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Engaging employees with technology is make-or-break for public sector organisations

Joachim Murat, Public Sector Industry Director, EMEA Civil Government, VMware

How people interact with technology is changing on an almost daily basis. Think of the rise in contactless payments, or digital fitness tracking over the last 12 months alone. It’s an evolution that has thrust the public sector to the fore as governments around the world have turned to technology to deliver communications and services at speed.  The development and roll out of contact tracing apps are a classic example.

Irrespective of nation, these apps are an indication of why public sector organisations are cementing their digital agendas and adapting how they offer public services. But it’s not just citizens that are craving technology solutions from the public sector, but the employees too. In fact, how public sector organisations engage their employees with technology is almost ‘make or break’ in an environment where speed, flexibility and efficiency are the name of the game. The detail around which is the subject of our report, ‘The Value of Digital Employee Experience: An EMEA Perspective’.

In situations, such as the one we have found ourselves in during the last 12 months, business continuity has been critical. The UK government along with many around the world have had to continue operating, at peak in some departments, while enabling most of their workforces to work remotely, if able to do so.

And because a modern economy is built on data insights and technology, it put enormous pressure on IT teams to keep businesses operational and employees safe. From helping extend corporate workspaces so teams can work remotely and securely to simply navigating and responding to such a fast-changing environment, how organisations, and IT in particular, equip their employees has arguably never been more important.

An employee-first strategy

Our research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, looks at what is meant by the digital employee experience and how it can impact on public sector organisations. What is clear from the findings is that workers want and need access to the right technologies and applications to do their jobs, with support from senior management.

This sounds both simple and obvious, yet our report found that 86% of employees are calling for HR & IT to work better together in order to deliver this. And perhaps, given the rapid pace of change, this is not unsurprising.

The use of technology to create personalised and secure citizen interactions and automating mundane tasks so employees can focus on more value‐adding jobs is where the value of IT really resides. But the benefits of these and other technological advancements cannot be achieved without the right talent to drive innovation. This means putting employees first when it comes to delivering public services is a strategy that makes a difference.

Success factors

A good digital employee experience contributes to the competitiveness and financial growth of organisations, as well as employees feeling happier at work and recommending their organisations to others. Hardly surprising then that our report found that hypergrowth organisations are much more likely to have more digital employee experience factors than underperforming companies. In fact, 93% of hyper growth companies provide apps on any device for their three most important tasks compared to just 47% underperforming companies. So something public sector organisations can take note of within their own worlds.

This ability to deliver digital experiences how, when and where they are required is in direct correlation with talent retention. Put simply, employees are far more likely to recommend their department or organisation if it provides a great digital experience. This is key in the public sector where many roles are competing with private sector organisations that don’t necessarily have the same restrictions on budgets, regulation and procurement. Over two thirds of employees in the public sector report the flexibility of digital tools required for work, would influence their decision to apply for or accept a position at a company.

By reducing the burden of mundane administrative tasks and giving employees the digital tools to work flexibly, workers are able to free their time to work on more satisfying value adding projects. It’s this new employee-first mindset that public sector leaders need to adopt. Seven in ten EMEA respondents in the public sector, say their organisation should place more importance on ensuring employees have the best tools, with 28% saying it should be significantly more important.

Creating a digital workspace

Today’s employees expect to be empowered when it comes to how and where they want to work, with easy and available access to the tools and apps they want to use, when they want to use them. At the same time, public sector organisations are being faced with a broder and increasingly complex cyber security threat landscape.

A digital workspace strategy solves the paradox businesses face: employee choice and freedom versus the security of the business. This strategy enables businesses to securely manage multiple devices and applications while delivering exceptional employee experiences in a cost effective and protected manner. There are platforms, such as VMware Workspace ONE, which are designed specifically to fuel modern work and deliver results. As well as empowering organisations with a digital workplace strategy, Workspace ONE eliminates traditional complex and costly management silos and delivers a consumer-like experience.

Public sector bodies that are already committed to improving the employee experience because they recognise the positive impact it has on business productivity, morale and attracting new talent, are the ones adopting the digital workspace approach. They are the beacons, the trend-setters and the areas of public service that are paving the way for what will become the workspace of the future.

The win-win-win scenario

Thankfully, employees are now seen as key stakeholders when it comes to understanding how digital services are consumed at work. By establishing a new engagement model between the perfect triangle of IT, HR and employees, businesses can empower people to choose the tech they want, at the speed organisations can take, to deliver results that citizens need. It’s a win-win-win scenario.

To find out how VMware can help create a digital employee experience that makes a difference to you, to find out more about our Workspace ONE platform or to simply download a copy of our latest report, please visit this page.


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