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The shift to remote and hybrid work models has underscored the importance of creating a positive and seamless digital workplace employee experience, whether on-site or remote. 

As a result, digital employee experience (DEX) and the broader employee experience (EX) have become crucial focus areas for HR professionals in today's competitive talent market. 

We’ll explore the basics of digital employee experience, how to measure it, and practical strategies for creating a seamless digital workplace.

Digital employee experience (DEX) is the quality of employees' interactions with workplace technology. It focuses on how well tools and systems, like software, hardware, and overall system performance, help employees do their jobs.

DEX is a crucial part of the broader employee experience. Where EX looks at the entire employee journey, DEX focuses on the digital elements—from using enterprise software to accessing information and collaborating with colleagues. 

Effective digital employee experience management involves regularly updating and streamlining digital processes based on employee feedback and evolving needs. 

A good DEX ensures that technology is fast, reliable, and user-friendly. When systems work well, employees can complete tasks efficiently and with less frustration. Conversely, poor DEX can lead to slow performance, frequent crashes, and general dissatisfaction.

An employee’s digital employee experience includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Apps/SaaS: Applications and software are the tools employees use daily. These need to be intuitive and efficient to support productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Mobility: Mobility ensures that employees can access work tools from any device, anywhere. This flexibility supports remote and hybrid work models, making it easier for employees to stay connected and productive.
  • Devices: Reliable and efficient hardware is crucial for a good DEX as it reduces downtime and allows employees to work without technical interruptions.
  • System performance: System performance affects how quickly and smoothly employees complete tasks. Fast, responsive systems prevent frustrating delays and enhance overall productivity.
  • Security: Robust security measures protect data and privacy. Ensuring secure digital interactions builds trust and reduces the risk of cyber threats.
  • Resource usage: Efficient resource usage means that digital tools and systems operate without unnecessarily straining system resources, optimizing performance while extending the life of devices and applications.
  • Sentiment: Employee sentiment towards digital tools reflects their satisfaction and engagement. Regularly measuring your employee Net Promoter Score® (eNPS) helps identify issues and areas for improvement, ensuring a positive DEX.

Digital employee experience is part of, but is not interchangeable with, remote employee experience. DEX focuses on the quality of interactions with digital tools and systems, regardless of your workplace model—remote, hybrid, or on-site.

Remote employee experience encompasses all aspects of working remotely, including digital interactions, communication, work environment, and work-life balance. A good DEX enhances the remote employee experience by ensuring that technology supports seamless, efficient, and secure remote work.

woman sitting next to chart

Implementing a robust digital employee experience strategy is essential for improving productivity and job satisfaction. A good DEX streamlines tasks, making employees more efficient. It ensures that digital tools and systems are reliable, fast, and user-friendly.

Conversely, a poor DEX creates barriers and friction. Slow systems, frequent crashes, and difficult-to-use software prevent employees from completing tasks efficiently. This frustration lowers job satisfaction and can lead employees to look for opportunities elsewhere.

DEX is one component of the holistic employee experience. By incorporating a multilevel approach to employee needs, companies can better support employee growth and satisfaction, leading to improvements throughout the business.

According to a 2019 article from Deloitte, organizations with compelling digital workforce experiences see a 22% increase in employee engagement, and "these workers are four times more likely to stay in their jobs than those at organizations with less compelling experiences."

Research from the EM Normandie Business School in Paris found that a comprehensive digital employee experience improves employee well-being. The holistic employee experience EMX framework highlights that addressing functional, emotional, and eudaimonic (meaning and purpose) needs through better digital tools leads to healthier, more satisfied employees.

Improving the digital employee experience enhances recruitment and retention efforts. According to HR tech provider ESI, components like employee well-being, diversity, formal training, and effective communication and productivity technologies impact overall job satisfaction and performance. 

By investing in robust digital tools, companies create a more engaging and efficient work environment, making them more attractive to potential hires and reducing turnover among existing employees. ESI notes these improvements in DEX not only boost productivity but also lead to better business outcomes. 

A good digital employee experience, supported by technologies like employee communication and productivity tools, significantly enhances job satisfaction and performance. Harvard Business Review (HBR) research reveals, "There are plenty of other components of employee experience that are likely to affect sales and service quality, such as...the use of employee communication/productivity technologies."

HBR argues that companies with high employee satisfaction see substantial financial gains. Research shows that improving employee experience can lead to a 50% increase in revenue and a 45% increase in profits per person-hour.

Companies with the best employee experiences report greater customer satisfaction, highlighting the positive impact of engaged employees on customer service.

A Glassdoor study (as reported in the HBR) found that "There is a strong statistical link between employee well-being reported on Glassdoor and customer satisfaction among a large sample of some of the largest companies today. A happier workforce is clearly associated with companies' ability to deliver better customer satisfaction..."

SurveyMonkey research shows a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and revenue growth. A Journal of Marketing 2006 study found that improving customer satisfaction by 1% leads to a 4.6% increase in market value, highlighting its significant impact on a company's financial performance. Investing in customer satisfaction enhances market value and reduces cash flow volatility and the cost of capital.

Use employee feedback channels like surveys and performance reviews to understand current sentiments around DEX. Collect feedback using eNPS and employee engagement surveys to identify common issues, patterns, and specific pain points. 

Continuous digital employee experience monitoring through tools like DEM and employee feedback surveys is essential for identifying and addressing issues promptly.

  • Employee feedback: Use employee feedback surveys and interviews to identify issues and areas for improvement. Collect feedback regularly to ensure ongoing monitoring and promptly address emerging problems.
  • Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) tools: DEM merges application and end-user performance monitoring to optimize digital services. It provides real-time visibility into application functionality and network performance, which is crucial for enhancing customer and employee experiences.
  • Network Performance Monitoring (NPM): NPM tools track the performance of the network infrastructure that supports digital tools, ensuring that connectivity issues are promptly identified and resolved.
  • Application Performance Management (APM): APM tools monitor application performance in real-time, helping to identify slowdowns, crashes, or other issues that could affect the user experience.

Define and track KPIs relevant to DEX. These metrics help gauge the success of digital tools and identify areas needing attention.

  • IT support request volume: Monitor the number and types of IT support requests. A high volume may indicate underlying issues with digital tools or systems.
  • Productivity Data: Analyze productivity data to see how digital tools impact employee efficiency. Correlate tool performance with productivity metrics.
  • Employee engagement data: Use employee engagement surveys and tools to measure how digital experiences affect overall employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Adoption rate: Track how quickly and widely employees adopt new digital tools and processes. Low adoption rates can signal usability issues or inadequate training.
woman standing next to chart

Use employee feedback channels like surveys and performance reviews to understand current sentiments around DEX. Collect feedback using eNPS and employee engagement surveys to identify common issues, patterns, and specific pain points.

Leverage employee engagement tools and data analytics to gain deeper insights into digital behavior and preferences. Review employee personas and the employee lifecycle to see how employees learn and use technology. This comprehensive approach helps in tailoring solutions that close experience gaps effectively.

Ensure digital systems integrate smoothly across all departments to prevent data silos and make information easily accessible. Employees should move between tools and systems without interruption to enhance collaboration and efficiency, letting teams work together effectively.

Choose intuitive and accessible technology by tailoring digital experiences to meet individual employee needs. Personalizing tools based on roles and preferences boosts productivity and satisfaction. Employees can focus on work and be able to handle complex systems. A comprehensive digital employee experience strategy can significantly improve employee satisfaction and business outcomes.

Implement robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the safety and privacy of digital interactions through encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits to safeguard your systems. These systems help prevent breaches and maintain employee trust.

Train employees on cybersecurity best practices to educate them on recognizing phishing attempts, using strong passwords, and following security protocols. A well-informed workforce is your first defense against cyber threats to keep your digital workplace secure and reliable.

Encourage a culture of continuous learning and upskilling to ensure they stay updated on the latest tools and technologies. Regular training sessions help employees use digital tools effectively and confidently. Advanced digital employee experience tools like DEM and APM ensure employees interact effectively with workplace technology.

Offer ongoing support to address issues or questions and create a knowledge base to reduce support team tickets. Investing in training and support enhances productivity and boosts employee morale and satisfaction, making employees feel more competent and engaged.

Involve key stakeholders like IT, HR, legal, and finance to optimize workflows. Collaboration across these departments ensures that digital tools and processes meet everyone's needs. Engaging diverse perspectives leads to more efficient and effective digital workplace strategies.

Regularly update and streamline digital processes based on employee feedback and evolving needs. Adjust tools and systems based on this data to ensure the digital workplace stays relevant and efficient.

Check-in with employees using surveys to gauge the impact of improvements and identify areas needing further refinement. We recommend using these two types of surveys for continuous measurement:

  • Pulse survey: Use these short questionnaires to gather real-time insights from employees, customers, or other stakeholders.
  • Employee satisfaction survey: This survey helps measure your team's satisfaction across different areas, from discovering their favorite parts of their job to identifying poor digital experiences.

Recognize and address digital experience pain points immediately. Use KPIs to track the effectiveness of your improvements. This continuous cycle of feedback and adjustment ensures a dynamic and responsive digital workplace that meets employee needs.

Regular measurement and monitoring using feedback tools like surveys are essential to maintaining a high-quality DEX. These tools help identify pain points and areas for improvement, ensuring that digital tools and systems evolve with employee needs. 

Learn more about how SurveyMonkey can help to improve your EX with easy-to-use employee engagement surveys.

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