5 ways to foster greater employee focus through workplace managed services

  • Posted on April 23, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
5 Ways To Rethink Workplace Experience

If there’s one thing that business leaders have learned from the disruption of the last 12 months, it’s the power of an authentic focus on employee experience for wellbeing, resilience and performance. COVID-19 accelerated the demand for rapid and ongoing improvement across the employee experience to make work anywhere a sustainable proposition.

With EX now firmly established as a C-suite priority, a holistic approach to the workplace is more important than ever. Alongside HR, Facilities and line of business leaders, IT has a prominent role to play in evolving and improving the employee experience and a new managed service approach is crucial for this new world of work.

So, if you’re evaluating workplace managed services partners, you’ll need to find one that can deliver more than just reliability and cost efficiency. There’s no room for the historical complacency that sees a static set of service obligations which become increasingly irrelevant over a 3–5-year term. Continuous evolution is key, as experiences and services that start out as novel quickly become ordinary, and aspects of the workplace that once motivated employees soon become hygiene factors (and sometimes inconveniences).

The first blog in our workplace managed services series explores the key User Experience (UX) considerations you’ll want to keep front of mind as you evaluate potential partners.

Below we’ve mapped out the core experience imperatives that your Managed Services Provider (MSP) should provide to help you build an employee-centric workplace. These five principles enable frictionless services, enhanced wellbeing and satisfaction levels, and accelerated modernisation – both to augment your human workforce and improve your CX.

#1: Design for personas and user journeys
Your workplace should be designed around how your workforce operates, learns and performs. So, your MSP should use persona analysis to distinguish user types, then tailor and prioritise services for user needs and journeys. Understanding the user journey is a vital step in identifying the most pressing pain points, solutions and process improvements that can be addressed through workplace services and platforms such as Teams, Power Platform and Azure.

By ensuring the voice of your users is heard while creating your service roadmap, your MSP will keep your investments aligned to business goals, and both championed by and supportive of employee goals and aspirations.

#2: Provide the right tools
Your MSP should seek to proactively replace devices out-of-the box as well as on an “as needed” basis. And they’ll need to deliver applications that are up to date for today but capable of keeping pace with evolving user requirements tomorrow.

With intelligent operations that recognise user needs and evergreen managed services that plan for future requirements, you can enjoy a competitive advantage with services empowering your workforce through modern tools to generate business growth and expansion.

#3: Frictionless user support
Robust user experience monitoring and analytics are vitally important components. They’ll deliver impact where it matters most for users as well as enabling continuous improvement through a prioritised backlog for pre-emptive and proactive solutions, enabled through self-heal, auto-heal and self-service approaches.

By prioritising service improvements aligned to user needs – which actively reduce distractions, cognitive loads and friction – your MSP can generate benefits beyond IT cost optimisation, extending to (for example) increased user productivity.

#4: Adoption support and behavioural intervention
The experience your users have when engaging with workplace services is fundamental to their adoption and the extent to which they leverage features and functionality. So, your service partner must see adoption and usage as key success factors.

Microsoft Workplace Analytics amalgamates individual insights to provide information on how your users are interacting with workplace platforms. The data visualisation capability within Power BI can then bring these stories to life. This provides crucial insights in a new world of work characterised by continuous change and learning.

Your services partner should not only ensure sustained communications and easy access to training, tips and knowledge articles, to enable users to work smarter as technology evolves – they must also enable intervention strategies to target habits or behaviours that are impeding business advantage. The benefits can be substantial: Forrester has concluded that the minimum time saving from the effective use of Office 365 is 1 hour per user per day.

#5: Embrace user-centric KPIs
Finally, ensure your managed services partner is ready and willing to adopt user experience-centred measures of their performance, to help shape your workplace roadmap in support of your EX objectives. Build a commercial framework where risks and benefits are shared.

For example, that might incorporate performance KPIs such as:

  • Employee creativity
  • Employee morale
  • Collaboration
  • Productivity
  • User satisfaction
  • User downtime
  • User support workloads

Discover the Avanade advantage
With the right partner, you can position workplace managed services at the heart of a dynamic and motivational EX. Our new guide explores the four pillars of a modern workplace managed service and explains why leaders turn to us to help them manage and evolve their workplace. Download your copy of the guide today and discover how we’re delivering competitive advantage for organisations across the globe.

And stay tuned for the next topic in our series, which looks beyond UX to another key area of collaboration in the continuously evolving workplace ecosystem: Redesigning work experiences to unlock innovation.

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