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Digital Employee Experience (DEX)

Andrew Langat
April 26, 2023
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With an evolving workplace, most companies are embracing digital transformation to improve employees digital experience. This has resulted in, among others things, the embracing of a hybrid workplace.

Therefore, designing a digital employee experience (DEX) is essential for continued performance, improved engagement, motivation, and continuous learning.

This article will discuss digital employee experience importance, benefits, common challenges, examples, and design steps.

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What is Digital Employee Experience (DEX)?

Digital employee experience (DEX) describes how your team members engage with or use digital tools like applications and software for work.

Suppose a company has a positive digital employee experience. There's likely to be higher employee job satisfaction and engagement with the digital tools the company uses.

Digital transformation has allowed companies to empower employees and incorporate workplace technology that helps them complete their daily tasks.

Here are some tools companies have embraced in their digital workplace:

  • Human resources software and online payment solutions: for things like giving employees easy access to Bring Your Device policies, Paid Time Off, compensation, and performance management information.
  • Communication and collaboration technology: for example, e-mail and video conferencing such as Skype and Zoom.
  • Social media tools: companies can use them to connect with LinkedIn accounts to make it easy to share updates — and don't forget other sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Those rising companies can use their IT department to develop digital technology to enhance employees digital experiences. The IT department has to improve the both employee digital experience and the knowledge that drives it.

The most visible improvement to the digital employee experience comes from raising employees digital expertise to the same level as their personal or consumer digital experience. A recent study by Salesforce found that 71% of employees want the same digital experience at work as they have in their personal lives.

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In What Ways Can Technology Be Used to Improve Employee Experiences?

Great digital employee experience is created by incorporating the right tools and new technology into business processes. Employees might take a while to appreciate the new digital tools, which should be used to improve the digital employee experience.

Here are some ways to improve employee experiences:

1. Invest in a better learning management system.

Innovative companies and organizations invest in learning and development resources like Open Source learning and project management software that can be used in training to enable employees to adapt to digital technology.

High-quality training increases employee engagement by influencing the company's culture, trust, motivation, productivity, and commitment.

According to Gallup, 87% of candidates rank learning and development opportunities in the workplace as critical. And learning technology enables companies to close gaps and create an adaptable workforce as more highly skilled employees improve business outcomes and generate higher profits.

2. Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing.

A learning experience platform can be a great way to improve overall employee experience because it fosters collaboration, employee development, and mentorship that can support employees at all levels of their careers.

A knowledge-sharing platform connects people with similar learning needs, regardless of seniority level, location, skill set, or role. It also helps individuals, from senior management to new employees.

This boosts productivity and helps people share knowledge, communicate with team members, and collaborate on projects. This also opens up opportunities for employee development.

Having experts curate training resources from multiple channels can create personalized development paths, answer questions from mentees, and track mentees' progress.

This provides employees with a dedicated place to develop their skills, discuss ideas with colleagues, and solve problems by collaborating on meaningful work.

3. Apply people-based performance management technology.

Enhancing employee skills and nurturing a strong company culture will improve the employee experience that your company offers.

However, it is important not to overlook the importance of employee sentiment, as that can propel your company to greatness. It can be difficult for your employees to care about the company's mission if they feel mistreated, have a poor working relationship with management, or are uncertain about the progression of their careers.

Therefore, when improving the digital employee experience, choose a flexible technological approach that allows you to support gradual improvement. You can use features such as Continuous 360-degree employee feedback now.

4. Better support from the IT department.

A company can get real-time insights into their employee's experiences with the IT Help Desk, so they can understand their needs and how they can improve the service's quality and efficiency.

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What Are the Benefits of Improving the Digital Employee Experience?

Digital tools can play a key role in improving customer experience, increasing employee satisfaction, and workplace productivity.

So, why is the digital employee experience important?

Here are some reasons:

1. Support for remote and hybrid workers.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a shock wave in the work environment, resulting in many organizations embracing hybrid work.

Global research tells us that 72% of corporate leaders plan to offer a hybrid model for business functions, and about 13% expect a reduction in their real estate footprint.

Digital tools have allowed more remote work, which has made employees' lives easier. Companies can help employees do their jobs well by equipping them with easy-to-use digital tools.

A great digital employee experience can also support virtual team building. Eventually, digital tools can help facilitate meaningful connections between team members. 

2. Improved performance and productivity.

Digital tools that are easy to operate enable employees to work consistently and achieve success. However, some employees may struggle to perform due to complex and various technical issues, slow hardware, and internal systems.

This can lead to poor experiences and employees feeling frustrated, resulting in disengagement. Therefore, ensure your employees have the tools and training they need to do great work.

3. Easier access to learning and development.

Employees are attracted to companies that allow access to leadership development programs. Also, professional development programs contribute to the employee experience model. Investing in learning and development programs can help engage employees.

Improving the digital employee experience can also promote career growth and development. All this can be possible if you invest in the digital employee experience of your employees. When an individual can see some progress, they work harder to achieve their goals, which will, in turn, benefit your company.

4. Employee engagement and talent retention.

More engaged employees tend to stay longer at the workplace. This leads to higher retention wherever they work, whether remotely, hybrid, or in the office. Digital tools support engagement in all kinds of ways. This means enabling open communication and interaction, allowing employees to share feedback and ideas readily.   

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How Do You Create a Great Digital Employee Experience?

It is best to have a digital transformation strategy before investing time and money into the digital workplace.

Few companies have a strategy for employee digital experience. According to research by Gartner, about 5% of companies will have a digital employee experience strategy by 2021, but Gartner predicts a 50% increase by 2025.

Here are a few areas you can prioritize when trying to create a digital employee experience:

1. Make technology easy to use.

Every company should strive to ensure workplace technology is easy to use, whether on the customer or employee front. The end-user experience and software should be easy to use and operate.

Employees are accustomed to more user-friendly designs in the technology they use personally. So, it makes sense that they would expect your company to deliver the same experience.

When incorporating a new tool into a digital workplace, discover knowledge gaps by conducting a survey and getting user feedback you can use to improve the employees' own digital workplace experience.

2. Personalize the technological experience.

People interact with technology in their day-to-day lives. Therefore, it's essential to understand how employees find and use new workplace technology. This will help design a more personalized user experience.

The best way to achieve a personalized experience is to begin by mapping out the profiles and personas of your employees. This will help you understand how employees interact with digital tools.

You can construct personas by starting with employee demographics, job functions, business goals, and preferences. Conducting focus groups and user tests can also be an essential step.

To build a personalized technological experience, ensure the DEX strategy is gradual and employees can customize digital tools to meet their preferences and specific needs.

3. Measure digital employee experience.

Improving digital employee experience should be at the core of your organizational goals. You can use an employee feedback survey to collect information to support continuous improvement.

You can then use the information collected to build a strategy that can be used to improve employee digital experiences.

4. Popularize communication.

For any business success, you must encourage communication at all levels. An open two-way communication channel can help create a positive digital employee and customer experience. Open communication helps improve employee relationships, which can lead to enhanced productivity.

Communication can hasten processes and improve employee morale. Remote workers can be easily disengaged because their contribution may be overlooked. Therefore, ensuring communication is vital to creating a great digital employee experience. Use mobile devices or instant messaging apps to keep connected to your employees. All these tools give voices to employees and ensure their opinions are heard and valued.

5. Enhance employee support and training.

One of the best ways to improve the digital employee experience is by providing support and training to your employees.

Promotion and skills training are essential when your company is rolling out a new technology. Lack of sufficient training will cause technical issues leading to poor experiences.

Therefore, for a better digital experience, offer technical support and training to your employees before embarking on the digital transformation journey.

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What Are the Potential Challenges of Investing in Employee Digital Experience?

Companies can develop a productive work environment by prioritizing employee needs when making technological decisions. Digital employee experience can be optimized by gathering and acting on employee feedback.

More companies are investing in digital employee experiences. However, there are potential challenges that may be encountered.

They include the following:

1. Company technology issues.

Even though companies are investing more money in digital employee experiences, they will not get a return on their investment if the new technologies do not support the needs of the employees.

Also, if the employees struggle, they will likely turn to the IT department for assistance. IT will, in turn, leverage more software applications to solve these problems. These new applications may pose security risks that can cause more damage.

The poor digital employee experience impacts productivity and might become the reason for their resignation. With these issues with software adoption, employees become slower to collaborate, innovate, and drive transformation.

2. Cost.

Digital transformation is costly, and according to Zippia research, up to $1.5 trillion was spent on digital transformation in 2021 alone. With an expected cumulative growth rate of 9.1% over the next five years, global spending on digital transformation may reach 6.8 trillion by the end of 2023.

An excellent digital employee experience requires a lot of cost, time, and effort investment. This may cause companies to adjust budgetary allocation and even human resources to add qualified personnel to the team.

3. Digital disconnection.

Increased digital transformation can increase productivity and performance. However, companies need to pay attention to employee digital issues. The digital employee experience is frequently overly busy, unpleasant, and stressful. These situations badly impact employees, which can lead to adverse outcomes.

4. Company culture change.

A new norm is being established with digital workplaces, impacting the company culture. With this new dimension, the old working culture can feel disconnected. This can create barriers to communication across the company, limiting collaboration and negatively affecting company culture.

Also, be aware of pushing too much change at once. Your employees may already be suffering from change fatigue, especially regarding technology. 

5. Technical scale and complexity.

As your company grows, so does your digital footprint. The technological size and scale become more complex with increased usage.  

Employees use many digital tools to do their jobs, so you must also scale up the human capital. The IT department will be overwhelmed with extra responsibility, so you must update your human resources.

Increased digital tool usage might be susceptible to fraudulent activities and security risks. This may need additional investment to protect company data and information.

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How Highrise Can Help

The Highrise online leadership development program can greatly assist with digital employee experience (DEX) by providing employees with comprehensive training and development opportunities. Moreover, Highrise can help to create a culture of continuous learning and growth, which can enhance engagement and motivation while also improving the overall performance and productivity of the organization.

Sign up today and learn how you can improve your digital employee experience.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.