Experience Management: Identifying Issues Isn’t Enough

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on December 28, 2022

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There has been an increasing focus on employee experience management within the field of IT service management (ITSM), which is a positive development. By using experience management data and DEX solutions, IT organizations can improve their IT service delivery and support capabilities to enhance employee productivity. These solutions use technology to identify and report on issues in the IT infrastructure that affect employees. Alternatively, organizations can use traditional survey methods to gather insights into employee experiences and the quality of IT services. In either case, IT organizations can gain valuable insights that help them understand and address employee needs.

While employee experience data is useful for understanding what is and is not working well, it does not provide a complete picture of what is most important to employees and their productivity. To truly prioritize and identify opportunities for improvement, a deeper level of understanding is needed. This blog post explains this concept using practical examples.

Experience management measurement needs context

Experience-related data is useful for identifying areas that are functioning well and those that need improvement in terms of infrastructure and services. While this information can lead to opportunities for improvement, it does not provide guidance on which specific improvements to prioritize. In other words, the data does not tell the organization which “door” to walk through in terms of prioritizing improvements.

The traditional challenge with continuous improvement is that organizations may not always make investments in the most effective areas. For example, improvement initiatives are often initiated based on:

  • Volumes of things or costs
  • IT’s view of what’s most important
  • The seniority of key players
  • The opinions of businesspeople who aren’t impacted by the issue
  • Hopefully, shutting up the “loudest voice.”

What is needed is a deeper understanding of the context in which employee experiences occur. For example, if corporate PC image complexity is causing long device boot times, which is identified as a negative experience through DEX data, it may not be the most important issue to address in terms of improvement investments. While it affects all employees and might typically be prioritized based on the number of people impacted and the aggregate lost time per year, understanding the context may reveal that it has minimal impact on employee productivity. This is because employees may simply adjust their morning routine to account for the longer boot time, and the issue does not significantly hinder their ability to work.

On the other hand, employees may be more negatively affected by something that is perceived as working well according to some DEX solutions. For example, IT self-service capabilities may have been introduced to reduce costs, speed up issue resolution or service provisioning, or improve the employee experience.

However, in some cases, IT self-service may fail to deliver the expected benefits in terms of speed or employee experience when it is implemented without sufficient organizational change management investment or for the wrong reasons. As a result, usage levels may be lower than expected, with employees continuing to prefer to call the IT service desk. This can lead to a delay in achieving the promised cost savings and return on investment (ROI).

The second example illustrates how technology may be perceived as functioning properly but still delivering a poor experience for the end user.

The answer is combining technical data with end-user sentiment

While DEX solutions provide valuable data and insights about technology performance, including synthetic transactions that simulate the end-user experience, they may not always accurately reflect the actual employee experience. It is important to consider the context in which the experience is occurring in order to understand what is most important to employees.

To address this issue, some DEX solution providers use sentiment analysis, which involves surveying employees to gather insights into their feelings about IT services and support transactions. This data provides a more complete understanding of the issues that employees are experiencing and, more importantly, which ones are most important to them from a productivity standpoint. This information is critical for continuous improvement efforts and helps organizations prioritize their efforts based on employee needs.

For instance, while employees may have issues with the performance of the IT service desk, simply trying to improve resolution times or customer-centricity may not address the root cause of dissatisfaction. Sentiment analysis data may reveal that, while speed is important, the underlying issues are different. For example, employees may be frustrated because their issues are not being fully resolved or because they have to repeatedly explain their problems and provide details to multiple people or groups. These types of problems may be significant enough to warrant a focus on continuous improvement.

This blog post has aimed to show that simply knowing where improvements are needed is not enough to accurately focus continuous improvement efforts on what matters most. While technology-based insights into performance can be useful, human-sourced feedback is also necessary to understand where improvement investments should be made.

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