Hot IT Trends – Employee Experience and the Need for Productivity Improvement

Hopefully, you haven’t been “living under the proverbial rock” the last few years and have seen the growing interest in, and importance of, employee experience. Or, to be more specific, the need for experience management. You might even have seen the Forrester Research blog, “2022 Will Go Down As The Year Executives Were Forced To Care About Employee Experience”, published in late 2021. It’s a scary blog title if you feel you’ve still much to learn about employee experience.

Don’t worry though, because this blog is here to help – offering some key employee experience guidance in fewer than 800 words.

Employee Experience Giphy

What employee experience is

This topic could be a blog in its own right. So here’s the elevator pitch. Well, two elevator pitches because there are two main perspectives of what employee experience is to consider as an IT professional – that of human resources (HR) and IT.

The HR-focused version is very similar to the typical definitions of customer experience (CX):

Employee experience is a worker’s perceptions about his or her journey through all the touchpoints at a particular company, starting with job candidacy through to the exit from the company.”

While Forrester Research well articulated the IT version in a 2019 blog post:

“…the most important factor for employee experience is being able to make progress every day toward the work that they believe is most important.”

Although it applies to all business functions, this IT-focused definition allows us to see how technology and technology-enabled processes affect productivity is critical to employee experience.

Why employee experience is important

There are two key perspectives of importance here; these align with the two definition flavours shared above. The HR perspective, which can be considered to include the IT perspective, is very much about recruiting and retaining top talent based on the reported and received employee experience. So, for example, a potential candidate might be dissuaded from joining a company based on the recruitment process they experience or maybe even the company-based posts they read on social media (even before they apply for a role).

The IT perspective influences the HR perspective in many ways. However, in line with the above Forrester Research definition, while how an employee feels about the company they work for is important, IT leaders need to understand and focus on how technology allows employees to do the work they need to do when they need to do it.

Employee Experience Giphy

The need for improved productivity is key to IT success

It’s important to appreciate that employee experience works in two directions for IT (and other internal service providers). While the service provider should seek to improve the experiences and productivity of the employees being served (or customers’ employees in the case of managed service providers (MSPs)), service provider staff also need improved experiences and productivity.

Both sets of productivity gains are key to IT success. IT staff can work more efficiently in doing the work that will ultimately make the employees they serve more productive. This could be in delivering the IT services employees need to do their work or IT service management (ITSM) capabilities related to IT support. In both cases, efficient approval mechanisms will significantly benefit both service providers and service receivers.

Approvals as a productivity-improving lever

While much talk related to productivity improvement relates to process redesign and the exploitation of automation, there’s also a need to improve the human touchpoints, including approvals.

Think about it. How often do important approvals get delayed waiting on an authorised individual to see that their input is needed and take action? Often these approvals are trapped in the approver’s email inbox along with many other less important messages, with their priority hidden amongst the sea of unread and read emails.

A good example is change approvals. Where, for critical business changes in particular, your organisation shouldn’t have to wait on an approver finally seeing a change-approval email in their inbox. Or for them to discount its importance until later. This visibility issue causes unnecessary delays and increases the probability of change process circumvention and the associated risks.

This improvement opportunity and similar approval efficiency needs can and should be addressed to improve the productivity of all employees.

If you would like to learn more about how more efficient approval practices will help to improve your organisation’s employee experience and productivity, visit our homepage.

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