Every employee is an internal customer for HR. The leadership, and HR, in turn, are responsible to look after their employee’s interests and ensure that they are getting enough training, required benefits, and other support.
Companies have focussed on customer-centric innovations for a while and developed products that suit their changing needs and expectations. Similarly, human resource managers have started understanding the need to use and provide digital tools to their employees that can help make their daily work-related tasks simple and efficient. A digital employee experience consisting of all the touchpoints that can document the experience of an employee is essential to understand how they feel.
DEX – a perception or a tool
A digital employee experience (DEX)- at a superficial level is a pool of all the tools an employee can use to complete his or her work efficiently. However, in reality, it is inclusive but not limited to all tools and touchpoints like digital devices, communication and collaboration apps like internal messaging, emails, and virtual meeting rooms. Physical appliances like good printers, scanners, and ergonomic desks and chairs can be a part of DEX. In short, it is a holistic perception of the employee’s experience that involves everything related to their work; however big or small the related matter is. A new age DEX is an extension of a company’s intranet and extends beyond technological innovation. Interestingly, the logic used in the genesis of this perception is largely dependent on algorithms that are processed through machine learning. The feature that makes DEX a perception beyond digital tools is the use of semantics.
What is semantics?
Semantic uses neural networking to establish logic with concepts and establishes a relationship. It helps in forecasting insights about:-
- What do people want and what do they need?
- How do they feel about a situation/product/service?
- Given access to an improved or a new product/service/change in process, what are the chances that they will use it?
Semantic networks use artificial intelligence to mine the data, connect touchpoints and use it to establish better relationships.
How can semantics be useful in DEX?
Businesses use semantics to develop innovative products and offer enhanced service to their customers. Likewise, semantics can be used in the workplace, to get a better understanding of how employees feel. For instance, semantics can use a touchpoint like a work email of a particular employee, to gather the details of a document and related information and connect the employee with other tools, people, or third-party vendors who can help him finish his work more efficiently.
Semantics help with smart recommendations and intuitive search when an employee is set out to complete a task. A DEX uses these new abilities across all the touch points like communication and collaboration platforms, self-service, and internal systems to help employees become more productive.
With the help of machine learning, information is automatically tagged and metadata is generated across an organization’s source of information. Using third-party API integration, data is validated for functions that need to establish authenticity and integrity of the data source. This is an automated process and reduces the manual function of sending emails to different employees within an organization or third-party sources to validate any data. Also, auto-tagging diminishes the need for the content author to tag the source and saves time in this process.
This ability of a DEX to solve unseen or unknown problems is what makes it a perception that is beyond just another IT tool. These are a few points that can reiterate that a digital employee experience is essential not just because it is another robot that can automate simple and repetitive tasks; but also to solve complex issues related to the human psyche, behavior, and perceptions:-
- Deep dives to understand unseen and unresolved issues that impact the business and employees at large
- Supports the employee with all the resources they need to complete their task
- Improve communication channels and access of employees to self-service communication for a skip-level meeting
- Take charge to solve issues before they impact an employee’s experience
- Sustainable and workable solutions to enhance employee experience
Notwithstanding how DEX aids the leadership and human resource managers to focus on employee experience, there are few barriers to establishing one. It is important to recognize these barriers and work on them:-
- DEX helps in understanding employees’ psyche, especially when they are working in a remote or hybrid workplace model, but the budget of getting one in place can be a deterrent. Companies have to plan strategically to include the cost of developing one because it is an indispensable platform that cannot be done away with.
- Organizations have different departments and often they work in silos. But an engaging employee experience is a restricted model if the silos are not broken-down. A DEX cannot be developed just by an IT team or an HR team. It needs the integration of all the teams including the line and function manager on the board, to develop a platform that will deliver the purpose it was intended to begin with.
- Understanding the organization’s requirements is essential before investing in a capital-intensive project like DEX. As the direct impact of a DEX is on employees, organizations have to talk to their employees and issue guidance on how to use various digital assets and tools. Without training the employees in advance, the purpose of a DEX is defeated.
To sum it up, a digital employee experience helps managers understand their teams in a better way, especially when they are working remotely and are not in the line of sight. Semantics and machine learning help managers understand the inexplicit actions of employees that go unnoticed when they are working in a remote location. It grants insight into how an employee is feeling, and what they might need to improve their tasks. All these functions translate to a better experience for the employees, with an incremental impact on their loyalty toward the company and its leadership.