The COVID-19 pandemic forced the global workforce to go remote almost instantly. While we are on the path to recovery, what’s interesting to note is that a significant number of organizations are likely to continue to operate remotely. We could be looking at permanent remote work or a hybrid work model in the future. “Across the ten cities measured on the Back to Work Business Barometer saw building occupancy rates fall last week, bringing the 10-city average down 0.8 percentage points to 31.3%. This accelerating downward trend comes as COVID-19 continues to spread nationwide.” (Kastle Back to Work Barometer Report) The idea of non-linear workdays is exciting as it allows employees to work flexibly and that’s convenient for them. This also gives rise to several questions and gaps in understanding employee productivity and whether the leadership is fully equipped to function optimally.
Leadership teams are making decisions based on performance indicators, however, we need to think beyond monitoring the IT environment. A key parameter is digital employee experience; to track changes in it requires consideration of the human sentiment. How an employee experiences the technology within their workspace has a direct impact on their productivity during the workday. Let’s dive deeper and try to understand what factors translate IT monitoring into a better human experience.
End-user experience monitoring (EUEM) tools are designed to capture the employee experience data and turn them into valuable insights. Basic IT monitoring will only tell us how long it took for an employee to open/close an application or the browser and so on. What we are looking for is how it made them feel. Was the tech experience frustrating or did it make them happy? We won’t know until we start capturing ‘Qualitative feedback’. Broadly, there are two steps to achieve this:
1) Capturing Qualitative User Feedback on Tech Experience
Quantitative data captured from the endpoints and insights derived from them will always be around how the technology is performing for an end-user. The qualitative user feedback however goes further to capture the subjective feedback from the end-user. It helps us understand how the employee felt using certain tools or technology. There are several mechanisms in EUEM products by which this feedback is captured:
A) Surveys and Push-Notifications
Whenever the organization wants to capture the opinion of the end-user on specific aspects of their technology or IT experience, they can launch feedback surveys. The employees receive push notifications that prompt them to either participate in the survey or do it at a later point in time. The feedback is captured in the form of a questionnaire or MCQs or some instances, the employee may be asked to rate or rank a specific activity on a pre-defined scale. There are built-in mechanisms to target specific groups or audiences within the organization, like specific business units, departments, or geographies. These surveys could also be scheduled at regular intervals or pushed to the end-users at specific times. The goal is to get accurate data and a very subjective opinion from the employee.
B) Chat Interfaces
Some EUEM products have integrated intuitive chat interfaces that allow personalized conversations between the product and the employees. These chat interfaces or chatbots as they are sometimes called, help collect employee sentiment about IT issues and capture feedback about their overall IT experience. This helps reduce friction between the services or help desk teams and the employees, thus boosting employee engagement within the organization.
2) Employee Digital Experience Scoring
Once the qualitative feedback is captured from the employee using any or all the channels mentioned above, the EUEM tools run user experience analytics on the captured data. Sentiment data is one of the key areas for the service desk teams to uncover poor digital workspace experience. The employee experience score is a metric that is derived by measuring the user feelings, opinions and feedback about their device’s performance, uptime and the overall IT issue resolution experience. The score is not a simple combination of various parameters, but appropriate weightage is assigned to each parameter that contributes towards a better employee experience. A good employee digital experience score would essentially mean IT issues have very little negative productivity impact on the employees during their workday.
In a nutshell, organizations keen on continuing remote work or the hybrid model of work should invest in EUEM products that offer value not only in terms of better IT monitoring but focus on the overall digital employee experience. They should invest in tools that provide them with an employee sentiment picture and show them how their employees perceive the quality of IT issue remediation or the technology transformation programs within the organization. EUEM products that are built with a vision to create an intelligent, personal workspace companion for employees are the key to success in the post-pandemic world.