To paraphrase Microsoft, in today’s digital (often hybrid) workplace, the digital employee experience is the employee experience. In recent years we have seen the adoption of digital employee experience (DEX) by enterprises rise dramatically, with more organizations than ever before embracing employee-first approaches. In fact, data shows that employee-experience manager is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the US. Despite barely existing a decade ago, this role ranked fifth on LinkedIn’s latest list of the 25 fastest-growing jobs.
So why is this such a priority? It’s becoming increasingly clear that prioritizing employee experience—particularly in relation to their digital experiences—yields numerous benefits for a business. And one such benefit relates to employee attraction and retention. Positive DEX can lead to increased productivity, retention of top talent, and a better company culture overall—which, by extension, benefits profitability. However, failing to provide a good DEX can lead to frustration due to digital friction, disrupted work, and higher turnover rates.
Let’s dive into this a little deeper and explore in more detail how DEX could give you a competitive edge when it comes to employee attraction and retention:
Think you have employee productivity covered? Think again. According to research from Unisys Corp, 49% of employees say they lose between one and five hours of productivity each week dealing with IT issues. Facing regular digital friction in a digital-led workplace hinders employee productivity and effectiveness, leading to frustration. This is especially true for IT teams, who are facing higher employee demand for support than ever before.
For the most part, happy employees are the ones experiencing a frictionless workplace. When employees have access to efficient digital systems and resources, they can perform their work more effectively and accomplish tasks in less time. This increased productivity not only improves job satisfaction but also allows employees to achieve a better work-life balance, which can be a strong motivator for staying with the organization.
“[Improving] the visibility IT teams have into their end-user device fleet and gives them the control to not only fix issues efficiently but also create proactive troubleshooting automations. As a result, employees are more productive and IT teams more efficient.”—Forrester, Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study
Improved engagement and satisfaction
A seamless digital experience that encompasses user-friendly interfaces, intuitive software, and convenient communication channels fosters employee engagement and satisfaction.
“The convergence of workplace technology and employee engagement has never been more imperative. Companies continue to face tough decisions and must evaluate how they invest in creating the workplace of the future and foster a strong workplace culture that boosts employee happiness,”—Joel Raper, SVP and GM of digital workplace solutions at Unisys.
When employees can easily access information, collaborate with colleagues, and receive timely feedback, they feel supported and empowered in their roles. This positive experience increases their overall job satisfaction, making them more likely to remain with the organization. It’s also worth noting that feeling autonomy leaves employees 2.3 times more likely to stay with an organization—essential when competing in the market for top talent.
Flexibility and remote work opportunities
With the rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements, a strong digital employee experience becomes even more critical. By providing employees with digital tools they need, organizations can enable remote work capabilities and accommodate flexible schedules. A recent article highlighted the importance work flexibility plays in reducing IT talent turnover.
This flexibility enhances work-life balance, reduces commuting stress, and allows employees to tailor their work environment to their preferences. Organizations that prioritize digital employee experience (DEX) can attract and retain top talent, including those seeking remote or flexible work options. In a competitive market, an employee is likely to join and stay with a company that offers a better work/life experience. According to Coalfire CIO, Sree Kancharla, “Once an organization has hired skilled IT professionals, it is important to retain them… Flexible work arrangements can help organizations retain these professionals… By staying ahead of the curve and embracing new ways of working, CIOs can help ensure that their IT teams remain engaged, motivated, and productive, even as the nature of work continues to evolve and change.”
Stronger communication and collaboration
Digital tools and platforms enable seamless communication and collaboration across teams, departments, and locations. Employees can connect easily, share information, collaborate on projects, and provide feedback in real-time. Effective communication and collaboration not only improve efficiency but also foster a sense of camaraderie and connection among employees, regardless of their physical location.
Gartner highlights that “the most effective enterprises plan collaboration deliberately… Intentional collaboration optimizes collective performance and innovation while accommodating individual preferences, so people can contribute their best work.” This leads to stronger employee engagement, better teamwork, and ultimately, higher employee retention rates.
In summary, prioritizing digital employee experience empowers employees, enhances productivity, fosters engagement, facilitates flexible work arrangements, supports continuous learning, and strengthens communication and collaboration. These factors collectively contribute to attracting and retaining talented employees, as they feel valued, supported, and equipped with the necessary resources to thrive in their roles.