Pasi Nikkanen explores how employee experience is essential to measuring the impact of digital transformation.
In 2018, $900bn was wasted on Digital Transformation projects. When IT departments focus their measurements on outputs instead of outcomes - doing what was agreed instead of doing what makes the most impact – the result is incomplete, arbitrarily-structured IT services that do little more than paper over the real needs of the businesses they serve.
In response, experience level agreements are gaining traction with companies looking to address the shortfalls of output-focused service level agreements (SLAs). Measuring employee experience is key for monitoring and optimising service delivery.
Companies undergoing digital transformation in particular, benefit from effective measurement of employee experience for three key reasons:
Employees are central to every business
Above data, inventory and IP, employees are the central asset of any company. They organise, produce, serve, manufacture, innovate, manage, operate, communicate and develop every facet of value each organisation creates.
Employees are the central asset of any company. They organise, produce, serve, manufacture, innovate, manage, operate, communicate and develop every facet of value
Especially during times of change it’s important to ensure positive end-user experiences that drive productivity and business value, so it makes sense to monitor, manage and maintain employee experiences at all times.
However, it is often the case that employees of big organisations believe that IT doesn’t understand their needs – they just complete the basic tasks assigned to them or rush to solve their IT problem due to their SLAs.
Build IT departments that deeply understand the employees of the businesses they serve can create and present development actions to business leaders based on real end-user needs, instead of gut feelings.
Employees indicate the real impact of your digital transformation process
Employee experience doesn’t just mean whether an employee is happy or not. Positive employee experience is an outcome that results from satisfaction with a number of factors that include (but are not limited to) higher productivity, less disruption, quality service and support, and transparent, two-way communication.
It’s important to understand the outcome you want to achieve before starting any digital transformation projects. SLAs can’t measure outcomes – what they do tell you is if the work was completed according to the original specifications, such as time and budget.
They don’t give you any understanding of whether your digital transformation efforts make any real difference for the employees.
Employee experience metrics support strategic decision-making
In the best cases, employee experience metrics powered by constant feedback loops give access to high levels of real-time data relating to many specific business areas. This enables data-driven decision making that helps IT teams focus their efforts to improve experience and create business value.
You may be thinking ‘oh great, a load of negative feedback’, but on average 75% of feedback is in fact positive. Constant feedback helps you see what’s working, what needs changing and gives you current data points to share with leadership that can help support rapid strategic decision-making.
Furthermore, sharing positive feedback with your IT service desk is highly motivating for them, as they can see how their work is making a difference for their end-users.
Many IT departments may feel employee experience-focused metrics could leave them exposed to negative criticism and structural change. This isn’t the case. Whatever the current state of operations, the opportunity provided by transparent, two-way dialogue with employees aimed at giving them a better work experience will only see your popularity rise once the impacts of your changes are felt.
Criticism isn’t something to hide from – no one is perfect. It’s a chance to learn, tell someone you understand how you feel, and make changes that elevate the service you provide. When employees understand IT is listening, the support will be returned.
About the author
Pasi Nikkanen is chief growth officer at Happy Signals