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What does it mean to successfully deploy a digital employee experience?

Guest post: Thanks to our partnership with Leapgen, we're delighted to have contributions from their team of experts. Thank you to Gail Krieger for sharing her wealth of knowledge in the field of Digital Employee Experience.

This introductory blog is part of a series where we begin by exploring what it means to successfully deploy a digital employee experience. First, let us consider what we mean by “deploy”. Merriam-Webster says deploy means to spread out, utilize, or arrange for a deliberate purpose. That doesn’t sound like a digital workforce experience transformation. Literally, it sounds more like setting up a chess set by placing the objects in their designated location so the game can begin. In a similar vein, a human resources digital employee experience transformation may start with a deployment. By arranging the pieces, or technology, in a specific way, we enable the game; the digital workforce experience, to BEGIN. The word begin is key. When we deploy, we arrange tools and technology in a way to allow customers; our workers; to engage. Engaging is not employee experience transformation. Engaging is the first step to taking action.  When an organization spends multiple months, or perhaps even years, on a technology deployment, they don’t necessarily consider that this is just the set-up, the beginning, which allows the employee experience game to begin. Once we identify and accept what our deployment is in reality; an enabler; the structure; that allows for the start of a workforce digital experience transformation of people, process and technology, then we can really focus on what is truly important, creating a digital employee experience without friction and resistance, that our people will want to use.  

 

Deploying the tools that provide for a positive digital employee experience in how people interact and find information doesn’t happen when you complete the deployment of the tools such as AI or the new HR system. It begins when employee adoption happens. When people actually interact with digital technology and experience a positive result then you have a transformational employee experience. In that way, the workforce is enabled and encouraged to continue the activity. In short, the workforce wants to use the digital technology because it yields a positive digital employee  experience.

 

When your focus is simply on the deployment of the enabling technology you run the risk of being left with a cool system that no one uses. Said better by George Westerman, Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy, “When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.” 

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Organizations often start out their digital transformation efforts with system demos and the project team feeling wowed and pumped about how slick the new system will be.  No doubt a slick system plays a part in digital workforce experience. People like attractive things and are drawn to the next awesome-looking technology. But it also needs to meet their needs, wants, and desires. Interacting with slick technology is short-lived if it doesn’t deliver solutions that are pertinent and timely and matter to the person interacting with it.  

So how do you ensure you are deploying something that will be used? In our series, we will further explore digital workforce experience design; building tools, technologies, and experiences that are focused on the whole person. Then we'll follow up with support for workforce adoption; change enablement that ensures your workforce experience is a positive one that encourages continued use. 

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Our series will look at how personas inform the workforce experience design.  By developing an understanding of your customer, how they like to interact, and what is important to them, you are designing with intention, with the whole person at the forefront. If you are successful, then your workforce will also be successful in experiencing a pleasant digital employee experience that helps them to solve their problems in the moment. 

Our series will then build on this with understanding how to support adoption by utilizing change muscle. By ensuring there is awareness and understanding of what’s in it for me, your workforce builds the desire to leverage your new technology.  The positive outcomes of the digital employee experience ensure that your workforce will continue to use the tools and technology that you have deployed.

 

Watch our video about our recommendations for deploying a one-stop-shop whilst moving from PeopleSoft to Workday.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore the topics of Digital Workforce Experience Design and Workforce Adoption through Change Enablement.

Published September 16, 2021 / by Gail Krieger