Creating a great experience for employees is harder than it looks. As recently as a couple of years ago, everyone was talking about experience level agreements (XLAs) as the solution for measuring and improving employees’ satisfaction with technology and IT services. However, at many organizations, the technical capabilities needed to fully exploit XLAs were found lacking. 

Now it’s time to restart the conversation about measuring the employee experience. Today it’s possible to get a true measure of workers’ attitudes about the technology they use and its impact on their work lives. Businesses need to consider how to take advantage of this new opportunity to truly harness employee experience management (XM). In fact, it’s practically mandatory that they do so if they want to continue to operate within their industry and remain competitive in their market, both of which depend heavily on retaining their most valuable asset — their talent.

Improving the employee experience around IT is critical to satisfying both internal end users of IT systems and workers employed by external buyers of an organization’s technology services. Companies leveraging the right employee experience strategies are 5.1x more likely to engage and retain employees, 4.3x more likely to innovate effectively and 2.4x more likely to delight customers, according to research conducted by The Josh Bersin company.

By providing low-friction ways to collect user-centric data from multiple sources and regularly measuring patterns, trends and spikes, companies gain valuable insight about addressing improvements in services to drive greater satisfaction among workers. The challenge facing organizations is capturing relevant information—such as expressions of human experience, and the state and performance of technology assets—mapped to the cycles and timelines of daily business operations.

What’s needed today is a rethinking of the approach to experience management, which requires achieving end-to-end views of experiences.

Driving new levels of experience management

What’s needed today is a rethinking of the approach to experience management, which requires achieving end-to-end views of experiences.

That means not just measuring operational metrics, but also thinking beyond them. Leading CIOs know they must implement and adopt additional, subjective metrics to enable experience management and optimize employee engagement, productivity and innovation. Many use metrics and analytics that empower them to calibrate technology services and, when necessary, update them in response to better support their end users and meet the business’ changing needs.

The name of the game is being data-driven and employee-centric. For example, DXC Technology is working with a large managed health care consortium, performing target audience research about front-line employees; this involves segmenting them by job roles (nurses, therapists, etc.) to inform plans about the IT services they need to improve or provide for each particular group. We support their experience management efforts by collecting near real-time feedback about user experiences to evolve IT services according to their needs.  

DXC is also working with another healthcare services organization to create metrics that establish a baseline experience for printing documents based on employees’ job functions. Analysis of these metrics helps IT to ensure that all users always have access to the print options their specific job requires. We periodically capture experience feedback from these users, creating a valuable mechanism for change.

To advance this new approach to managing employee experiences with technology, it pays to think of the workforce not as a single, undifferentiated set of people, but instead as members of specific functional groups. For example, within a financial services organization, some employees may work in loans, others in investments, and still others in market analysis. Each group has its specific needs and requires the alignment of their technology and tool sets to these needs.

Of course, employees are not only members of a collective — their department, function or team — but also individuals on their own, each with a unique set of requirements and preferences. Leading proponents of experience management also monitor, on an individual level, their employees’ sentiment. 

Objective metrics still matter

To be clear, objective metrics remain important.

For example, as part of your experience management plans, it’s still necessary to monitor the uptime of end-user PCs, tablets and other endpoint devices. With this information, you can determine how system performance affects the overall user experience. Similarly, you need to know how support tickets are classified in order to assess the impact of help-desk agent behavior on the user experience, too.

That said, just because an employee’s PC is delivering on your uptime SLA or that a support call is answered in 5 seconds, doesn’t mean that user is perfectly happy with their IT experiences. But this data, in combination with sentiment data, as well as data about workforce perception, culture and attitudes, gives you comprehensive evidence to act upon.  

Ideally, experience management is conducted in real time, or as close to real time as is possible.

Aim for real-time understanding

Ideally, experience management is conducted in real time, or as close to real time as is possible.

The usual method of measuring employee satisfaction has been conducting a traditional survey. But you can’t build sustainable experience management on that approach. Employee sentiment can be fast-changing, and conducting and analyzing an employee survey can take a long time — often, too long.

Factor in yet more time for the IT department to actually respond to employee issues. By the time IT is able to make effective changes through new features or services updates, the workforce may have already moved on. They’ve found their own ways and workarounds to get the job done, and IT will not see a return on investment from its development efforts.

While conducting traditional surveys will always be part of the picture,  organizations also will need to leverage something faster.

The DXC approach

DXC has developed that something faster. We call our approach “query first” as opposed to “survey first.” This delivers an overall averaged metric of three measured data sets: two related to subjective experiences and one related to objective operational data.

To help customers think about this new approach to employee experience management, we have developed the DXC Experience Cube methodology. It’s a three-dimensional cube XM model measuring those data sets as: 

  • Sentiment: Data about how employees, on an individual basis, feel about a particular service (such as onboarding, requests or problem resolution)
  • Perception: What employees, looked at as a set of individual groups with different needs, think about various aspects of a business service (accounting for metrics such as timely communications about interruptions for the team’s critical applications)
  • Service impressions: Technical evidence gathered from systems and software (such as access logs and device data)

By delivering an overall averaged metric of the data sets, our Experience Cube methodology acts as a tracking mechanism for measuring — at scale — both the employee experience and the new business requirements needed to support continuous improvement.

DXC Experience Cube Methodology

The DXC Experience Cube methodology provides companies with a new approach to employee experience management. The innovative model for measuring employee experience for any service provides companies with the data they need to help drive continuous service improvement.
  • On-site support
  • Digital-first service desk
  • Self-service IT lockers
An overall score for any service being measured is obtained based on employee sentiment, workforce perception and service metrics. The overall score is then used to determine the service's rating on the Experience Octant Scale, where 1 = best and 8 = worst.
A service's rating on the Experience Octant Scale is mapped onto the Experience Cube. This provides a true measure of the employee experience for that service.

The DXC UPtimeTM Experience Platform serves as the vehicle to quickly pull data from users about sentiment, perception and service impressions for the Experience Cube. In fact, DXC is redefining surveys as dynamic queries posed in realtime, enabling services to respond to user feedback about a service even as the employee is providing input in UPtime. DXC leverages Qualtrics’ EmployeeXM™ experience management platform, which is integrated into our Modern Workplace solution, to capture how employees feel about their technology service experience at work. This provides valuable, real-time employee insights to drive greater engagement, collaboration and productivity.  

Moving forward, it may not even be necessary for users to have to give direct feedback, as we improve in interpreting the metrics to deliver the best possible workplace services users can have. As things stand today, data scientists can already leverage the output of the Experience Cube methodology to do a deep dive analysis on these triangulated data sets. For example, those data sets could be queried to test a hypothesis about potential new service features and how many users would benefit from adding them into the mix, as well as where demand is coming from.   

At DXC, we believe in this new approach to experience management so thoroughly, we’ve implemented it ourselves. (For more on how DXC creates an engaged, productive workforce, see Put the employee experience first with a modern workplace and Carrying out a mission to enhance the employee experience.)

Making XM work

DXC is distinctly positioned to provide top-level experience management thanks to our unique ability to gather and measure operational and experience data across all of our workplace services — including device management, support and collaboration — to continuously drive improvement.

Our position as an enterprise systems integrator, caring for our customers’ complex IT estates and supporting their employees’ technology needs, is another significant advantage.  While most vendors can’t tap into components from other vendors, we have control of multiple systems and access to their components. We take important capabilities from others — including Citrix, Microsoft and 1E, to name a few — and work with our partner Qualtrics to deliver unique, composite solutions for managing experiences.

As an example, when the quality of a call in Microsoft Teams is poor, the access we have as a company’s service desk vendor, and across the IT estate as its network manager, can enable us to identify and address bandwidth limitations as the cause of the degraded experience.  

DXC is also taking the lead in helping companies build their experience management expertise. We assign an employee experience manager to all our customers, to walk them through the experience management lifecycle.

The journey to change the workplace experience will provide customers with the knowledge and tools for:

  • Defining the enterprise landscape and the businesses it serves
  • Profiling the workforce and its needs
  • Determining workforce perception, culture and attitudes towards the workplace
  • Incorporating baseline subjective experience and operational technology data in the Experience Cube model
  • Analyzing and maintaining these critical statistics   

Within 3 to 6 months customers can expect to see results that promote dynamism, enable continuous service evolution and expand the opportunities for automation through experience journey mapping. DXC also will help companies establish a Chief Experience Office (CXO) office. 

For the past few months, DXC has been running an experience management consultancy at our large managed-healthcare customer, helping its IT organization grow its XM expertise. The IT group’s focus in the past was primarily on deploying technology, but we have been engaging with them on workforce profiling to deliver the kind of technology experiences particular individuals and groups need. Now the IT team is more closely monitoring IT service levels for fulfilling individual and group requirements.

As part of this effort, IT is using chatbots to analyze employee conversations with the help desk. DXC also is now beginning to generate operational technical metrics about the consortium’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service performance, helping IT to optimize the environment and understand different demands that exist within different segments of the workforce for using it. Looking ahead, the organization plans to work with DXC to create an experience-driven value cycle, that will collect employee-experience metrics on a weekly basis.

Many other companies are eager to make inroads on the journey to creating an awesome employee experience. The results of their labor to raise their experience management game will pay off in developing a people-centric IT environment, where the workforce operates under optimized digital service conditions and is empowered by technology, not constrained by it. 

Learn more about DXC Modern Workplace.  

About the author

About the author

Michael Dempsey is Global Design Lead, Modern Workplace, for DXC Technology.