Short on time? Read the key takeaways:
- Employee experience has taken the stage as a priority for organizations of all sizes. Over the last few years, some organizations have hired chief employee experience officers and even more are exploring options to enhance the employee experience.
- A focus on employee experience can optimize costs via employee evaluations to increase retention, customer service automation to boost employee productivity, and employee self-service and digital tools to streamline their workflows.
- Employee experience programs help organizations tailor their digital workplaces to different employee personas to drive heightened productivity, improved talent recruitment and retention, enhanced customer experience, and increased company profitability and revenue.
Once employee experience stepped into the corporate spotlight a few years ago, it never left.
Some organizations have even hired a chief employee experience officer to oversee this priority. Many others are considering tools and resources to improve the employee experience.
Their interest is understandable because happy employees are more engaged and productive. Employees may even leave if they’re disappointed by the employee experience. Besides the hiring costs involved in replacing them — which can be substantial — intangible costs include lost productivity, lowered team morale and potential lost customers, according to Indeed.
But saving the money you’d spend on recruiting a replacement is just the start of how employee experience leads to cost optimization.
Here are three ways that enhancing the employee experience optimizes costs — and a powerful tool for achieving that employee experience-cost optimization sweet spot.
#1: Evaluating employee satisfaction can decrease turnover
Before you can improve employee experience, you first have to measure it. Experience-level agreements (XLAs) offer a comprehensive framework organizations can use to evaluate and increase employee satisfaction.
Given how costly it is to replace an employee, XLAs are a crucial way to measure and improve the employee experience to decrease employee turnover. Since happier employees lead to happier customers, XLAs can drive customer loyalty, too.
For the highest chance of success, XLAs should include:
- Qualitative feedback gathered from surveys and quantitative data collected from device performance monitoring tools to understand employee needs and expectations.
- Personalization based on employee personas, whether that’s by individual roles, departments or business initiatives. An XLA is better than no XLA, but tailoring it for different personas makes the XLA more effective. For example, to determine how often to refresh and replace employee devices, an XLA could measure how and how frequently employees in different departments use their devices. This approach can ensure your company’s device refresh cycle aligns with the individual needs of each department.
- Oversight by an experience management office (XMO), which is a team dedicated to evaluating experience data, to improve processes and encourage service team collaboration.
#2: Resolving IT issues faster boosts the customer experience
Most of us have probably seen this cost optimization result in action, perhaps as a customer when you’ve had a question about your internet service. Instead of immediately being sent to hold purgatory to wait for a customer support agent, customers will hear a recorded answer to common questions — such as when an outage will be resolved.
With advances in AI, automated prompts and tools like chatbots can direct customers to content that helps resolve common issues when a query is related to topics within a support database. This boosts the customer experience by eliminating the frustration factor. It also enhances the employee experience and productivity since agents won’t have to answer the same questions repeatedly.
Technology tools can also help identify the end user’s persona group and details of their situation to help route their ticket to the correct service desk and ensure it is prioritized properly. For example, a physician encountering issues with their electronic medical record (EMR) software may be flagged as high priority and sent directly to an agent specializing in EMR platforms, preventing a delay in patient care. In the previous example of an internet provider’s customer support line, AI capabilities can help inform an agent which actions a customer has already taken to resolve an issue – such as turning off their computer and turning it back on — without having to ask. This saves time and decreases frustration for everyone, likely boosting customer loyalty and employee satisfaction.
Tools like chatbot technology also mean more service tickets can be serviced each hour. As a result, fewer human agents are needed for routine tasks, potentially reducing overhead or allowing people to focus on higher-value work.
#3: Giving employees self-service and other digital tools enhances workforce productivity
Employees sometimes require IT support, too. Just as with customers, employees benefit when they can identify quick fixes to their issues and return to their projects faster. That contributes to a better employee experience and increased employee satisfaction.
Introducing self-service IT tools for employees, for instance, lets them resolve some issues independently. This saves significant time for IT as well as employees with tech support needs. How much time? For 49% of employees, resolving IT issues takes one to five hours a week. And for 23%, it takes more than six hours a week.
Unfortunately, employees aren’t always getting the digital tools they believe can help them stay productive. For instance, 60% of employees want smart assistants/chatbots to guide them in completing tasks, but only 21% of employers provide them. Supporting employees in the ways they need can send employee engagement soaring.
A powerful tool: An employee experience program
Launching an employee experience program is one of the best steps you can take to increase employee engagement, according to our hybrid work study, conducted in partnership with HFS Research. Organizations with “very mature” employee experience programs report that employees are 74% more engaged vs. 59% for “somewhat mature” EX programs and only 24% for “not mature” programs.
Employers share that these programs, which often include XLAs, positively impact employee productivity (63%), attracting and retaining talent (63%), customer experience (62%), company profitability (56%) and company revenue (54%).
Organizations are taking these steps toward launching an EX program:
- Appointing a leader who can lead and innovate employee experience initiatives.
- Implementing technology that can measure employee experiences with their enterprise devices and software, such as communication and collaboration platforms.
- Establishing a centralized function, like an XMO, to analyze and improve employee experience.
Optimize costs by prioritizing employee experience
A clear link exists between employee experience and cost optimization. That connection includes evaluating employee experience through XLAs to decrease turnover, increasing customer satisfaction by resolving customer issues faster and delivering the digital tools employees need, such as a self-service tech support platform.
An employee experience program is one of five essential steps to optimize digital employee experiences. Implement as many of these steps as possible to maximize employee engagement benefits for your organization.