Employee Experience: An overlooked metric with hidden benefits
Technological advancements have harnessed the power of big data and AI to revolutionize modern business processes. Today, strong digital infrastructures enable companies to thrive. Across industries, 92% of companies are at some stage of their digital transformation journey and 75% of organizations will have a comprehensive implementation roadmap by 2023.¹
These shifts in the business landscape demand that companies routinely measure the efficacy of their technology to ensure that it is aligned with their strategic goals. The success of a tool is based primarily on its ability to achieve certain outcomes like lowered costs, enabled growth, and/or a high-quality customer experience.¹ It’s not unusual for customer data and financial reporting to be routinely analyzed to evaluate the progress on specific business goals. Despite these innovations to the digital infrastructure of a business, one key metric that is often overlooked when companies establish protocols to evaluate their technology is employee experience.
Benefits of a positive employee relationship with technology
A vital way for a business to meet their goals is to consider the way employees engage with the technology they rely on to perform their daily tasks. A negative experience can not only impede an employee’s ability to complete their work, but it can also hinder their ability to provide quality customer service. Consider this example which many have experienced: a call center agent is on the phone with a disgruntled customer. The customer has just given the agent information to resolve the issue but they are met with the apology, “I’m sorry for the wait, our system is being really slow today.”
These technical issues have gigantic impacts on customer perception, leading to higher attrition rates and customer acquisition costs. Depending on the industry, acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining an existing one, but increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% increases profits by 25–95%.² Stellar customer service is often the driving force behind enhanced customer lifetime value and a greater return on customer acquisition costs.
Nevertheless, the implications of unreliable technology extend beyond customer-centric user experience. Errors due to manual entry, inaccessible data, and poor communication channels can mean that teams spend weeks troubleshooting technical issues. These barriers to an employee’s ability to do a good job can also have serious consequences on morale. As it stands, 49% of the US workforce are willing to leave their job and 32% have left an employer due to frustrations with technology.³
When employees have a positive experience with their workplace technology, companies are benefiting from better customer service, more engaged employees, and improved talent retention. To keep up with the pace of progress, businesses need to adjust their technology to fit their team’s needs and communication preferences. But how can these companies know if their existing technology is meeting those requirements? They can do so by routinely measuring employee experience.
Developing a protocol for measuring employee experience
There are a few different techniques that businesses can implement to measure employee experience with respect to technology. Presently, there are a variety of companies that are beginning to address this gap in information and have started to collect employee experience data. One of the most effective tactics adopted so far is measuring employee experience with a net promoter score (NPS).
Although NPS is commonly used externally to understand customer perception of a company’s products and services, it can also be applied internally to capture an employee's perception of their workflow. Employees are asked a single question, such as “does X application allow you to perform your job better?” They must then rate how much they agree with the statement on a scale from 1–10. For example, if someone picks a 9–10, they are a net promoter and are very enthusiastic about X application. 7–8 is the middle ground, demonstrating indifference and/or even apathy over X application. Lower scores mean that someone is a detractor, suggesting they have serious concerns about X application.
Identifying the applications where employees are on the detractor side will shine a light on areas with a negative perceived value that need greater attention. Companies can then construct a series of follow up questions for the respective tool to troubleshoot the pain points and create a holistic view of that employee’s function. These insights enable businesses to form data-driven decisions around technology that privilege enhancing employees’ experiences by supporting their workplace needs.
Companies that fail to measure their employees’ experience with the technology and tools they rely on are missing key indicators that may have detrimental impacts on employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and productivity. Measuring employee experience on an ongoing basis ensures that your tools are optimized to serve your employees and in turn, your entire organization.
1. PTC, The state of industrial digital transformation, 2021
2. Harvard Business Review, The value of keeping the right customers, 2014
3. Adobe Workfront, The 2021 state of work: how covid-19 changed digital work, 2021