How do you build a true digital employee experience?

Posted on 22/10/2019

by Kristine Dahl Steidel, Vice President EUC EMEA, VMware

Employers are faced with an increasingly savage war for talent. Attracting the right employees remains a serious challenge – 70% of respondents to the Deloitte 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey cited recruitment as an important issue, with 16% labelling it one of the three most urgent issues their organisation would face in 2019. In a candidates’ market, companies are being forced to rethink what they offer both prospective and existing talent to attract and retain the skills they need to grow in the digital era.

How are you supporting your employees?

Expectations of how people work are shifting. To find out more, we surveyed employees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the results were clear – workers want flexibility in choosing their tools, they want to collaborate, innovate and be creative and they want the technology that is going to help them do that. In other words, those organisations unable or unwilling to support their employees in this way, otherwise known as the digital employee experience, are going to struggle to attract, or indeed even retain, talent. In fact, the latter will be a significant challenge, with 70% of respondents believing their current employers should be placing more importance on this area.

To do that, employers need to identify who is responsible for delivering positive employee experiences. This remains an issue – over a fifth of respondents to our study felt that not knowing who to approach was a barrier to delivering a positive digital experience.

Overcoming barriers to collaboration through teamwork

A positive digital employee experience stems from the collaboration between IT, HR and employees. HR has long been the gatekeeper of the employee experience, while say ‘digital’ to most businesses and they’ll automatically point you in the direction of IT. When the two are brought together, it can cause confusion over who owns what, with 49% of employees not knowing if they should talk to HR or IT about their digital experience issues.

What’s ironic is that the barrier to helping employees work more effectively, and being able to collaborate, is a lack of teamwork between different parts of an organisation – just 21% of employees reported that HR and IT collaborate all the time.

But collaborate they must. The research demonstrated a direct link between better performing organisations and delivering a positive digital employee experience. Employees that enjoy the freedom to work from personal devices, have access to productivity apps from day one and accessing apps on any device are more likely to work for high or hyper growth businesses.

Being able to offer a truly digital employee experience, with access to the devices and applications workers need, requires a technology core that can manage access and compliance while being flexible. That’s the remit of IT. To make sure it’s fit for purpose, however, requires mapping what employees need and how they need it, aligned with a deep understanding of what people are experiencing out of work and what those insights can bring to the workplace. In short, the human element, or HR’s bread and butter.

Get that working and businesses stand to enjoy greater business growth and better attraction of talent, driven by a more progressive culture and being rated as a top place to work.

Delivering better performance with better experiences

It’s clear that providing a digital employee experience is more likely to result in better business performance, driven by an engaged and positive workforce. To achieve that, however, requires a collaboration between HR and IT that combines an understanding of what employees want with the right technology framework to deliver the apps, devices and tools they want, in the way they want them.

To find out how your organisation can deploy that technology infrastructure, take a look at VMware Workspace One, or get in touch today.


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