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See How Digital Employee Experience Can Cut Costs And Improve Productivity


Employee having a productive digital experience on a laptop, showcasing how improved digital employee experiences can boost productivity and reduce costs
See How Digital Employee Experience Can Cut Costs And Improve Productivity

Our focus on employee-centred workspaces can seem to be at odds with organisations focused on increasing profits and managing costs. The fact is, however, developing digital services which support employees will help you boost productivity and reduce costs - aligned to your financial goals.


I’ve written many articles about the importance of employee engagement and only last month considered how hybrid working is supporting your employee wellbeing in Employee Experience - Who Benefits from an Employee-Centred Environment?


While that post considered the reasons why office buildings will continue to remain open while employees also enjoy the benefits of remote working. In this post, I’d like to investigate the importance of the Digital Employee Experience (DEX) in this discussion.


Prioritising Digital Transformation For Employee Engagement


So, when considering your digital workspace strategy, where is your focus?


I don’t think you’ll be surprised by my suggestion that the focus should be your employees. Developing an employee-centred digital workspace will ensure joined-up solutions that benefit everyone. This Forbes article on Employee Retention Strategies highlights a number of considerations we’ll pick out here.


What are Employees Looking For?


Under two broad umbrellas, current thinking shows that what your people are looking for from their employers are:


CULTURE

Employees are looking for a culture that values them as individuals and benefits their personal wellbeing, and supports their communities.


Your Digital Employee Experience can support this through:

  • Work-Life Balance: Providing the flexibility your people want in terms of working hours and work environment will rely on development of your digital infrastructure.

  • Flexible Work Environments: Again, personal choice is important; not only allowing individuals to work remotely, but developing smarter physical workspaces (something we looked at in the post The Best Office Spaces).

  • Sustainability: Conserving energy and ensuring services are efficient will not only benefit the environment but engage your employees, who increasingly judge employers on their environmental credentials (we looked into this further in this post about Corporate Environmental Responsibility)

  • Community: As we discussed in our previous post, one reason employees are keen for organisations to maintain physical offices is the need for social interaction and community. DEX also has a part to play here, however, by supporting easy and regular communication wherever your people are, and even virtual team building.


EMPOWERMENT

Hybrid and remote working has shown employees how much they can achieve working independently, recognising and valuing that is crucial to empower your people.

Your Digital Employee Experience can support this through:

  • Flexibility: Again, giving your people a say in how, when and where they work will show individuals they are trusted.

  • Development Opportunities: Digital skills training and flexible learning will provide your people greater opportunities for personal development. Utilising digital platforms to enable development when - and where - your teams want it, will contribute positively to your employee satisfaction. We looked at elements of this in our piece about Learning in the Flow of Work.

  • Collaboration: Supporting your teams to engage and collaborate across sites encourages choice and strengthens their feeling of empowerment. Providing remote collaboration tools to support this will be an integral part of your digital workspace strategy.

  • Visibility: While systems providing visibility of employee’s working are important for managers, they are just as important for individuals looking to ensure fair treatment.


What are Organisations Looking For?


Again, we’re going to consider two broad areas which companies who are working to cut costs and improve productivity will benefit from:


EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION

As I mentioned in our previous post, recruitment difficulties are hitting many organisations bringing a real focus to staff retention.


Your Digital Employee Experience can support this through:

  • Improved User Experience (UX): Giving your people systems which enable them to work effectively is essential to provide a better employee experience all round. Personalised Digital Experience is part of this, providing individuals with systems that work for them rather than them working around fixed and inflexible systems.

  • Empowerment and Culture: As we’ve just discussed, providing employee-centred systems will focus on those areas of concern which are important to your people. Focusing on employee satisfaction will produce an environment in which employees are less likely to leave.

  • Development Opportunities: This is worth picking out again, as providing your people with future development opportunities will significantly impact their decisions about staying in an organisation. Focusing on providing training and development throughout your employee lifecycle is essential.

  • Recruitment: Providing a positive culture and all the opportunities we’ve already identified will not just keep your existing employees happy, but encourage others to join you. In an environment where recruitment is difficult, standing out as an employer who cares will go a long way in bringing in the people you want.


PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS

Boosting productivity and reducing costs are really two sides of the same coin:

Your Digital Employee Experience can support this through:

  • Cloud-based Collaboration Tools: These will ensure your people can work together on any project regardless of their location, as well as providing easier communication and task management.

  • Management and Productivity Tools: Providing your management teams with effective tools to easily oversee and manage workflows will ensure they are able to address productivity concerns swiftly.

  • Creativity and Innovation: Virtual workspaces and collaboration tools, alongside many other software solutions, are designed to support your teams in creative work - whether they are all in one space or working in different parts of the world. Such innovation is often a key driver to improving working practices and productivity.

  • Efficiencies and Sustainability: Improving working practices, reducing inefficiencies and managing systems more effectively will be driven by the right digital workspace strategy. Each of these elements will support your sustainability agenda and reduce costs.


What About the Results


It’s all very well to discuss ways in which your Digital Employee Experience can improve productivity and reduce costs - but how will you know if you’ve succeeded?


METRICS, GOALS AND MEASUREMENT

The first step is ensuring you know what success should look like. What results are you hoping for?

Set and monitor those things your organisation is looking for:

  • Productivity statistics

  • Consumption figures

  • Employee engagement statistics

  • Employee retention

  • And there will be others

Understand your current status, what do these numbers look like now? Can you see where failings or blocks are currently? Which of these indicators should be prioritised?


Define what your goals and objectives are, with plans to reach them. Discussing these with teams who are responsible for managing these areas, or whose work will fundamentally impact them, can make a big difference to engagement with any process changes and improvements.


Ensure processes are defined to track these measures with clear and efficient reporting which encourages feedback, discussion and updates. Continual refining of processes and adjustments will enable real change to happen quickly - empowering those who are responsible.


And For You?


As you develop your employee-centric digital workspaces you will always have other priorities and concerns to consider.


These areas above aren’t just things to consider to justify the importance of your focus on your people, they will hopefully show that real individual concerns can make a substantial difference and knowing what your individual priorities are can drive your development more effectively.


If you’re looking at ways to support your employees better through your DEX, let’s talk.


 
About the Author

I'm Terry Chana. I am an innovation strategist that connects customer, employee and brand experiences. My passion lies in building ecosystems to solve business problems by combining creativity and technology.

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