Findings of the Digital Employee Experience survey from VMware show correlation between enabling employees with a positive digital experience (i.e., device choice/flexibility, seamless access to apps, remote work capabilities) and an organization's competitive position, revenue growth and employee sentiment.
"Too often, the conversation about digital transformation focuses on the technology and leaves out a key ingredient to a winning strategy — attracting and retaining the best talent. To compete for the best talent, companies are prioritizing employee experience, which encompasses technology, workstyle and culture," said Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager, End User Computing, VMware. "Leaders committed to improving employee experience are adopting the digital workspace, a concept VMware pioneered three years ago. A digital workspace platform fuels modern digital experiences, which our survey revealed as being critically important to current and prospective employees as well as improving other key business outcomes."
Delivering on Digital Employee Experience Correlates to Key Business Outcomes
Employees' ability to access the apps and information they need, from whatever device or location they choose, affects their ability to effectively plan, collaborate and execute. Results from the VMware survey affirmed the notion that providing employees with a seamless digital experience as they access these resources positively impacts business outcomes including rate of growth, employee sentiment and talent recruitment.
The more competitive respondents rate their organization, the more likely they are to have a good digital employee experience
Today's leading companies are prioritizing their employees' digital experience. In fact, employees who rate their organization more competitively, as a "leader" or "pioneer", are significantly more likely to have a good digital employee experience at work, compared to those who rank their organization as a "follower." Employees at a "leading" or "pioneering" company are more likely to:
■ Be able to find and install the right app for any new task/process at work (76 percent of employees at leader/pioneer organizations vs. 53 percent of employees at follower organizations)
■ Have the freedom to work from their personally-owned device (62 percent vs. 51 percent, respectively)
■ Have the ability to work from anywhere as easily as from in the office (70 percent vs. 51 percent, respectively)
■ Have greater choice when it comes to selecting devices for work purposes. For example, nearly 61 percent of employees at a leader/pioneer organization report being able to choose between using Android or iOS for work purposes versus only 46 percent of respondents at follower organizations.
Employees at organizations that deliver a better digital employee experience report faster revenue growth
80 percent of employees at companies experiencing high- or hyper-growth (more than 15 percent revenue growth) report they can easily find and install the right app for any new task/process at work, compared to 42 percent of employees at companies that are underperforming or not growing (-1 to 0 percent revenue growth).
Employees are far more likely to recommend their company (net promoter score) if it provides a great digital experience
Delivering better a digital employee experience also plays a role in workforce sentiment. Respondents who say their organization gives them the ability to work from anywhere as easily as from the office are significantly more likely to say they are proud of their organization, compared to respondents whose company does not enable the freedom to work from anywhere (71 percent compared to 27 percent, respectively). They are also more likely to claim their organization has a progressive culture (71 percent vs. 28 percent), is recognized as one of the top places to work (70 percent vs. 29 percent) and provides good work-life balance (69 percent vs. 30 percent).
In addition, employees are far more likely to recommend their organization (net promoter score) if they work at a company that provides a great digital employee experience. For instance, promoters were significantly more likely than detractors to report being able to choose between Mac or PC (60 percent vs. 33 percent), use personally-owned devices (67 percent vs. 43 percent) or work from anywhere (74 percent vs. 47 percent).
Job candidates consider digital employee experience before they apply or accept a position
Finally, when it comes to attracting new talent, digital experience is something candidates are also noting. A whopping 73 percent of respondents agree that the flexibility of tools (e.g., technology, apps and devices) that they might need to use for work would influence their decision to apply or accept a position at a company.
There's a Gap Between What IT Thinks It's Delivering and What Employees Say They Are
Approaching all (95 percent) of IT decision maker respondents claim that IT provides employees with the digital tools they need in order to be successful in their job. However, nearly half of employee respondents (42 percent) said they do not have the digital tools they need. And, nearly two-thirds of employees (64 percent) do not feel they have a voice when it comes to which digital technologies they use at work; whereas 83 percent of IT decision maker respondents said employees do have a say in this.
Although delivery perceptions differ, both IT and employee respondents do agree on this — digital employee experience projects should be a top priority for their organizations. In fact, 87 percent of IT respondents agree with that statement compared to 78 percent of employee respondents.
Digital Employee Experience Is a Team Sport
The study revealed another gap that employers should note — there is a question of who is ultimately responsible for the overall employee experience. IT decision makers most often identified the Chief Information Officer, HR decision makers most often identified the Chief HR Officer, and employees most often identified the Chief Executive Officer.
Despite differences in perception of who is accountable for digital employee experience, nearly all respondents (89 percent) believe that HR and IT could work better together to improve the digital experience of employees.
Methodology: VMware commissioned global research firm Vanson Bourne to survey employees, HR and IT professionals across various industries in 19 countries about their digital employee experience. All respondents were qualified as individuals who use a computer/smart device for work purposes. In total, 6,400 responses were collected in Spring 2019.