If you want to increase your annual revenues, see your stock prices skyrocket, and your employee attrition plateau, you need it. But don’t just settle for ‘anything.’
An all-in-one experience platform can help you curate the best experiences for your employees, from onboarding to exit.
Adobe moved to a digital credentialing platform that uses advanced analytics to identify employee interests and made changes based on their feedback. They monitored the employees’ sentiments and made company-wide changes to offer their employees better experiences, including:
In 2021 Adobe replaced Zoom as the number #1 company with the happiest employees. (Source: CNBC)
What’s the first thing to do when you want to buy a good laptop? Research the different laptop brands and create a comparative list based on your needs. Does it run something like this: Intel vs Mac? 256GB or 1TB RAM? What features and software do you need? Does it fit your budget? Do you need it for work or basic surfing and emails?
Evaluating an experience platform/tool for your company works similarly. The fact that the market is full of options doesn’t make it any easier. Draw up a list to ensure that your final choice ticks the right boxes for the employees and the company.
An ideal employee experience platform should have these:
While evaluating an employee experience platform/tool to find a good fit, look for a solution that also addresses the needs of your employees by mapping it to the drivers of your experience strategy.
To take it a step further you could map the platform capabilities to each of the five stages of your employee lifecycle journey to further streamline your employee experience strategy. While it is difficult to find a platform that will have all the capabilities, it’s advisable to choose one that offers the maximum capabilities to help tick your checkboxes. Use the guide below as a reference:
59% of companies expected their new workplace platform to be easier to use, but only 35% actually achieved that benefit. (Source: Bersin)
Choosing the right employee experience platform isn’t only about raising your standing in the market and making 47% of your employees highly performant. (Source: Gartner)
Today’s digital Experience platform or tool has to be cloud-based, UX-designed, user-centric with an easy-to-use interface, collaborative, integrated, and provide employees access on the go to everything they need to engage with their peers, leadership, and the company.
As we’ve moved from “point solutions” in HR to integrated, end-to-end employee experiences, so must we move from transactional systems to what I call “systems of productivity” or systems that make an employee’s work-life easier. — Josh Bersin
No pressure, right? Well, a wrong selection can become a costly headache so use the following criteria as a guide when making your final choice:
When deciding between an out-of-the-box tool or platform that involves no/low code and an in-house solution that must be coded from scratch, it's vital to carefully weigh the pros and cons.
Custom-coded solutions require a highly-specialized IT team and hardware, which can drive up the overhead costs. A platform built from scratch may have all the components you desire, but it's also heavy on code, configuration, and maintenance.
Complex global enterprises with more than 50,000 geographically distributed employees, with sufficient space, budget (IT, hosting, and energy costs), in-house teams (IT, data, and security) and a need for heavy customizations prefer to build their own platform/tool to fit their business requirements.
Suppose you’re looking to explore some of the specialized packaged offerings in the market. In that case, the solutions mentioned below are usually fully mature, easily implemented (low/no-code), compliant, customizable (to a degree), quick to scale, maintain, configure, and protected by strong encryption.
Since they also integrate with most existing business tools and data sources via APIs, it saves a lot of time and effort for the in-house IT teams. This packaged, self-sustaining employee experience solution is ideal for small or mid-size businesses (SMBs) with 50 to 1000 employees.
➡ Automation: Most digital Experience solutions in the market use Machine Learning (ML) capabilities, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Performance Analytics to automate the process without sacrificing employee interests. This makes HR's job easier, leaving them time to concentrate on the strategic planning of different experience initiatives.
➡ Customization: While a custom-coded solution offers a greater degree of customization (hard-coded from scratch), digital platforms/tools come with visual builders that allow super users and admins some degree of flexibility. Some components can be modified/moved to customize the platform, such as adding a custom logo, branding, and other intellectual property; for further changes, it's best to reach out to the vendor with change requests (these are usually agreed upon and honoured).
It is easy to decide between a cloud-based solution and an infrastructure-heavy on-premises solution. With speed, flexibility, quality, and scalability on the line, it’s easy to guess in whose favour the scale will tip.
Given the current trend of hybrid working, an on-demand, cloud-based, SaaS solution is the go-to choice for companies inclined towards efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Opting for a cloud-based platform/tool saves time, space, and money. It offers greater security, prevents data loss, updates in real-time, and can be scaled to demand.
On the other hand, on-premise tools are preferred by companies with 100% in-office teams that are looking to make extensive customizations and with the IT resources and space to spare.
Choose your experience platform tool wisely because it will impact your overall budget. If your licensing fees are higher than your returns, it is not worth the investment. An important point to consider is predictable vs unpredictable costs.
For enterprises that choose to build their experience platform/tool, there is a certain unpredictability in hosting, total resources, consulting, and infrastructure costs. These tend to vary and rise year by year, adding to the overhead.
On the other hand, companies that opt to buy an experience platform/tool can expect to pay a uniform fee with little or no change over the years. Most of the platforms offer a complete package that includes communication, integrations, analytics, system features, Security and Compliance, Surveys, Billing, and Support in the total pricing.
Additionally, the vendor bears all price fluctuations in IT, network and infrastructure, which are absorbed into the licensing fees. This makes the pricing structure of a packaged experience solution simple and transparent. Such platforms also come with an option to divide the budget for different experience initiatives. It could be between a monthly and an annual plan.
Companies that feature high on the Employee Experience Index have emerged as winners in the game because they pay attention to their employees and consider their needs while aligning their offerings to the overall business goal.
This is where a digital Experience platform/tool offers the convenience of surveys, feedback, chatbots, and email notifications and analyses the data from these into actionable insights in real-time. These insights can be further used to deliver personalized experiences to the employees, much like Adobe, which used employee survey feedback to increase their wellness reimbursement to $600.
In comparison, companies with a limited/no experience program that offer generalized experiences see a high employee attrition rate, low productivity, declining revenues, and low stock prices in the market. It’s a chain reaction – when your employees are unsatisfied, it affects your business. The 2014 General Motors case was a classic case that highlighted the dangers of giving your employees a less than satisfactory experience.
Ask yourself a simple question: would you prefer dynamic reports with actionable insights or complex historical data to build your reports? Think of which one can make your job easier, and you have an answer. While historical reports and data are essential in the overall analysis, they alone cannot present an unbiased picture of your experience program.
Modern digital experience platforms create dynamic reports and custom dashboards that offer in-depth insights that drive informed decision-making. These reports track the employee’s lifecycle and interactions in real-time to understand the engagement from each initiative.
Most enterprises with experience programs have already moved to factor in the current trend of a hybrid working model. One of the first considerations when choosing your experience platform/tool is to see if it’s a good fit for your team.
Do you have a 100% in-office team, a fully remote workforce, or a hybrid team distributed across a small or large geographical area? An in-office team can do with an on-premise experience tool with desktop and web access since most experience initiatives are conducted from/initiated at the office.
However, a remote/hybrid team needs the convenience of a cloud-based, digital platform/tool with any time, anywhere, any device connectivity. A mobile app for iOS and Android with an intuitive UI or a desktop app for laptop/PC with offline access offers the employee visibility and collaboration in a hybrid/remote working environment.
For example, remote teams can join virtual team/social events to engage with their peers and leaders.
Align your employees' experiences with your company's purpose, brand, and culture, so every interaction they have with you is authentic, sustainable, inspires employee commitment, and improves your company's performance. (Source: Gallup)
If you treat your employees right, they will swear by you till the kingdom come! Don’t cut corners when choosing a good experience platform, and you will be rewarded with higher revenues, improved productivity, an increase in eSAT, and low employee turnover. Happy employees mean a flourishing business, so choose wisely.