Until recently, competitive salaries, benefits and career development initiatives were enough to enhance Employee Productivity. Today, these things are table stakes. To compete in the millennial era, companies need to offer high-quality employee experience to establish a culture of mutual trust. And technology is a key driver of the modern . A recent research report conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) with sponsorship from Citrix Systems, further validates this point.
The research shows that winning companies use innovative and flexible work models and provide their employees a superior experience. And in the process, they not only attract the people they need, but keep them engaged and productive and improve their business results.
“People today want the freedom to work when, where and how they want. And they expect things to be as easy as they are in their personal lives,” said Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer, Citrix. “To attract and retain talent in today’s tight labor market, companies need to rethink what “workplace” means and create digital environments that accommodate traditional, remote and gig workers and deliver the tools, and information they need to do their best work in a simple, unified way.”
Better Employee Experience = Better Business Results
Across geographies and industry sectors, many companies are recognizing – and proving—that a better employee productivity and experience can lead directly to improved business results, shows the study.
According to Arthur Mazor, principal partner and HR transformation global practice leader at Deloitte, “Many organizations now see the ultimate objective of enhancing workforce experience to be the creation of new value in the market, by improving the customer experience and creating new opportunities for growth.”
The study shows 36 percent cited enhancing customer experience and satisfaction as the top reason for improving employee experience, just behind Employee productivity and employee engagement (40 percent), followed by 31 percent listed profitability, and an equal percentage called out talent retention.
Focus on Employee Needs
Today’s workplace is filled with distractions and complexity that frustrate employees and prevent real work from getting done. Within a typical company, the average employee needs to navigate four or more applications just to execute a single business process. And accessing them requires managing multiple passwords and interfaces. All of this takes time and focus away from people doing what they want – and are paid to do.
Case in point: employees spend more than 25 percent of their time searching for the information they need to do their jobs, and managers more than half of their time executing routine tasks. It’s a problem IT has largely created by steadily implementing technology they thought would simplify work, that has only made it more difficult.
But participants in EIU study say that with the right solutions and strategy, it can be fixed. “Employees are, after all, consumers,” said Florian Wies, regional lead, country integration, Merck. “Delivering digital tools in a way that’s intuitive and familiar for them will improve their experience.”
Among the key enablers of strong employee engagement identified by respondents include ease of access to work related information (47 percent), applications that are simple to use (39 percent) and a consumer-like user experience (33 percent), said the study. More important is the ability to work from anywhere (43 percent) and choice of devices (32 percent), found the research.
Creating the right employee experience
They say it takes a village to raise a child. And when it comes to creating a world-class employee experience, the IT and HR executives polled as part of The Experience of Work share this sentiment, with nearly identical numbers of each (74 percent and 75 percent, respectively) indicating they feel personally responsible for improving it.
According to Donna Kimmel, Chief People Officer at Citrix, this promises to change the game. “Employee experience is all about creating the right environment that inspires people to do great work. And that isn’t just HR’s responsibility,” she said. “Total rewards certainly play an important role. But you also need to remove frustration and drive employee productivity in a way that enables people to perform at their best.”
And this is where IT comes in. “There are plenty of employee productivity issues that get in our way,” Kimmel adds. “We need technology that is helpful to us. That frees us to drive innovation and collaborate.”
Create a Liquid Enterprise
Technology is resetting the boundaries for both organizations and their employees. “The future of work is dynamic and decentralized,” Minahan said.
“Businesses should seamlessly shift their people and digital resources across workflows. They should put the right insights and information to redefine what work means and engage their employees. And ultimately, their customers – in new ways that enhance their success, he concluded.