Why HR Professionals Should Invest in the Digital Employee Experience

By prioritizing digital employee experiences, organizations fortify their talent recruitment, retention, and engagement strategies while positioning themselves for success.

Is your IT department feeling spread too thin? You’re not alone. Attracting, retaining, and engaging talent is critical, especially for tech roles. Burnout and turnover are high. Workloads are heavy. Taken from a large-scale recent survey of IT professionals, the data paints a clear picture of the fallout: A substantial portion of IT professionals are contemplating job shifts, potentially leading to significant financial losses for U.S. employers.

Employers can’t afford to let IT staffing challenges get worse. With a variety of workplaces (remote, in-office, hybrid, etc.), IT’s role of ensuring a seamless digital experience has never been more pivotal. That means employers need to pay close attention to the technical hurdles, infrastructure gaps, and other sources of digital frustration that threaten the stability of IT staffing.

Success in the face of these challenges comes down to the Digital Employee Experience (DEX)—how employees interact with their workplace technology solutions and digital resources. DEX is about how many hoops employees must jump through to do their jobs well. It’s about how seamless—or not—their daily work experience feels. And it makes all the difference in the world.

What’s at Stake

While embraced by 84 percent of IT professionals, the shift to remote work has brought new challenges: A notable 57 percent encounter technological hiccups at least weekly, and 17 percent of those respondents actively consider career transitions as a direct result of these challenges. Further, 61 percent report that negative technology experiences impact morale. Statistics like these should be enough to prompt a thorough reassessment of digital infrastructures and, critically, overall DEX.

Surprisingly, despite the evident urgency, only 56 percent of organizations have ramped up investments in DEX in 2023, according to a recent survey. This delayed response jeopardizes talent retention and adds to recruitment complexities. Put bluntly, roles will sit unfilled, and turnover will become rampant if DEX is lacking.

Beyond recruitment and retention issues, poor DEX increases a company’s susceptibility to “shadow IT.” Shadow IT is the practice of employees using tools, devices, and applications that haven’t been officially sanctioned and vetted by IT. Employees who don’t like the resources they’ve been given access to may circumvent best practices and go rogue. In fact, there has been a 26 percent uptick in shadow IT due to remote work. The IT department can’t protect what they don’t know about, so these digital interactions live in the shadows—and can be a significant source of security vulnerabilities.

When employees face consistent digital roadblocks, it not only hampers their productivity but also leads to a domino effect on the entire organization. Projects are delayed, innovation stagnates, and customer experiences may suffer. In this digital age, where speed and agility are paramount, such setbacks can have long-lasting effects.

A Solution Grounded in Proactive Innovation

DEX encompasses all digital touchpoints within an employee’s workday, marking a pivotal facet of their organizational experience. Emphasizing DEX doesn’t simply make an employee’s job more accessible, it also enhances productivity and company outcomes, reduces strain on IT, and helps limit turnover.

An optimized DEX plan is comprehensive and proactive—ideally identifying and resolving problems before a human even needs to get involved. Today’s top technology platforms have advanced to the point of being able to target and remediate challenges with little to no downtime and zero action required on the end user’s part. This is particularly useful with a distributed workforce, enabling devices to self-service and self-heal without being in the physical presence of IT staff.

This proactive response reduces hurdles for employees, and it’s also a significant consideration from a security perspective. Imagine being able to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities within devices and applications before they become a problem—without the user even needing to get involved! With proactive, DEX-focused platforms, that’s possible right now. This proactive approach enhances digital experiences and liberates IT professionals for more strategic contributions.

Guidelines for HR Professionals

Here are a few specific steps HR professionals can take to enhance DEX within their company.

  1. Create a benchmark: Survey your employees to find out where their digital experience stands right now. Are they satisfied? Do they have ideas for tools, resources, applications, or strategies that would help them do their jobs better and more efficiently? Allow for anonymous feedback to encourage honesty.
  2. Partner with your IT team: Chances are your IT team already has opinions—perhaps strong ones—about how to enhance DEX. Take time to listen to them. HR and IT can be powerful allies in DEX investments.
  3. Create alignment: Investing in DEX has real ROI potential, given its impact on recruitment, retention, and productivity. Once you have your benchmarks, you’ll have an angle to foster alignment with key stakeholders and rationalize budget allocation. If there’s resistance, consider starting with a pilot program.
  4. Lean into automation: Leverage artificial intelligence-powered solutions to proactively address potential digital experience challenges without increasing the burden on your employees.
  5. Continuous evaluation and adaptation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of DEX investments and make adjustments based on user feedback and evolving technological landscapes.

Empowering Employees for a Digital Future

DEX is not merely a technological upgrade; it’s an investment in the backbone of every modern enterprise—the top talent who drive innovation and operational excellence. By prioritizing DEX, organizations fortify their talent recruitment, retention, and engagement strategies while positioning themselves for sustained growth and success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Daren Goeson
With more than 18 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, Daren Goeson serves as the SVP of Product Management for Ivanti, where he heads the Secure Unified Endpoint Management business. In his role, Goeson helps develop a compelling product vision and strategy while creating alignment across departments for execution. Goeson leads the following portfolios: Endpoint Management, Mobile Management, Endpoint Protection, Risk-Based Vulnerability Management, and Digital Experience Management. Prior to joining Ivanti, Goeson spent seven years with BMC Software, where he focused on delivering conversational AI solutions to drive employee engagement and improve efficiency for service management organizations. Goeson holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria.