Employee Experience

How IT and HR can work together to deliver a world-class employee experience

CIOs, CHROs, and their respective teams must not only listen and understand but also take joint action to create better experiences for employees.

CIOs, CHROs, and their respective teams must not only listen and understand but also take joint action to create better experiences for employees.
The pandemic completely disrupted the workplace as we know it. And it’s made understanding what employees think, feel, and want more important than ever.

As companies everywhere announce hybrid work and remote-first environments, it’s critical for IT and HR teams to work together and holistically empower employees to be successful and satisfied.

Going forward, the technology experience will be synonymous with the employee experience – not only playing an important role when it comes to attracting new talent but also when it comes to retaining existing talent.

As such, we’ve taken a closer look at the individual roles IT and HR teams play in driving recruitment and retention, how the two can work together to close the gaps in employee experience, as well as drive business outcomes like employee resilience, productivity, and the top and bottom line.

What employees will expect from their technology experiences in the future

The workplace of the future will be about creating experiences that make your people feel connected. Here are a few of the key areas IT will need to focus on to drive a better experience in the digital hybrid workplace:

  • People-centered technology. People-centered digital workspace experiences will be a differentiator in a post-COVID world. Employee tech will no longer just be about saving time and increasing efficiency for the organization. Instead, IT leaders will focus on saving time and increasing efficiency for the employee, as well as enabling collaboration wherever employees are working.
According to our recent survey of 200 CIOs (or the most senior person responsible for IT in their organization), information security was the most commonly listed top IT priority over the next 24 months, followed by employee experience and product development.
  • Inclusion, no matter where employees are. For those workplaces that decide to still offer physical locations, there is likely to be a hybrid mix of teams – with some in-office spaces and others working remotely. Your people will expect to have an equivalent experience to the employees that are on site. IT and workplace leaders will need to design an experience that flexes with the needs of the individual and their circumstances.
  • A work experience that suits employee lifestyle. Employees have been able to prove to themselves and their employers that they can be as effective at home as they are at work. As such, the future of the workplace will be highly personalized to individuals. This includes well-being initiatives and work-life balance.

Listening and taking action to create moments that matter

The workplace of the future will also be about creating experiences that make your people feel like they belong – and that they’re enabled to work at a sustainable pace, without fear of burnout or feeling (psychologically) unsafe.

Here are a few of the key areas HR will need to focus on to drive a better experience in the digital hybrid workplace:

  • A sense of belonging. A sense of belonging not only meets your employees’ basic needs, it also inspires their work and drives better business results. Since the start of the pandemic, employees' expectations around work and how they perceive the psychological contract with their employer and manager have changed. Employees are keen to see them deliver on the promises of the past year and a half. And if they don’t, they’ll look elsewhere – as many people already intend to.
  • Employee well-being and burnout prevention. Organizations (namely HR), managers, and employees all have roles to play in changing the habits and norms that influence workplace culture – and help prevent burnout.
  • Managers — and their influence on retention. We know from our research that managers play a major role in employees' engagement and likelihood to stay. And the most effective manager views their role as a coach; one who fosters an environment where team members support each other and where employees’ goals, as well as the goals of the manager and the organization, are supported and achieved with equal fervor.

Read more: 5 soft skills managers need to lead hybrid teams

Working together to improve the hybrid employee experience

CIOs and CHROs are now both responsible for the employee experience — and their levels of collaboration and partnership have the power and ability to drive tangible business outcomes.

“As companies everywhere announce hybrid work and remote-first environments, it’s become clear that the technology experience has permanently become an essential part of the employee experience.” - Julia Anas, Chief People Officer at Qualtrics

Here are two ways for HR and IT to get started improving the employee experience together:

Evolve the IT experience for a stronger employee experience

Technology is crucial to organizations’ ability to attract, develop, and retain talent.

In our survey of more than 200 CIOs:

  • 94% of respondents believe that the IT experience is important when it comes to attracting new talent, with 51% believing it’s extremely important.
  • 90% also believe the IT experience is important when it comes to retaining talent, with 53% of respondents believing IT experience is extremely important.

In the future of work, workplace technology will need to ensure every employee – wherever they’re working – feels safe, productive, engaged, and included. This means using employee feedback to design the experiences they’ll need, not just the experiences IT and HR leaders think they need.

Listen, understand, and take action on experience data

To improve the employee experience, IT and HR leaders must work together to simplify the employee feedback process – and take better, more clear action on the experience data they collect.

IT and workplace leaders should look to the channels employees are already working in – and with the end-users audiences that matter. This is about IT gaining the "complete picture" via experience data – and combining traditional O-Data (operational metrics) most often associated with IT/tech experiences.

This is what most digital and IT teams don't have today. Without seeing the full picture, they'll never really know how their end-users feel about the digital workspace/tech experience and how to design and improve those experiences.

However, with streamlined, timely, insights, IT and HR will better understand employees’ needs and preferences around workplace technology – and ultimately, gain a more complete picture of how to empower employees to be successful, satisfied, and productive.

Your top talent expects a seamless and holistic employee experience. Start designing the future of work with them in mind. [Download Our Guide]

Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics is the technology platform that organizations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform.

Over 12,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands.

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