Modern Workplace

The employee experience is digital and measurable: how do you score?

Feb 09, 2022
Employee experience score

While I recently rewatched The Matrix (the ‘99 original), it struck me how similar our work life is to some aspects of life in a dystopian world. For most of us working at home, our entire work presence is a digital experience delivered through zeros and ones across a complex mesh of apps, networks, and locations. We sit in solitude but see and hear streams of people over Zoom or Teams. We interface with this realm using a mouse, keyboard, mic, LED monitor, and speakers. Anyone is a few keystrokes away on instant messaging tools like Slack where carefully chosen emojis substitute for gestures and body language.

For many of us, including me, who started a new job after work-from-home became the norm, the only work experience I have is a digital one. And with the pandemic still in effect, my work experience will continue to be purely digital for the foreseeable future. 

Despite the limitations of living in this digital work environment, there is a positive: it can be measured, quantified, and optimized. Digital assets such as applications, support, connectivity, and hardware that are user-friendly, responsive, fast, and modern correlate with an employee’s productivity and happiness. In a race to attract and retain top talent, providing an optimized digital experience keeps the company competitive and productive.

How well does your organization measure your employee’s digital experience?

Many organizations still lack a comprehensive understanding of their employee’s digital experience and how it influences the total employee experience, productivity, and business output. With so much riding on good digital experiences, what is your organization doing to measure and qualify this important metric? Consider how you’d answer the following questions today:

  • How accessible are the digital assets required for them to do their jobs? 
  • How do these digital assets perform? Are they fast and responsive?
  • How easy is it for our employees to get help when access or usability woes occur?
  • How quickly are employee issues resolved?

You need to track and measure the quality of an employee’s digital experience to maintain and optimize it. Fortunately, tools for digital experience monitoring (DEM) exist to allow IT to collect all of this and use it to monitor, assess quality, and troubleshoot issues across the entire interface between users and the applications, networks, and other digital corporate assets. You can now measure quality by capturing end users’ “digital exhaust.”

What factors should go into scoring my employee’s digital experience?

Given the proportion of our total digital experience spent using business applications, a digital experience scoring effort must begin with tracking application performance. This can be the response time for certain Microsoft 365 applications, or the call quality of a Zoom meeting. Understanding how accessible and responsive critical applications are is the basis for this exercise.

Second, insight into the employee’s endpoint device health and network connection is also critical. Working from home, an employee’s laptop or desktop machine is typically their only portal into their workplace. A well-equipped, and responsive network connection (home WiFi+ISP) are also critical components of digital experience, so must also be measured. While being able to reactively address performance issues if they arise is important, use this data to proactively address problems like under-resourced laptops or bandwidth issues before they create an unhappy work experience.

Beyond measuring an employee’s application, endpoint, and network performance, it is critical that employees are able to get assistance in a timely manner for degradations in their digital experience (outages, slowness, etc.). Measure the number of incoming support tickets having to with the digital experience and gauge the mean time to detection (MTTD) and mean time to resolution (MTTR).

The combination of these measurements can give you an accurate operating picture for your entire workforce. You can make better application architecture decisions, uncover blind spots such as slow apps that IT thought were performing just fine, pinpoint the root cause for poor conference call quality, remove bumps across organization-wide digital flows, and so much more.

Once you start collecting metrics and data that illuminate the digital experience, you can generate scores, based on normal vs abnormal behavior. Scoring is how you can set performance baselines and objectives. A common practice is to create a composite score or “supermetric” for digital experience and choose a set of key measurable indicators that make up the score. See Figure 1.

 

"DX Score"
Figure 1: Telemetry collection, analysis, and compiling across applications, network paths, and endpoints determine the end-user experience as measured by a digital experience score.

 

Simply put, you need to eliminate technical issues that inhibit employee productivity and make sure you offer the support systems to remediate user and technical errors. 

The pandemic proved to be the largest digital disruptor of the last few years, massively eclipsing the impact of any and all other tech trends or innovations combined. While everyone would agree with that statement, most are caught off balance when it comes to the implication of the new normal: the criticality of the digital experience.

Maintaining end-user satisfaction with digital experience is key to staying competitive.

Zscaler plays a part in the overall digital experience, greatly simplifying security through a unified agent, always-on experience, with simplified secure access to private apps, faster response times to common cloud apps, and the ability to measure digital experience. With Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX) you can grade your DX with a score that you can track for each application, location, department, and user.

What to read next 

Avoid the ‘watermelon trap’ with digital experience monitoring

Adapting to Hybrid Work: Improving Digital Experience by Capturing Data from All the Right Places

 

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