Employers, Vendors Mull Expanded Scope of Employee Experience

Team At Work

The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred businesses to think of the employee experience more holistically, as a dynamic that’s impacted not only by their managers, teammates and HR, but by how workers interact with departments across the organization and the very tools they use to get their jobs done.

As a result, nearly every touchpoint between employers and the workforce has become part of the equation of employee experience. During the Spring HR Technology Conference, industry analyst Josh Bersin said HR tech was in the process of shifting to “work tech,” and predicted the industry would spend much of 2021 seeking to improve employee experience through apps that are easy to use and integrate neatly with existing tools.  

Because of the pandemic, nearly every touchpoint between employers and the workforce has become part of the employee-experience equation. @Qualtrics #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

Meanwhile, the pandemic has encouraged employers to pay more attention to what their workforce is thinking, at least in Europe. According to Qualtrics, 70% of IT executives in France, Germany and the UK said their organizations have increased the frequency of employee listening since Covid-19 began. And 74% are currently taking action on IT transformation projects in direct response to what they hear.

The study found that 63% of the executives believe that at least a quarter of their employees will permanently work remotely. That, said Qualtrics Chief Product Officer Jay Choi, indicates “the role of IT in improving the employee experience will only grow in importance.”

IT Becomes the Employee Experience

Because of the pandemic, “the IT experience became the entire employee experience,” the report said. “Company-issued laptops, phones and software became the only connection between employees and their employers.”

Baseline technology issues like security, privacy, infrastructure and support services continue to receive the lion’s share of IT spending, according to the report. However, investment in collaboration and communication tools is rising. Since early 2020, for example, a number of companies have introduced video conferencing and instant messaging tools. A number of industry observers are keeping an eye on platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams as more HR capabilities are made available through their environments.

Corporate leaders now see IT as “an essential lever” of the employee experience, Qualtrics said, not only because the department’s implementing new work tools, but because it’s also facilitating employee listening and “taking action to address emerging needs and requirements that are now key drivers of the employee experience.”

Interestingly, the report found that the corporate board’s top three objectives for IT are to improve customer experience and retention, improve employee productivity and improve operational efficiency. Improving the employee experience isn’t mentioned. Also interesting: Just 26% of IT executives consider themselves extremely knowledgeable about which of their initiatives drive employee engagement, productivity, and/or performance.

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