Overhaul your employee experience for the future of work

Employee experience has catapulted into a top priority for CIOs. Now is the time for CIOs to take advantage of the opportunity to progress this crucial aspect of digital business.

Before the pandemic, only one in five workers who said their job responsibilities could be done from home actually worked from home all or most of the time, according to a Pew Research report. Now, 71% of those workers are doing their job from home all or most of the time and more than half want to keep working from home even after the pandemic. This means a changing focus for CIOs.

“The support for remote work that the COVID-19 pandemic brought on might be the biggest win for CIOs since Y2K,” asserts Gartner’s Andy Rowsell-Jones. “They now have the attention of the CEO, they have convinced senior business leaders of the need to modernize technology, and they have prompted boards of directors to accelerate enterprise digital business initiatives.”

Productivity booms when employees WFH

The pandemic rewrote the rules about where people work, proving that how they work and collaborate is the top concern. How many organizations could have predicted they could send home most or all their workers and maintain productivity? Research from Adobe reveals that 77% of survey takers said they are just as productive, or more productive, working from home, crediting flexible work schedules, no commute time, and fewer distractions.

IDC predicts that 75% of Global 2000 companies by 2023 will commit to technology parity for hybrid workforces where each “branch of one” is fully supported by infrastructure, processes and policies. Companies must adopt applications and infrastructure to replace or supplement those crucial water cooler interactions that COVID protocols and hybrid workforce realities will limit as many workers return to the office.

IT leaders are taking heed. “We’re looking at virtual whiteboarding and how do we conduct meetings in a different way, looking at automation,” Adobe CIO and SVP Cynthia Stoddard says in The Living Enterprise podcast series. “How do we use different communication channels so people can communicate as they would in the coffee room and then again, using AI and bots to eliminate phone calls so people can continually work on their own pace because everybody has different schedules?”

Providing a good employee experience will be crucial in hiring and retaining employees as the economy continues to rebound amid strong hiring growth. One survey indicates 60% of UK workers want new jobs or to learn new skills, representing significant challenges to companies that lag in meeting worker expectations.

Optimizing employee experience

The employee experience encompasses everything an employee encounters and observes from their first day through to their last – from filling in the job application all the way through to the exit interview. To attract and retain employees, CIOs need to ensure their teams are evaluating and optimizing the core employee experience, including:

  • Systematizing and automating onboarding
  • Providing interactive learning management systems
  • Eliminating friction from collaboration, creation and sharing tools
  • Measuring efficacy of and improving employee communication strategies
  • Automating database-driven process flows such as document signing
  • Automating and simplifying compliance requirements
  • Enabling flexible, productive working arrangements

In addition to improving how they deliver those core experiences CIOs should also be investigating innovative ways to engage employees across the hybrid workplace. The newly announced Microsoft Mesh, for example, enables users to connect with presence, share across space, and collaborate in an immersive way as if they were in person regardless of physical location.

Microsoft and Adobe are working together to help your teams come together, to work efficiently and to collaborate and optimise. To learn more, click here to download the whitepaper, 'Building the digital European bank with Microsoft and Adobe'.