Research conducted by Forrester Consulting has shown, “Today’s HR professionals understand how critical employee experience (EX) is. More than one-quarter say it is the most important aspect of their HR strategy, and another 42% say it is very important. This represents an increase from just two years ago when only 9% said EX was the most important factor then. Within two years, 35% of professionals say EX will be the most important factor in their HR strategy.”
Even though businesses understand the importance of EX, employee engagement continues to be low as organizations continue to struggle in several areas of employee experience.
Moreover, a sudden and rapid shift to remote work has drastically transformed the talent dynamics over the past two years.
With widespread vaccinations in sight, the business landscape is moving towards a hybrid working model— where some employees return to the office while others continue to operate from home—a recent Gartner. Inc. survey of 130 HR leaders revealed that 90% of respondents plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time, even after the COVID-19 vaccine is widely adopted.
As Jared Spataro, Microsoft Teams and 365 leader, has rightly put, “For so many people, the “place” where work happens— today and here on out— is the internet. The digital experience of working for a company is the employee experience.”
As employers comprehend the power of technology in elevating the employee experience, digital employee experience platforms have rapidly gained traction.
This blog defines employee experience platforms and delves deep into the six reasons you should implement one.
An employee experience platform is a unified portal that brings together powerful tools for communication, collaboration, learning, knowledge mining and discovery, and well-being— all within the flow of an employee’s daily work.
As discussed above, employees are now the customers of a digital workplace— from enterprise messaging apps to social collaboration tools— technology has a predominant role in today’s business landscape.
Consequently, it is pertinent for HR leaders to enhance the digital employee experience (DEX), i.e., the type of interactions an employee has with the technology in their environment.
Amidst the pandemic, employees have dealt with various problems, including long work hours, social isolation, issues in collaborating with peers, inability to access relevant information at the right time, and the grief of losing family and friends to the virus— increasing their levels of stress, grief, and anxiety.
Moreover, employers find it increasingly challenging to establish a sense of purpose and well-being in a hybrid setup. Due to lack of engagement, organizations are witnessing higher than usual voluntary employee turnover.
Employee experience platforms deliver a cohesive, branded space to address employee pain points and improve employee experience throughout their journey with the organization.
Below, we discuss the six reasons why you should consider replacing old, outdated workplace technology with a modern EX platform.
A positive employee experience boosts productivity, improves the quality of work, enhances engagement, and helps organizations retain the best talent.
So, here’s looking at the six reasons why an employee experience platform should form an integral part of your tech stack.
From desk-side chats and run-ins at the coffee machine to team lunches, parties, offsites, and happy hours, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to every informal opportunity to connect at the workplace.
Working in silos has put a massive strain on employees’ physical and emotional well-being— the latest Gallup report revealed 36% of employees felt disengaged at the workplace, and 13% felt actively disengaged (i.e., those who have miserable work experiences and spread their unhappiness to colleagues).
Moreover, when employees don’t know the company’s vision or understand how their work contributes towards it, there is a lack of motivation and engagement.
A igital employee experience platform(DEX) offers social capabilities, such as enterprise messaging apps, blogs, video conferencing tools, and discussion forums that allow employees to stay connected with peers and get personalized updates and company news. Such tools help recreate the “water cooler” at the office in a virtual setting.
Company leaders can reiterate vision, goals, and expected behavior through blogs, videos, message boards, and policy documents— all of which are readily available on the DEX platform.
Additionally, leaders can conduct virtual lunches, town halls, and one-on-one check-ins that stimulate conversations around mental well-being.
In times like these, allowing employees to feel recognized and rewarded with employee badges and achievements displayed on the EX platform can help boost employee morale.
DEX platforms leverage workplace analytics tools that help employees track and manage their schedules and maintain a better work-life balance while enabling employers to understand their workforce better and make intelligent decisions.
Moreover, robust AI capabilities enable employers to deliver content relevant to their employees’ roles, geography, and interests through personalized news feeds.
Hybrid and remote work has made it challenging for employees to collaborate with their teams and other departments— dropping productivity in the process.
While enterprise messaging tools, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Yammer, etc., help remote employees reach their peers, users may also create private channels and project groups to connect securely with anyone in the company.
Moreover, by providing flexible integrations with apps such as ServiceNow, SAP, and Office 365, employees can share files and get things done seamlessly from anywhere without switching apps and browser windows constantly.
Organizations need to engage employees in a two-way dialogue that accounts for their specific needs and helps them voice their concerns.
As discussed above, employee experience platforms support various social collaboration tools that encourage employees to speak up and drive honest workplace communications.
Moreover, employers can design and conduct surveys to efficiently collect employee feedback and gauge their feelings towards the organization.
Due to the digitization of workplace operations, employees experienced stress and fatigue as they were required to process significantly more amounts of information.
Moreover, information overload had a detrimental impact on productivity as well. Modern employee experience platforms boast a cognitive search engine that allows employees to retrieve relevant files, documents, and other information across the organization’s internal network.
AI-driven filters and segmentation features personalize search results based on an employee’s role, location, department, language, job title, and interests— making it easier to consume and leverage valuable information.
Innovation is a complex process. It mandates collective brainstorming and the management of conflicting ideas that are easier to achieve in a physical office environment. However, facilitating the same in a hybrid setup requires organizations to invest in the right tools and technology.
Modern DEX platforms host gamification-based idea management systems that enable users to innovate and develop solutions to everyday work challenges. The system allows employees to capture, upvote, and comment on ideas. The management then shortlists and rewards the best ideas.
In this way, an idea management system allows employees to participate in critical decisions and gives them a sense of purpose and meaning.
Frontline workers like nurses, construction workers, and the manufacturing staff do not have desk-based jobs. While they make up approximately 80% of the global working population, organizations fail to keep these workers in mind while designing their digital workplace strategies. Often they do not have access to the company’s network while at work.
A survey by Forbes and Microsoft shows that companies with digitally empowered frontline workers achieve greater than 20% yearly growth, nearly three times the rate of competitors who lag behind on this metric.
Mobile-first employee experience platforms enable frontline workers to access important company news, share project updates, and access training and project-related resources— while they work on the site.
Push notifications allow managers to send targeted information and deliver important announcements, thus ensuring frontline workers remain engaged and aligned with the organization.
At Acuvate, we help clients deploy Mesh 3.0, our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution for enterprises.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we build Mesh with the best Microsoft technologies, including Office Graph, LUIS, Azure Search Services, and MS Natural Language Stack. Mesh 3.0 boasts capabilities that every organization must look for in a DEX platform.
Some of these functionalities include –
In February 2021, Microsoft launched its employee experience platform called VIVA that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, and insights on a unified platform.
Experienced through Microsoft Teams, VIVA offers four powerful modules—VIVA Connections, VIVA Topics, VIVA Learning, and VIVA Insights—empowering people and teams to be their best from anywhere.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we help clients integrate VIVA with Mesh 3.0, via VIVA Connections, to create a holistic and seamless employee experience.
With 145 million daily active users (DAU), Teams has become the most popular place for users to collaborate. In line with this, VIVA Connections provides a gateway for organizations to surface Mesh 3.0 within Teams. In short, it delivers personalized content, suggested events, “people you may follow,” and other relevant information to employees where they already are, i.e., Microsoft Teams.
Mesh 3.0 also complements VIVA Learning, VIVA Topics, and VIVA Insights to unlock maximum employee engagement and deliver end-to-end experiences.
Click here to learn more about how Mesh 3.0 and Microsoft VIVA work better together.
To know more about Mesh 3.0, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.
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