Unless you’ve been “living under a rock” for the last few years, you should have seen the increased focus of IT service management (ITSM) and particularly the IT service desk on employee experience. At the start of 2022, Axelos research data found that “Two-thirds of survey respondents (67%) stated that their organisations understand the need to deliver a better employee experience, with another 18% expecting them to during 2022. Only 9% thought that their organisations would never see the need for improving employee experience.” And Forrester Research stated, “2022 Will Go Down As The Year Executives Were Forced To Care About Employee Experience”. Plus, 12 of the 17 service management practices in ITIL 4, created in 2020, call out the need for experience management (in the context of employees or end-users) to some extent.
However, we don’t yet know the level of investments IT service providers are making to measure, manage, and improve employee experiences. So please bear this in mind when reading this blog –while industry interest is high, little data is available on the level of experience management strategy execution.
What Experience Management Is
It’s a situation we often see when something is relatively new; if you ask ten people what employee experience is, you might get eleven different answers – with many of these definitions similar to those commonly shared for customer experience. They are often organisational-level and human resources (HR)-inspired definitions. However, one of the most appropriate IT-focused definitions was shared by Forrester Research in a 2019 blog:
“Psychological research shows that the most important factor for employee experience is being able to make progress every day toward the work that they believe is most important.”
This definition emphasises the importance of productivity in how IT experiences affect employees and the work they need to undertake.
Why Experience Management Is Needed
There’s often an experience gap – or it could be viewed as a performance gap – between how IT service providers think they are doing and the views of the people they serve. Here, the traditional IT metrics convince leaders that IT performance is good, perhaps great, but end-users are still dissatisfied.
Much of the gap is caused by IT’s reliance on traditional performance metrics. These metrics focus on IT outputs rather than business-related outcomes. They also focus on the operational “mechanics” of IT service delivery and support – measuring “how many” and “how fast” – and, importantly, they measure IT success at the point of IT supply, not the point of IT (service) consumption. This issue means that because IT doesn’t measure the right things at the right points, it can be “flying blind” in respect of meeting business needs and expectations.
Experience management helps by focusing on end-users’ experiences and their perceptions of outcomes to ascertain how people are positively or negatively impacted by IT. Here, the captured experience data and insights allow IT service providers to better understand how key employee touchpoints are working and whether employee and business needs are being met. Importantly, experience data allows an IT service provider to identify issues that traditional IT metrics miss. It also allows the service provider to understand “what matters most”, such that improvements to operations, services, and outcomes are made in the right places.
How Experience Management Helps To Improve Employee Productivity
The key to experience management success is agreeing on the right performance measures. While these might be expected to differ between organisations, two experience metrics are commonly used for IT support interactions:
- A rating of the employee’s experience, often using Net Promoter Score (NPS)-style ratings
- A productivity-based measure, such as the employee’s perception of their lost productivity.
But collecting this experience data is just the start. It then needs to be shared and actioned, with improvements made based on “what matters most” and business value. Importantly, as the improvements happen, the measuring continues to allow progress to be shared.
Examples Of Where Experience Data And Insights Can Drive Positive Change
The best way to highlight some of the available improvements (or the end-user issues that go unseen with traditional metrics) is through publicly available experience data and insights. For instance, the Global IT Experience Benchmark Report – where there’s much to learn from the aggregated data of organisations already investing in experience management and improvement.
Examples of experience and productivity issues that are likely invisible with traditional IT metrics include that:
- Hardware and enterprise applications cause the most friction for employees (with this shown in both the associated experience scores and levels of lost productivity).
- IT support services have the most significant influence on the overall IT experience, whether that experience is positive, negative, or neutral.
- There are significant differences in experience ratings across geographical regions. For example, Western European end-users have the lowest level of happiness despite losing less productivity than all the other regions.
- 80% of perceived lost productivity comes from only 13% of incident tickets – this means that the average lost time is not the typical lost time.
- The most common reason for negative incident experiences is not the slowness of service but that the end-user’s issue wasn’t resolved.
- The self-service portal channel still delivers the worst employee experience and causes the highest level of perceived lost productivity, with the latter nearly two hours more than when calling the IT service desk.
A final point to note with these insights is that the aggregated data is from organisations at various stages of their experience management journey. Therefore, an average organisation is likely experiencing more issues than these bullet points describe.
Discover the power of experience management with HaloITSM, say goodbye to traditional metrics and bridge the gap between IT performance and end-user happiness. Schedule a demo now to take charge of your organization’s IT experience journey today!