There’s no doubt that employee experience for IT is a hot IT service management (ITSM) trend right now. However, experience management is still evolving, and experience-related best practices are still being formulated based on ongoing organizational successes. But IT service desk managers can’t afford to sit and wait for more formalized employee experience management guidance. The saying is that “time waits for no man,” and the same is true for the business and employee expectations that your IT organization will face in 2022 and beyond.
Plus, employee experience for IT improvement takes time, requiring cultural change. Thus, your IT organization needs to start now even if the improved employee experiences are expected in 12 months or even two years. This improvement begins with the “what,” “why,” and “how” of experience management. To help, my article shares what IT service desk managers need to know.Here @SarahLahav talks about using experience data to first understand where your organization currently is, and second to drive the required improvements. #ITSM #EX #ServiceDesk Click To Tweet
Here’s the “what” of employee experience for IT
For employee experience for IT, the “what” will ultimately depend on your organization and its employees. This view is based on “what matters most.” This lack of clarity might make employee experience management seem tricky. Still, this potential issue can be traversed by taking the time to clarify and agree on a shared understanding as early as possible based on the aforementioned “what matters most.”
There are employee experience definitions available, though. I like this one from Forrester Research:
“Psychological research shows that the most important factor for employee experience is being able to make progress every day toward the work that they believe is most important. But when presented with this option, managers will consistently rank it dead last. Clearly, we have a gap.”
This definition makes employee experience for IT very much about keeping employees productive.'Employee experience improvement takes time, requiring cultural change. Thus, your IT org needs to start now even if the improved employee experiences are expected in 12 months or even two years' – @SarahLahav #EX #ITSM Click To Tweet
Here’s the “why” of employee experience for IT
For some people, employee experience for IT relates to happier or more engaged employees. But this is likely a symptom of what IT does or doesn’t do well, rather than focusing on the root cause. For example, in the Forrester definition above, productivity is the root cause of employee happiness. This reason is the employee’s “why.” No matter the root cause(s), the employee-experience “why” is likely to be about better operations and outcomes at a business level.
This is the end state, though, with the “why” also needing to be the collection and analysis of employee experience data to identify the issues that drive improvement activity (to improve the employee experience for IT users). This “why” moves the focus of IT’s performance measurement from what’s done – in operational terms – to what’s achieved, i.e. the outcomes.
This is how experience measurement and management help IT service providers to really understand what’s working well and the areas for improvement. Importantly, this insight is from an end-user perspective, including visibility into what they think matters most.'For some people, #EX relates to happier or more engaged employees. But this is likely a symptom of what IT does or doesn’t do well, rather than focusing on the root cause.' – @SarahLahav #ITSM Click To Tweet
The “how” of experience-based improvement
Employee experience for IT improvements can be identified from employee experience data related to any area of IT operations and the IT services portfolio. The potential wealth and breadth of improvement opportunities mean that it’s important that your IT organization can prioritize them to focus on what employees think matters most.
The possible improvement opportunities could relate to employee devices, applications, or services or the IT operations that provide IT service and support capabilities. The experience data can also help drive decision-making. For example, where to apply automation investments when not everything can be automated immediately due to limitations. Here, the data focuses the new automation investments on the areas that significantly impact what matters most to employees.
This requires understanding another “how” – the “how” of experience measurement.'For sustainable experience management, the organizational culture needs to change too.' – @SarahLahav #EX #ITSM Click To Tweet
The “how” of experience measurement
Employee experience for IT can be measured via various approaches:
- Experience management solutions that capture actual employee feedback on IT performance (“sentiment analysis”)
- IT infrastructure monitoring solutions that assess IT performance from the employee perspective
- Tools that do both and blend the two views.
However, the experience measurement score is only part of the story because knowledge of an issue is insufficient. Instead, there’s the aforementioned need to know what matters most. Without this insight, and as with traditional continual improvement, well-intentioned improvement investments may be focused on the wrong things.'Through the successes of experience management, your organization and its people will realize that employee-centricity is the best proxy for business-centricity.' Learn more from @SarahLahav here #EX #ITSM Click To Tweet
How employee experience management helps IT
The captured experience data is key to successful experience management. It facilitates informed decision-making on what to improve. For instance, with experience data, your IT service desk can see that it needs to go beyond automating “what’s easy” to address the automation opportunities that make the most significant difference to employees (and organizational operations and outcomes as a result).
However, this is just the start for employee experience for IT. For sustainable experience management, the organizational culture needs to change too. The organization moves from focusing on service level agreements (SLAs) to “employee-centricity.” Your IT organization might have already moved from technology-centricity to service-centricity. Still, through the successes of experience management, your organization and its people will realize that employee-centricity is the best proxy for business-centricity.
As SysAid Technologies' first employee, Sarah Lahav has remained the vital link between SysAid and its customers since 2003. She is the current CEO and former VP of Customer Relations at SysAid, two positions that have given her a hands-on role in evolving SysAid solutions to align with the dynamic needs of service managers.