A positive employee experience is crucial to ensuring your employees are engaged and satisfied—which, in turn, is a boon to turnover rates, but also to the overall vibe of your company.
Yet while mention of company culture, salary, benefits, and opportunities for growth all abound when it comes to conversations about retaining talent, it’s important to note that the way you use technology in the workplace can also serve to boost or hinder the satisfaction of your people.
While tech may seem peripheral to the heart of employee experience, it’s not: particularly in our increasingly hybrid workscape, where employees are more reliant on technology, the last thing you want to do is let a technological oversight be the thing that detracts from employee experience at your company.
What is employee experience and why is it important?
The corporate world continues to be marred by the “The Great Resignation.” In December 2022, LinkedIn and CensusWide surveyed more than 2000 US employees about their professional plans for 2023. Of those respondents, 72% of Gen Zers and 66% of millennials said they were contemplating a career change in the next 12 months.
Meanwhile in Canada, 50% of respondents to a poll by recruitment firm Robert Half (mostly Gen Zers and millennials as well) indicated they planned to search for a new job in the next six months.
If you’re sitting there wondering why, it’s ultimately down to poor employee experience. But, when it comes right down to it, what is employee experience, really?
In short, employee experience refers to the entire employee journey, from the moment they’re hired until their last day at the company. Think of it as a summary of all the experiences they had that shaped them, from onboarding, to feedback, exit interviews, and everything in between. In other words, the lived experience that makes each and every employee your company’s biggest critic or supporter—as the case may be.
Employee experience is important because, well, it drives the entire organization. If your employees are not satisfied, then employee engagement, retention, customer experience, and everything else tends to fall apart. To prevent that from happening, you need to embrace technology—and wisely.
How technology can help improve employee experience
Covid-19 accelerated the transition to remote work and the adoption of digital technologies for managing tasks, projects, meetings, and automation, to name a few.
While a well-suited employee engagement platform can make it infinitely easier for staff to work together in real-time and/or throughout the workday, using tools that automate mindless or repetitive tasks like data entry can go a long way toward optimizing the potential of your most significant asset: your people.
Investing in the right tech can improve employee experience at your organization in countless ways, such as vastly improved team communication and collaboration, streamlined workflows, better organization of information, stronger HR offerings, more meaningful feedback processes, attractive remote learning opportunities, and lots more.
Practical uses of technology in your workplace
Consider the following practical ways you might use technology to improve the employee experience in your workplace:
- Team collaboration tools.
Harness the power of collaboration tools and watch as employee engagement improves and your team’s bond strengthens, even if they’re not all working under the same roof. There is certainly no shortage of team collaboration tools out there, but choosing the one best suited to your company’s needs is not always straightforward.
Microsoft Teams enables real-time conversations with members of your staff and external guests alike, while also allowing you to make phone calls, host meetings, and share files. Meanwhile, Asana was built to handle many projects at once, and allows employees to create and assign tasks to teammates, clearly outlining dependencies to make sure the right work gets done at the right time. Trying various tools on for size (think free trials or demos) is a smart way to go about choosing the right one for your needs.
- Information and document hubs.
Information and document hubs are centralized platforms designed to store and manage documents, as well as help employees locate and access the information they need quickly and easily. The trick, as always, is finding the tool that works best for your purposes. OneDrive and Notion are both solid options. What’s more, they have overlapping capabilities and can be integrated with one another for ease of use.
OneDrive is a cloud-based storage solution that facilitates remote work (and, by extension, work-life balance!), simplifies collaboration and file-sharing, and enhances security via data encryption and multi-factor authentication.
Notion, meanwhile, is an all-encompassing workspace that combines the features of a note-taking app, a project management tool, and a database, helping employees organize their tasks, notes, and projects all in one place, improving communication with comments and mentions, and promoting overall trust and transparency by allowing employees to easily share information and updates with one other.
- A solid HR platform.
Taking advantage of a quality HR platform may just be your difference-maker. PurelyHR‘s self-serve option is, quite literally, everything. This feature lets employees access employment information, work schedule, vacation time, and sick leave, to name a few. They can also submit time-off requests, view their history of absences as well as upcoming absences, and see their pay stubs and tax forms.
It’s worth noting that all of this is possible via mobile access, meaning that employees can access their information from smartphones, tablets, or any device they choose. All-in-all, employees get greater control over their information—and HR managers get to free up some time for more important tasks (or simply stop being overworked!).
- Survey software.
While stone cold data can provide a wealth of objective insight about employee experience, it won’t shed much light on how employees actually feel. Employee surveys can help to identify which technologies employees use most, as well as which need improvement. Regularly soliciting and collecting employee feedback is an important opportunity, and should be treated as such.
While it’s up to you to define “regularly,” Gartner found that organizations can expect a 12% improvement in employee performance after instituting a weekly practice of feedback collection—and, here’s the clincher—acting on it.
Collecting exit feedback from departing employees is also a key opportunity to better understand employee experience and improve upon it wherever possible. The right survey software can go a long way toward helping you do just that. PurelyHR’s 360-degree feedback option includes self-evaluation, peer, or between employee and manager. The full picture.
Technology can enhance your employee experience (be it remote, onsite, or both) by offering greater flexibility and efficiency, facilitating communication and collaboration, and encouraging learning and development. Think of it as a golden opportunity rather than another mountain to climb, and you can’t go wrong!