Employers fall short of providing positive digital employee experience

Focusing on providing an environment where employees are supported to digitally thrive influences a more positive workplace culture.
By: | April 16, 2021

By Kristen Turnbull and Stephen Choo

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed where, when and how we work. Employees have been suddenly thrust into the digital world to connect, communicate and collaborate with their colleagues and customers.

In this changing environment, managing the digital employee experience is fast becoming a key enabler for business leaders to transform their organisation.

However, new research from CoreData and DSRInsight for HRM Asia suggests many organisations are falling short of providing a well-rounded digital employee experience.

The digital employee experience refers to an employee’s daily digital interactions within their work environment. It is the combined impact of using digital tools and technology on the user experience of your employees.

Digital tools include software and firmware that you use to complete your work, such as computer programs or virtual conferencing apps, while digital technologies cover hardware such as PC computers, laptops and webcams.

The latest survey of Human Resource leaders across Asia, conducted in March, found while businesses are getting the basics right by providing digital tools that allow employees to collaborate and communicate, they are failing to supplement this with appropriate training or user experience feedback.

While employees find it easy to communicate with their colleagues online (81%) and agree the technology available to them helps them do their job better (84%), far fewer agree they receive adequate training for the digital tools and technologies they need to use (55%).

Less than two thirds (65%) say their experience as a user is considered when new digital tools or technology are selected, and overall, fewer than three in five (57%) are satisfied with their company as a place to work in the digital age.

So, why is this important?

According to LinkedIn, organisations are adapting to a more dispersed workforce, with strong growth in both demand for remote roles and the number of remote full-time jobs on offer across the Asian region between March and May 2020.

Encouragingly for those companies on a digital maturity journey, employees are willing to improve their own digital knowledge and skills (97%) and express eagerness to use more digital tools and technology in their jobs (88. They overwhelmingly agree that improving their digital skills will help their future career prospects (91%).

There is clearly a commercial imperative for business leaders to ensure their organisation keeps pace with the digital age. Focusing on providing an environment where employees are supported to digitally thrive influences more positive workplace culture, employee experience and workplace productivity.

Getting either of these wrong will likely lead to a higher churn as the digital employee experience increasingly either creates frustration or adversely impacts perceptions of organisations as an employer of choice.

Kristen Turnbull is Deputy Managing director of CoreData, an independent market research consultancy, and Stephen Choo is Managing Director of Digital Survey Research Insight (DSRInsight), an employee experience advisory firm.