Employee experience has gained steam as a top HR priority in recent years–and it is primed to become even more integral, as employers strive to retain workers who may be eyeing a post-pandemic change. Given the rise in remote and hybrid setups, it’s not just EX that HR leaders need to keep their focus on, but also digital employee experience (DEX).
A new report from DEX management company Lakeside Software found significant gaps in how employees and the C-suite perceive DEX. For instance, 67% of IT workers said DEX is a critical priority for the organization, yet only 17% of employees believe that senior executives place a high or very high priority on DEX. Similarly, 60% of IT professionals surveyed rated DEX at their respective companies as good or better, while 64% of employees assess it as average or worse.
What it means for HR leaders
The report highlighted other divides in perception among IT, C-suite leaders and employees. For example, more than half of employees expect to be working from home at least part-time after the pandemic, a figure that stood at 43% for senior executives and less than one-third for IT professionals–a disconnect that report authors note “could lead to ill-equipped digital workplaces and poor digital experience.”
The good news is that DEX does increasingly appear to be on the radar of C-suite execs: 72% of those surveyed by Lakeside said DEX was a medium priority or lower before the pandemic; 90% said it will be a medium or high priority for the organization after the pandemic. Now, the report says, it’s time for leaders to follow through on that commitment with action, specifically to narrow gaps in perception and address the obstacles to a more seamless DEX.
In particular, the top challenge cited by employees is the increase in distractions in remote settings, followed by less effective collaboration and teamwork, data privacy and security issues, greater difficulty managing people, and less engagement and sense of belonging.
“The business leaders of today’s hybrid and remote workforces are finally recognizing the enormous financial impact digital employee experience has on an organization’s performance across the board, and not just on productivity and morale, but also the company’s bottom line,” said Mike Schumacher, CEO of Lakeside Software. “These figures clearly indicate the true urgency in addressing the current divide between how DEX is perceived in the C-suite and how it is experienced at the employee level.”