How Do You Create a Digital, Next-Gen Employee Experience?

How can an organization deliver a next-gen employee experience? 

And, more importantly, why does the employee experience matter?

In this article, we’ll learn the answers to these questions, plus:

  • The components of a next-gen employee experience
  • Why a digital, next-gen employee experience generates a competitive advantage 
  • How to create a stellar digital employee experience

Let’s start by looking at why a cutting-edge employee experience matters.

Why a Next-Gen Employee Experience Is More than Just a Luxury

Today, many organizations understand the value of the customer experience – and many more are beginning to realize the power of the employee experience.

Improving the customer experience has demonstrably improved many critical areas of a business, including:

  • Customer growth
  • Customer retention
  • The average lifetime value of customers
  • Brand reputation
  • Customer engagement

And many more important areas.

Likewise, an improved employee experience also generates positive effects, including:

  • Greater employee productivity levels
  • Improved engagement rates
  • Increased workplace satisfaction
  • Lower turnover rates
  • Less employee frustration
  • Increased efficiency

A great experience can literally transform a workplace, ultimately improving organizational performance in many areas.

Of course, at this point, many business professionals are certainly wondering what exactly a next-gen employee experience is.

One of the most important aspects of this experience is the fact that this experience is digital.

The Next-Gen, Digital Employee Experience

There are a number of ingredients that can help create a modern, digital employee experience, including:

  • Tools and technology. Naturally, the most fundamental component of any digital experience is the digital technology itself. Today’s digital work environment is built upon a set of digital tools, ranging from CRM platforms to mobile apps. The right tools can generate significant productivity gains across virtually any area of a business.
  • Software training. Product training is another critical element of the digital work experience. Employees must continually learn new software, during onboarding and whenever new tools are adopted into the workplace.
  • Digital employee onboarding. Employee onboarding consists of several elements, including social integration, integration with the organization’s mission, and digital onboarding. The digital aspect should not be overlooked, since it can either facilitate or hinder onboarding efforts.
  • Digital adoption. Digital adoption is the process where an organization adopts new digital technology into its work environment. This process includes product onboarding, product training, and more. Getting it right can streamline the workplace and increase employee efficiency.
  • Organizational culture. Organizational culture also plays a role in the digital employee experience. After all, cultures can either be resistant to technology, or they can embrace it and incorporate it into their day-to-day workflows.
  • The digital workplace. The digital workplace is a crucial component of the modern organization, extending beyond digital tools themselves. It also includes, for instance, digital workflows and processes, such as online collaboration, remote working, and data-driven processes.

The next-gen digital work experience, in short, requires a complete rethinking and renovation of the traditional workplace. 

This does not mean that businesses need to totally transform their culture or their business.

However, it does mean that – in order to stay competitive in today’s digital environment – businesses must implement a few new ideas and approaches.

How to Improve the Next-Generation Digital Work Experience

Here are a few ways that organizations can enhance and modernize their digital employee experience:

Create an employee experience management function.

The first step is commitment.

And the best way to actually commit is by implementing an employee experience management function.

That is:

  • Dedicate time and resources to managing the employee experience
  • Earn the support and buy-in of appropriate executives and senior managers
  • When possible, create an employee experience manager position devoted specifically to this function
  • Continually manage and improve the employee experience over time

Unless the organization understands the value of the digital employee experience – and commits to improving it – then the business won’t benefit from enhancing that experience.

Focus on the digital side of the employee experience.

Since most of today’s workflows are digital, it is important to focus on and optimize the digital side of that experience.

This means:

  • Providing ample product training
  • Streamlining the digital onboarding experience
  • Improving these processes continually

The results can have a significant benefit for the organization, including:

  • Decreased employee frustration
  • Lower time-to-competency
  • Better productivity, performance, and proficiency

And organizations can also expect a number of secondary benefits, such as improved employee satisfaction and engagement.

Design and implement a digital adoption business process.

Enterprise digital adoption functions perform a number of tasks related to digital transformation and adoption, including:

  • Developing digital adoption strategies, aimed at streamlining the integration of new tools into the workplace
  • Improving employees’ digital experience, in order to improve proficiency, decrease frustration, and increase workplace efficiency, among other tasks
  • Monitor, optimize, and integrate digital workflows, to ensure that employees’ maintain productivity levels across platforms

Each business will assign different duties to digital adoption managers, based on their unique needs and circumstances.

However, the ultimate purpose of a digital adoption function is to ensure that new technologies are adopted seamlessly and efficiently into the workplace.

In today’s digital, fast-paced economy, a digital adoption function can have a dramatic impact both on the employee experience and on the business as a whole.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.