A closer look at the role tech plays in modern workplaces, and how better digital experiences can lead to happier, more productive workers
Data proves that the “Great Resignation” is more than a buzzword — employees really are leaving their employers at record rates.
In 2021, a record 47.8 million U.S. workers left their jobs, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Quit rates in the first half of 2022 have so far kept up this rapid pace, going well above four million in each of the first four months of this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that’s on top of budgetary constraints that are forcing turnover and restructuring across many different industries.
In this climate, organizations need to do everything they can to attract and retain top talent. And while it’s easy to try using perks to get employees to stay, sometimes substantive improvements to their day-to-day work can make a bigger difference in long-term job satisfaction. That means making it easier for employees to complete their jobs’ core tasks.
In today’s work landscape, where many people work remotely or in hybrid environments, technology and digital employee experience (DEX) — the quality of users’ interactions with workplace technology — are more important than ever. How your employees interface with technology and how efficient that technology is just may be the deciding factor in how well a company can recruit or retain its employees.
4 IT Strategies to Improve Employee Retention
Why the Changing Nature of Work Makes DEX Critical
The significance of digital employee experience has grown in recent years thanks to work changes that have made technology a major part of the overall employee experience.
For one thing, work is now more digital than ever before. Tasks that were once completed in-person or on internal systems are now done on a range of web apps and other digital platforms. This means job productivity is a direct result of tech performance, and it can be frustrating when slow apps or a poor internet connection prevents someone from doing their work.
Perhaps even more significantly, work is now much more likely to be done remotely. A majority of knowledge workers prefer to work at least part of the week at home — McKinsey & Co. research shows that 52% of employees would prefer a hybrid approach to work, and 30% say they’d consider switching jobs if required to return to the office full-time.
Remote workers rely on technology not only to complete their daily tasks, but also to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Things can get even more complicated for hybrid workers who may be switching equipment and networks multiple times throughout the week but need to be equally productive no matter where they are.
All of these changes add up to a work landscape where digital experiences make all the difference.
The Influence of DEX on Retention
A poor digital experience means a poor experience on the job — and that can translate into a desire to look for a better experience elsewhere. About 61% of employees say DEX is important or very important when selecting a future employer, according to research conducted by ESI ThoughtLab for Lakeside Software, and nearly 54% say it’s important or very important when deciding whether to stay with a current employer.
Perhaps more alarmingly, 36% of employees have considered leaving due to poor DEX at their jobs — and 14% actually have.
These numbers prove that poor DEX can be the cause — either directly or indirectly — of higher turnover, difficulty hiring, and all the costs that go with them. There are many fronts from which to improve the employee experience, but workplace technology is emerging as one of the most important ones in today’s digital work environments.
Yet it’s an area that business leadership is typically slow to address. While the same research found that more than half of employees (52%) recognize that DEX should be a top management priority, only 20% of C-level executives and IT leaders believe substantial improvements are needed.
It’s clear that leaders are unaware of employee needs when it comes to their digital technology performance. Strong DEX is not a nice-to-have, but rather a critical factor for businesses looking to retain and attract talent.
How to Improve DEX
Lakeside research has found that improved DEX can be associated with increased productivity, higher employee engagement, better staff retention, greater employee autonomy, and improved business agility. So how does an organization go about improving DEX for its employees?
It starts with gaining detailed and accurate insight into the precise health of your IT environment. This typically requires a digital experience management (DEM) solution that provides IT with expanded visibility and, preferably, artificial intelligence-driven insights that help pinpoint precise issues and the best resolutions for them.
DEM tools can help organizations gather both current and historical endpoint data to give IT visibility into the exact issues impacting employee productivity. If precise enough, this data can also help IT develop specific, actionable plans for optimizing the workplace for better DEX. And it can give IT the perspective it needs to provide tailored service and support on a continuous — and even proactive — basis.
Being proactive about monitoring and measuring endpoint performance is the best way to get a data-backed analysis of how well employees are able to use their digital tools. Once you have that level of understanding on your digital environment, you can take steps to improve employee experience and satisfaction.
Digital Employee Experience
The Secret to Productive Digital Workforces
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Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Great Digital Experiences
The employment landscape is changing at a rapid pace, with employees of all stripes developing higher expectations for their experiences on the job. Digital employee experience is not always the sole determinant in whether an employee joins or remains at an organization, but it’s a bigger factor than many business leaders realize. Investing in the tools and technologies needed to improve DEX can help you retain top talent in today’s hybrid, technology-first work environment.
Understanding Workforce Productivity in a Digital Age
Delve deeper into the DEX factors that are shaping digital workplaces in Lakeside’s Digital Workplace Productivity Report 2022
Download the Report