Most enterprises today have implemented digital tools to increase their employees’ productivity and give them a better workplace experience. For example, some have a health insurance chatbot to give employees easy 24/7/365 access to basic plan information. Others have made their intranets mobile friendly. And still others use advanced mobility solutions to allow their employees to work from anywhere.
Yet, despite the employee-centric intent of the tools, our discussions with enterprises revealed that they’re actually having the opposite effect.
During our research for our recently published report, Digital Workplace Services PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2019: Enterprises, It is Time to Humanize the Workplace Experience, we set out to determine what was going on.
We came to two conclusions.
Conclusion #1: the employee experience plummets after digital tool novelty wears off
Our research team created the digital employee experience continuum to look at how the proliferation of tools affect employee productivity and experience. As you see below, when new productivity-focused tools and technologies are implemented in the workplace, users enter the zone of “digital awe”; because of the novelty of the tools, employee productivity and experience are high.
But after time, and following the introduction of more digital tools, although employee productivity continues to improve, employee morale and enthusiasm start dropping off. Ultimately, employees may outrightly reject new digital tools.
Let’s look at this phenomenon by considering the example of an employee who provides remote training sessions leveraging immersive communication tools. Elimination of the daily commute pushes the trainer into the zone of enhanced productivity, as he or she has more time to deliver additional training sessions. But the toll of creating even more digital content, documenting the whole process, and feeding the details into an analytics system for continuous improvement can quickly drive the trainer to the point of digital aversion.
The above scenario showcases how an enterprise may fail to identify that while digital tools can improve business productivity, they may do little to nothing to improve the user experience. Indeed, they may worsen it.
Conclusion #2: service providers may have sold their enterprise clients a productivity-centric solution camouflaged as human experience-centricity
Many service providers still view employees as users, rather than humans. So, when they design and deliver a digital solution, they only consider the things that impact user productivity, such as software preference, network bandwidth constraints, device compatibility, and tool knowledge. They fail to take into account employees’ human attributes such as user location, mood, and context.
To avoid creating a digitally-toxic workplace, here are some questions enterprises should discuss with service providers before entering into an agreement. They’re based on our HUMANEX – or Hyperconnectivity, Ubiquity, Measurability, Assurance, Novelty, Empowerment, eXtendability – framework, which outlines the attributes of a true human experience-centric workplace.
The answers to these questions help enterprises understand which of their short-listed providers are capable of and committed to delivering on real employee experience-centricity.
What to check for
To learn more about creating a human-experience focused workplace in your organization, and how the service providers in this space stack-up, please read our report named, “Digital Workplace Services PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2019: Enterprises, It is Time to Humanize the Workplace Experience.”