In basic terms, customer experience (CX) is how your clients interface with your organization – it’s the aggregate of their communications and interactions with your brand, from purchasing a product to service interactions and beyond.
In contrast, user experience (UX) is about how your customers experience your product. For example, how easy it is to check out your website or how pleasant it is to use your app.
However, there is another facet to UX from an internal point of view. User experience also encompasses how the staff interacts with the tools and systems they use to do their jobs – let’s call it employee user experience (EUX).
In the hybrid work world, where people are split between working from home and the office (or out in the field), organizations must pay attention to CX and both sets of users – customers and employees. This Total Experience strategy is the Top Strategic Technology Trend for 2022, according to Gartner’s 2021 Digital Business Acceleration Survey, which surveyed 1877 CIOs across 74 countries.
A lot has been written and said about customer experience and product UX design. But not many enterprises are paying enough attention to employee user experience. This is a mistake because there are several advantages to be gained by improving EUX.
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Advantages of Improving Employee User Experience
Imagine trying to do a mail merge in Microsoft Word without ever having been shown how. The same thing happens with business applications. If employees can’t figure out how to use them, they will either waste time trying or find ways to work around the system, neither of which is ideal.
Good employee user experience leads to increased productivity because it enables employees to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. When you consider that most knowledge workers spend a large portion of their day using business applications, it’s easy to see how even a slight increase in productivity can significantly impact the bottom line.
There are multiple silos of information and numerous systems for doing the same thing in many organizations. This duplication of effort not only wastes time but also wastes money. When you have two different systems that do the same thing, you need to maintain both systems and train employees on how to use both.
In addition, simple, functional systems that get the job done require less training and have less downtime. This cost factor is critical because the financial side of organizations don’t always understand how improving employee user experience can impact the bottom line and thus don’t always support EUX initiatives.
Prevent App Sprawl
There are literally millions of apps to choose from in today’s mobile world. If employees find your internal apps too difficult to use, they begin to find workarounds or look for their own solutions – often without IT knowing about it.
This shadow IT can lead to security risks and compliance issues. A good EUX strategy will prevent employees from going outside the organization for solutions and instead encourage them to use internal apps.
Create a Culture of Collaboration
When employees can’t figure out how to use the tools they need to do their jobs, they become frustrated. This frustration can lead to siloed workflows and a lack of collaboration. Good employee user experience leads to increased cooperation because it enables employees to easily find and use the information they need when they need it.
Reduce Employee Turnover
Employee turnover is expensive. It costs money to recruit and train new employees, and it takes time for them to become productive members of the team. However, when you have an excellent employee user experience, employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave.
In addition, when you have a good EUX strategy in place, new employees will be able to ramp up more quickly and be productive sooner.
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The Biggest Determinants of UX
What determines how well your staff interacts with your systems and tools? We have identified five critical factors.
How fast and responsive are your systems? If employees have to wait a long time for a page to load or an application to start, they will get frustrated and look for ways to work around the system. Conduct an audit of your systems and tools to identify any bottlenecks and eliminate them.
In today’s connected world, employees expect to be able to access information and applications from anywhere, at any time. If your systems are intermittent or clunky to access, employees will find ways to work around them.
For example, many organizations use VPNs to give employees secure access to internal systems from outside the office. However, VPNs can be slow and unreliable, and they sometimes don’t work well with mobile devices.
A better solution is to use a cloud-based platform that provides single sign-on access to all the applications and information employees need, regardless of where they are or what device they are using (even though some companies insist on VPN access into the cloud platform). It is also vital to accelerate digital transformation by adopting technologies such as 5G, edge computing, and the Internet of Things to improve connectivity.
To protect your organization’s data, you need to have a robust security strategy in place. This includes both physical and logical security. Physical security includes factors like firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Logical security is things like user authentication and authorization.
When you have a good EUX strategy, you can use it to improve both physical and logical security. For example, you can use biometrics to authenticate users and prevent unauthorized access to systems and data. You can also use Single Sign-On (SSO) to give employees access to the applications they need without remembering multiple passwords.
Many organizations assume that employees already know how to use their systems and tools. However, this is not always the case.
Employees need to be adequately trained to get the most out of your systems and tools. In addition, they need to be given time to learn how to use the new systems and tools. Unfortunately, many organizations make the mistake of rolling out new systems and tools without giving employees enough time to be fully comfortable with them. This can lead to frustration and a feeling of being overwhelmed.
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A Few Network Strategies to Protect and Secure UX
In order to protect and secure your EUX strategy, you need to have a few network strategies in place.
- Monitoring: You need to monitor your network for performance and security issues. This can be done using various tools, such as network monitors, intrusion detection systems, and so on.
- Load balancing: You need to ensure that your network can handle the increased traffic that comes with a successful EUX strategy. This can be done by load balancing your network.
- Caching: Caching is a technique that is used to improve performance by storing data in memory so that users can access it quickly.
- Security: As mentioned above, you need to have a robust security strategy to protect your EUX strategy. This includes both physical and logical security measures.
How to Apply UX principles to EX: Enhance Employee User Experience
A successful EUX strategy can help you improve employee productivity and enhance customer experiences. In order to achieve this, you need to first focus on the needs of the users.
Therefore, the first step is to listen to what your staff needs and wants from your tech. Do they need more features? Do they want an easier way to do something? From there, you can start to design and implement solutions that will make their working lives easier.
It’s also essential to prioritize accessibility in user experience design. This means making sure that your systems and tools can be used by employees with different ability levels. For example, you might need to provide training for employees who are not familiar with the new system. You should also consider how easy it is for employees to use your system when they are on the go.
Finally, get buy-in from all stakeholders. A successful EUX strategy requires the support of the C-suite, IT, and employees. Without buy-in from all stakeholders, it won’t be easy to implement a successful employee user experience strategy.
Employee user experience is no longer just a nice-to-have; it’s a business imperative. In order to stay ahead of the competition, you need to make sure that your employees have a positive experience when using your systems and tools.