most IT departments do not measure Digital Employee Experience and are reactively catching up with the limited data provided by support tickets, when the biggest gains usually are in smaller issues never reported or prioritized that are affecting large numbers of employees.
For the service provider, having the client monitor and measure is not a bad thing, quite contrary, assuming they are both doing it. When both have the same visibility and situational awareness, discussions are so much easier, as everybody is in the same boat.
Layers of Digital Employee Experience
In broad terms, Digital Employee Experience includes all and every digital tool or service provided by the employer or used by employees to get their job done.
In practice, employees’ computers are the main access points for both local and remote, that is server or cloud-based, services, and thus the main focus when it comes to monitoring and measuring employee experience. Many other aspects are already monitored elsewhere, and due to technical limitations, may not be monitored from the angle of employee experience.
End-Point Devices: Computers and mobile devices
Computers, their operating systems, and installed software are the main staple of Digital Employee Experience efforts as they are the main digital tools for most of the employees.
Computers are quite complicated at both hardware, operating systems, and software level. Even the same makes and models tend to come with different components over time. Operating systems tend to be a bit different depending on how they have been installed, updated and what other software and hardware installs have been added to them, and in which order. All this and other software installed, affect how smoothly a computer works. Even in highly standardized environments, which by the way, may not be the best strategy for employees but more on that later, installs tend to differ from one another.
Luckily, they can be easily monitored and centrally managed.
Mobile devices, on the other hand, are often difficult or practically impossible to monitor due to limitations imposed by the manufacturer due to privacy and security concerns, and rightly so. The majority of the devices tend to be smartphones used for both work and personal use, and because of that personal use monitoring may not be allowed.
On the other hand, due to their closed nature and standardized hardware, mobile OSes tend to be much more stable.
Servers are consumed through systems and services, which are covered a bit later.
Network and connectivity
In today’s connected world, things easily break if we don’t have a stable network connection.
However, connectivity is a difficult beast to measure. Gone are the days, when desktop computers were the norm and used while physically connected to the network within an organization’s premises.
Today many employees carry laptops and work also outside of the premises from home, cafeterias, customers’ premises, or airplanes using whatever network connection is available. “What’s the guest Wi-Fi password?” may be one of the most common questions nowadays.
In such cases the network connection is not provided by the employer, nor is IT responsible for it.
An employee may choose to work from a location where a network connection is not available, is too expensive, or she may decide not to connect to better focus on the work at hand.
However, her laptop will likely still have plenty of software running that tries to connect, which after a while, times out indicating a network problem, at least for monitoring software.
So, did we have a connectivity problem, or not? It depends if it is intentional or not, and no monitoring software can figure that out.
So, although connectivity monitoring is wished by IT departments, it seldom provides useful information.
Systems and services
Many employees rely heavily on systems and services at the organization’s network such as ERP or CRM-systems, Intranet, shared drive, and networked printers.
When a key system or service is not working properly, many employees cannot get their job done.
Most IT departments monitor that key systems and services are available (from the monitoring system’s location). This does not mean that all employees can access the service.
One solution is to monitor whether an employee can access a system. This is often called End-to-End monitoring. However, it’s not that simple.
Systems are complicated to monitor. Checking whether an interface response or an HTTPS request returns a valid response doesn’t reveal much about the health of the system. We have moved quite far from the early days, and systems are generally highly available on the surface level.
However, systems are still causing all kinds of problems, but such problems are deeper and harder to monitor as we should monitor whether a key process functions properly. But as systems may have dozens or even hundreds of key processes, how can you reasonably build scripts to test them all at frequent intervals?
So, from the employee experience, or customer experience, point of view, monitoring tools often promise a lot, but are actually monitoring just the surface, or are hard to configure to cover a meaningful area.
Cloud and the Internet
More and more of the systems, services, and resources employees need to get their job done are nowadays cloud- or internet-based.
Although the IT department may make the purchase decision, it may not have the means, nor even be allowed, to monitor the availability of these services.
And many of these key services, at least for a group of employees, are now purchased by an employee, team, or department, so IT may not even be aware of them.
User Experience or UX means how easy and convenient it is to use something e.g. a software or system.
Although theoretically UX can be seen as part of the Digital Employee Experience, in practice it is a science of its own.
IT departments seldom design and develop their own software, excluding a few scripts here and there. When a custom software development is ordered from a vendor, UX design and research may be part of the project, but hardly ever as a monitoring exercise on an ongoing practice.
How to improve your Digital Employee Experience
Applixure is a fully automated, easy-to-use SaaS solution that helps pragmatic IT teams to ensure computers and software work smoothly, are always up-to-date and secure. And it is one of the most cost-effective DEX solutions on the market with exceptionally fast and easy deployment and outstanding ease of use.
Schedule a free demo with us to see for yourself how easily Applixure can take your end-user IT from good to great.