Only 12% of organizations were prepared to go remote-first prior to the pandemic, and yet are looking to transition to a work from anywhere (WFA) model in the long term. To succeed, says JP Gownder, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, employee experience must always be at the center of organizations’ WFA strategy.
We all know how critical employee experiences are to employee engagement, creativity, and productivity. A positive employee experience (EX) makes employees happier, lowers attrition, and encourages employees to be more customer friendly. In fact, organizations that score in the top 25 percent for employee experience see returns on their assets that are triple those that score in the bottom 25 percent.
EX encompasses all aspects of an employee’s interactions with the organization. Increasingly, we’re paying due attention to the role that technology plays in creating positive experiences, while also acknowledging that a negative technology experience inhibits EX. For example, recent 1E research shows that 68% of employees are disrupted when they have technical issues and are waiting on IT to resolve them, impacting their engagement and productivity levels.
At this summer’s WFA conference, JP Gownder laid out the EX Bill of Rights that he believes are the foundation of an effective WFA strategy…
EX Bill of Rights #1: Technology that adapts to me
EX right: I have the right to technology that adapts to me, rather than the other way around.
Employees don’t want to have to learn new technology in order to work anywhere. They want technology that’s intuitive, performant, and reliable—and works the way the employee wants, not how IT wants the employee to work. This enables employees to stay connected with the business and empowers them to do their best work, regardless of location. Most critically, technology needs to be reliable so that they don’t feel their experience is second-grade when not in the office. That means when issues occur, they must be able to self-service to quickly get back to their jobs. Employees doesn’t want to feel that their issue would have been resolved much quicker if they had face-to-face contact with service desk personnel in the office.
EX Bill of Rights #2: Trust and empower me—don’t over-monitor me
EX right: I have the right technology that empowers me rather than over-monitoring me
Trust in your employees is critical to high EX and enabling a WFA enterprise. It’s not ideal, therefore, to deploy technology that, under the guise of improving productivity, monitors employee movement and activity—have they typed in the last 30 minutes? Are they using their camera during virtual meetings? Have they used a role-specific application in the last 24 hours?
The kind of “monitoring” that employees like pivots around improving digital experiences. For instance, monitoring endpoints to understand whether the endpoint is slow, crashing, or otherwise degrading. Monitoring of this kind enables IT to quickly and proactively intervene to resolve issues that impact employees’ ability to work and stay engaged to make them feel empowered, rather than feel like someone is always watching over their shoulder.
EX Bill of Rights #3: Self-service
EX right: I have the right technology that helps me to help myself
Employees spend far too long is service desk queues when they have an IT issue. During the mass shift to remote working earlier this year, 1 in 3 employees inevitably experienced an increase in IT issues when working from home. And because they weren’t able to self-service those issues, 72% of employees waited hours, day, or weeks for the service desk to resolve them.
To really succeed in a WFA world, organizations must reduce their reliance on service desk personnel to resolve common IT issues. Now is the time to embrace automation-driven chatbots that can fix issues end-to-end in real time with no intervention from IT support.
Build a Future of Work strategy that includes Anywhere Work
In closing his keynote, JP aptly reminded us all that the Future of Work isn’t something that just happens to you or to your organization. It’s an initiative you must actively create for your organization and for your own career and requires a constellation of innovations that address new or accelerating challenges. Placing the goal of Anywhere Work at the center of your Future of Work efforts will help you prioritize next steps and keep you on track to deliver customer-obsessed outcomes.
You can watch JP Gownder’s session from this summer’s WFA Conference on-demand at any time here.