Organisations invest both time and money into providing their users with the best tools to do their jobs. Whether it’s training in the latest sales enablement, account management, or industry updates, equipping staff is vital.
What happens, then, when outdated or insufficient workplace technology causes more problems than it solves? Productivity isn’t the only thing that suffers — the experience can also drive employees out the door.
How Technology Affects Employee Experience
During a recent conversation about work challenges, one of the points raised dealt with the emotional strain they can cause. And one story in particular really struck a chord with me.
My friend, let’s call him Jason, has been with his business for more than five years. The business has invested in furthering his abilities by funding training qualifications and internal progression to develop his skillset.
In return, Jason has managed to reduce one of his monthly activities from a four-day task down to two days. Has this freed up time for him to focus on other activities? Of course not.
Why, you ask? Simply put: Technology.
Instead of having time to find additional revenue opportunities, Jason spends almost half a day per week on long-winded calls to support. And he often ends up working late because of frequent problems with his work device and trouble connecting to the company’s apps and services. Not only is this exceptionally time consuming, but it also increases his stress level during already strenuous circumstances.
Unsurprisingly, he is now leaving, taking with him the company's six-year investment to another organisation.
Jason’s not alone in experiencing frustration with workplace technology. Technology issues overall cause an average of 27 minutes of lost time per day, according to a Samsung survey of UK office workers, and 92% of respondents cited both computer crashes and slow internet among the biggest frustrations. Meanwhile, only 14% of low-performing companies have improving employee experience as a primary IT strategy, according to a recent work-experience report by The Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by Citrix.
So what can be done to improve workplace technology, enhance end-user experience, and stem employee loss? Surprisingly, the answers might lie in a few IT solutions that not only help end users, but might also offer companies a higher return on their workplace and workforce investments.
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4 IT Strategies for Better Employee Retention
When it comes to making employee retention reforms, a great place to start is your digital environment.
Does your organisation have the technology employees need to do their work? Are they able to use it effectively? What are their experiences? How can IT track those experiences and improve them?
Because if even the most routine tasks — like logging in or checking email — are slow and difficult, how can employees be expected to be productive? More importantly, why should they want to stay and work in that kind of stressful environment?
Thankfully, there are quite a few steps enterprises can take to help employees like my friend Jason have better digital experiences.
Let’s take a closer look at a few strategies worth considering.
1. Quantify and measure digital employee experience
No job comes without stresses. And while day-to-day challenges are normal, dealing with constant technical issues shouldn’t be among them.
Understanding digital employee experience (DEX), or the quality of users’ interactions with technology in their work environment, is critical to identifying, resolving, or eliminating those difficulties. And to track and calculate those digital experiences, it helps to have a digital experience monitoring (DEM) solution that can continuously collect system and user data directly from the endpoint.
Gathered metrics include latency time, app performance, CPU usage, and network connectivity — all of which can be factored into an overall end-user experience score to shed light on potential problems impacting employee productivity.
Because without true visibility into the end-user devices, IT teams will always be just shooting in the dark when helping users.
Quick Start Guide: Digital Experience Monitoring
2. Understand what your users need
Different employees have different resource demands. For instance, some workers might require specific hardware with more CPU power and memory to perform their daily tasks. Others might need a secure VPN connection and cloud-based apps to work remotely from any number of devices.
These days, a one-size-fits-all approach to workplace technology just doesn’t work. Overprovisioning resources can be costly and an unnecessary burden for IT, while inadequate hardware and services can mean less output and productivity.
What organisations need is something just right — a tailored approach based on specific users.
By analyzing data in their work environment, IT teams can look at personas, or end-user segmentation, that identifies different user groups based on their work styles and technical requirements.
For example, IT might segment users based on:
- CPU/memory/IOPS/network usage
- Critical apps
- Active/focus time
Knowing these user groups can help organisations focus their IT support as well as plan for need-based procurement, whether it’s OS or VDI migrations, hardware refreshes, or license allocations.
That way employees like my friend Jason get the exact resources and support they need to do their jobs as seamlessly as possible.
3. Streamline the ticketing process
Of course, not everything works perfectly all the time. Technical issues are bound to happen in even the most well-maintained digital environments.
But getting service desk support shouldn’t be a difficult or dreaded task for users. And it shouldn’t take multiple tickets or my friend Jason’s long-winded calls with technicians to finally get problems resolved.
For many organisations, the typical process for reporting issues starts with a phone call or email from a user to the service desk with something basic, like “My computer is running slow” or “This app keeps crashing.” Then it’s up to a first-level technician to spend time asking questions and investigating the wide range of workplace technologies that could possibly cause the problem.
Depending on the issue, the process can require even more technicians and troubleshooting. Not only does this negatively impact end-user experience, but every support ticket also ends up costing organistions resources and wastes valuable productivity time.
Digital experience monitoring is key in streamlining service desk support — for both users and technicians. Real-time data, as well as system and user performance trends over time, eliminates a lot of questioning and guesswork right from the start. And the quicker technicians can dive right into root cause analysis, the shorter the mean time to resolution (MTTR) and the less impact on end-user experience.
Increasing Service Desk Efficiency
4. Support users proactively
What’s even better than a speedy service desk response? Resolving issues before they even become problems.
That’s where proactive support and even a self-healing help desk can come into play.
The company my friend Jason worked for had implemented a process whereby a member of the service desk team visited sites weekly to support users. This was a first step toward proactively supporting their employees with technical issues.
However, it didn’t eliminate the need for Jason’s repetitive, long-winded calls when incidents occurred.
A more strategic proactive support approach would be to utilize artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps). Using the data collected through digital experience monitoring, AIOps helps service desks implement automated sensors and processes that can analyze, identify, and resolve issues remotely before they impact users like Jason.
Not only does this Level 0 support free up technicians, and possibly other resources, but it also greatly improves digital employee experience.
Next Steps with Digital Experience Monitoring
Now that we’ve looked at a few ways to improve experiences for Jason and other employees, where to even begin implementing any of these IT strategies?
Lakeside’s digital experience monitoring solution, SysTrack, can help organisations gain the IT visibility and tools — such as AIOps, reporting, migration assessment, and more — they need to transform their digital environments and improve end-user experience. Using a lightweight agent directly at the endpoint, SysTrack gathers more than 10,000 metrics every 15 seconds to give IT admins detailed, up-to-date information about system performance and usage.
With this kind of data at hand, enterprises will be better equipped to improve employee retention — and possibly recruitment, too — through better workplace technology.
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Explore how digital experience monitoring provides critical IT visibility in this short video
Zoë Mascarenhas is a UK Account Manager for Lakeside