Three Ways to Improve the Digital Employee Experience [for GenXers Like Me] 

By Kellie Tabor-Hann 

Thinking about my own digital employee experience (DEX) over the years, I’ve got to be honest: I’m an analog girl in a digital world. Despite my working at tech companies for 15 years and being able to wax poetic about the early days of digital transformation, I am certain that every IT help desk I’ve reached out to had me secretly labeled as a “PITA.” Not that I could tell; they were always so nice and helpful. 

Still, my trying to explain a desktop or laptop glitch must have sounded like all the folk who turned to Click and Clack (aka the Tappet Brothers) to solve their car problems. Even remote takeovers by IT support didn’t always resolve my tech issue quickly, escalating my frustration if I was up against a deadline.  

Fortunately, automation and self-service options have drastically improved my own digital employee experience (DEX). In fact, my laptop has been as trusty as my two office-mate dogs as things I can count on when working remotely.  

Of course, working for Lakeside Software – a company that specializes in improving the digital employee experience – means that I’m never going to be that guy kicking the “POS” printer in “Office Space.” The hundreds of enterprise customers who use our SysTrack platform—from global airline and automotive companies to Fortune 100 financial firms to leading healthcare payers and providers—also understand the pragmatic and intangible reasons to invest in DEX: 

  • Productivity; 
  • Employee satisfaction; 
  • Company pride; 
  • Uptime; 
  • Stress management; 
  • Talent retention; and 
  • Even innovation.  

All factors matter to employee engagement and the bottom line. Compucom’s Troy Baldwin says it best: “Bad tech is just bad business.” In fact, a Compucom survey revealed that “41% of employees said they would switch jobs if offered a position with better tech.”  

It’s even more crucial to ensure that the digital employee experience for remote and hybrid employees is a smooth one. Why? Because we cannot swing by a Support Desk kiosk or ask a co-worker for help whenever something goes awry.  

My Lakeside Software colleagues who work under the hood of our SysTrack platform—from Dr. Dan our principal data scientist to Matt Kohn our cloud architecture guru to our visionary Chief Technology Officer Elise Carmichael—have finetuned the platform’s DEX capabilities, thanks to data and AI. C-3PO would be proud. Oh, and these suggestions apply to all five generations now working at enterprises today

Advice for Leveling up the Digital Employee Experience

Since I vividly remember when McDonald’s introduced Chicken McNuggets to the world in 1983, I think my personal advice will go a long way for IT teams who want to elevate any digital employee experience strategy intended to make workplace tech a non-issue for all employees. After all, GenX employees represent a third of the workforce. To us, every tech crash sounds like Pac-Man dying. 

1) Use data to capture “snapshots” of what went wrong and when.

For GenX employees like me, the “I know it when I see it” adage holds true not just for irony but for IT problems as well. A blue screen, for example, may be an easy one to describe right when that big Edvard Munch moment happens. Detailing to an IT technician what happened in the days or weeks leading to the crash, however, is incredibly challenging. In fact, describing the early indicators is harder than removing the bread basket piece in the Operation game! 

So, what is the easy button that gets me off the hook? A “snapshot” built by endpoint data that shows IT everything it needs to perform root cause analysis without relying on my convoluted descriptions. From there, they can identify the precise problems leading up to my blue screen and then determine if other laptops are likely to crash from the same percolating problem, ultimately curtailing a broader issue. [Cue the sound of an entire Pac-Man army dying.] 

2) Adopt a proactive IT mind set to catch problems before employees do.

I recently witnessed a maddening situation at what seemed like a nice restaurant. My mom, who is no stranger to sending back soup in a deli, received a legitimately bad, inedible meal. Even the most forgiving among us could tell the chicken was off, as if it had been cooked the week prior. In response to my mom’s commentary, the server said something like, “Yeah, a few other people this week actually returned that dish as well.” We were flabbergasted. I even wondered if it was the exact same meal itself. But seriously, here was a circumstance when someone could predict the negative outcome, yet they did nothing to prevent it—again and again. 

This looks like a job for … Super Chicken!  Remember the episode when he saves Rhode Island? But I digress. In the world of IT, the superhero is the IT technician who sees an issue before it affects the employee and takes action. This proactive IT stance is possible when you have complete visibility of the IT estate. Endpoint data, especially well-structured data that creates a picture that speaks a thousand words in the language of IT can empower IT support to save the day before a faltering laptop or bad app ruins your workday—or spreads across the whole estate like digital Slime.  

3) Give your CIO a way to advance IT sustainability objectives.

Did you know that Earth Day has been around as long as GenXers? As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, remember that concern for the environment has been with us for generations. Today, we have advanced technology for keeping tabs on carbon, letting enterprises measure GHG emissions to better act on their net-zero initiatives.  

With regulatory requirements such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) taking root, a sustainable IT strategy is no longer nice to have; it is imperative. Given the prevalence of remote and hybrid work environments, enterprises need a way to account for their vastly dispersed IT assets and the impact on resource use, e-waste management, and efforts to extend the life of hardware.  

I am happy to say that Lakeside does have a DEX pack for “Green IT” to help IT teams set baselines for endpoint energy consumption and to extend the life of hardware if predictive analytics indicate they have years left in them. If you are a company with 100,000+ endpoints, that figure can be significant. IT endpoints, however, are often overlooked in sustainability IT efforts because IT teams may not know that Lakeside has the data to fill this gap in IT infrastructure energy measurement for setting baselines. 

In relation to improving the digital employee experience, knowing that your company is working for the greater good of the planet is an intangible bonus that makes you feel proud of your company and raises your employee engagement. That’s a commitment that knows no boundaries between generations. 

Want to level up your digital employee experience strategy?

Here I have shared my own personal experiences related to why building a strong DEX strategy is so important—and ways to improve it. It is one thing for me to give up 20 planned minutes to walk my dogs in the afternoon; it is another thing entirely to come to a screeching halt for an unknown amount of time when my laptop has a Ouija board mind of its own. Even minor disruptions matter. A recent Compucom study found that, “relatively minor tech disruptions occur an average of four times a day, lasting roughly 21 minutes for enterprise workers,” adding up to 10.5 wasted workdays a year for every employee. 

Fortunately, Lakeside’s own IT team has proactive IT down to a science. Blue screen: Game over! Womp, womp, womp …  

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