Workplace experience: Your competitive advantage

  • Posted on March 4, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
workplace experience

The following blog post was written by Steve Goldberg.

Companies understand they need to provide great customer experience to stay competitive. They’re creating customer journeys that are hyper-personalized, use technologies such as predictive analytics and machine learning, and create moments that build satisfaction and loyalty. But the budget and executive attention on customer experience often comes at the expense of building a modern workplace experience that puts employees at its center.

That’s more than a shame. Companies that ignore the workplace experience are ignoring a crucial contributor to great customer experience and maximum ROI. With a better workplace experience, call center agents, field service staff and sales reps gain tools to serve customers with faster and better answers. They also free up time that can be spent in good old-fashioned employee/customer interaction.

Working with our clients and leading research institutions, Avanade has taken a broad view of workplace experience with three key pillars:

  • Culture and experience – A human-centered approach that aims to drive employee productivity to increase engagement, innovation, customer satisfaction and sustainable profit growth
  • Modernized platforms – A rationalized set of tools and technologies, with material improvements to functionality
  • Optimized operations – Technology platforms that run at scale, with linear, predictable costs and managed as a service

So how do you improve your workplace experience? You already have a valuable tool in that effort: the playbook you’ve used to improve your customer experience. By applying the principles of customer-centricity to your employee and business practices, you can create the more relevant, personalized workplace experience that improves performance.

We recently worked with a global consumer products company that wanted to reimagine its workplace experience to boost creativity, talent retention and productivity. To achieve its goals, we created a portfolio of services that spans the entire employee lifecycle, including onboarding, daily work, career development and networking, leveraging the company’s existing investment in Microsoft Office 365.

To initiate this consumer products giant’s successful workplace experience overhaul, we conducted a half-day Workplace Insight Discovery session. We shared the insights we’ve developed for our clients, directly applying research from MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research. The company surfaced its needs and concerns, and together we identified areas for further analysis. We created a digital assistant with AI-powered content curation. The result led to a material increase in productivity and employee satisfaction.

Here are six practical tips to help you with your own workplace experience:

  1. Focus on the people. Human and physical interactions, supported by modern technology platforms, AI and augmented reality, need to provide consistent, even lovable experiences.
  2. Truly reimagine the workplace experience. Doing the same thing faster, or merely changing an interface, misses most of the point.
  3. Engage your best experts: your employees. They’re on the front lines every day and know what experiences will make their lives easier.
  4. Keep security top of mind. Workplace services, experiences and culture need to be secure by default or the effort is more likely to fail.
  5. Build a solid business case. A compelling story for change, over a rolling three-year period, will win support and ensure funding.
  6. Keep it coming. Employees, like customers, don’t want to wait for long implementation cycles. Execution should be in short, iterative bursts that allow for regular value drops.

The value proposition for a focused effort on workplace experience is clear – but most businesses are not prepared for it. With different owners across the domains of workplace experience, who owns it and what does an integrated roadmap for your company’s workplace experience look like? How do you create a workplace experience that truly shows people how to work in new ways and drives sustained value creation?

If you’re ready to create the workplace experience that your company is seeking, a Workplace Insight Discovery session might be right for you, too.

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