Why investing in EX is good for your bottom line

By Vasudeva Rao Munnaruli, RVP India and SAARC, Zendesk

Two years ago, most organisations prioritized crisis response, employee health, and the
virtualization of work as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses now emerging from this phase of response, the focus has shifted to growth. As they plan their workforce strategies to keep up with back-to-work and hybrid models, growth plans need to be adaptable.

More employees are seeking flexibility as a top priority, and are leading company efforts in
reimagining the workplace. Four in ten employees say that technology that combines human creativity with the efficiencies of automation is the future of work. It’s perhaps why companies are now competing on how well they treat employees, but internal teams responsible for this important work aren’t getting the support they need to be effective. Without a shift towards more agile practices, internal support teams may be facing an upheaval of their own with high predicted churn rates over the next year.

Without holistic initiatives that drive better employee experience, organisations are at risk of reduced productivity and mass resignations. Ultimately, a better employee experience is great for the bottom line. A recent Forrester study showed that companies creating exceptional employee experiences have workers who are empowered to do their best work resulting in 17 percent higher productivity, 21 percent higher profitability, quadrupled earnings per share, and 81 percent increase in customer satisfaction. It’s good for business too – 68 percent of company leaders now recognize a direct link between employee service and business growth.

Pressure mounts on internal support teams For internal support teams, the job has gotten more challenging, as the pressure to achieve agility and productivity is higher. With more working remotely, employees need to use multiple technologies at the same time to carry out their tasks, leading to tech fatigue. Seventy-five percent of HR leaders agree that the increase in the number of virtual touchpoints employees face at work puts them at risk of burnout. Employees working remotely would also seek to resolve HR and tech-related issues virtually, causing an increase in employee requests.

In 2021, 70 percent of teams witnessed an increase in employee requests as a result of remote work. This is also taking a toll on internal support teams – 42 percent of whom feel they aren’t being treated well compared to employees serving external customers. And while they are managing more internal support tickets than ever before, they’re also more likely to report being penalized for not resolving employee issues quickly enough. Meanwhile, less than half the businesses have the right technology to simplify workflows and boost productivity. This is a problem for companies looking to stay ahead and retain talent.

With a lion’s share of the workforce looking for new roles, companies must look for ways to keep employees happy. The best way to adapt to change is to build flexibility into every part of the organisation – its teams, tools, and processes – because doing so allows every team to thrive and respond to change in an agile fashion. Adopting the right tech and tools
Now more than ever, an organisation’s tech stack can make or break the employee experience. Despite the rapid digitalization, 1 in 4 HR help desk agents says they don’t have the right tools for remote work. Luckily, businesses are increasingly planning to boost investment into engaging employees — with nearly 40 percent focused on building an agile digital enterprise.

Those looking to invest in technology to power better employee experiences need a unified
solution that enables manageable workloads across various departments. Companies today have multiple tools that serve different purposes, which can lead to fragmented data sources and tech fatigue. A single source of truth for HR, Finance, Operations, IT, and other support teams who are crucial to connecting employees with internal services can go a long way in easing the path for internal teams.

One of the primary concerns internal teams have is that most of the issues are repetitive. This creates friction and unnecessary administrative processes. Only 11 percent of B2B and 14 percent B2C companies have help center articles meant to help employees resolve issues themselves. Regularly updating or adding content can reduce the amount of time and effort it takes employees to get the answers they need. It can greatly reduce the strain on internal teams by answering common questions before they become tickets. Technology that is agile, has a combination of self-service and support from internal teams, making it easier for employees to have access to critical information, resources, and services on one unified platform.

Besides, data-driven technologies that leverage the capabilities of AI and customer insights
reduce the burden on employees, allowing them to focus on more high-value work. The answer lies in looking beyond job titles and focusing on easing the burden on employees.
Organisations wanting to achieve high growth with a thriving workforce need one thing: a focus on becoming more human and technology that is more relatable. Relatable organisations challenge legacy notions of value-creation, employee engagement, and productivity. They rethink processes, ways of working, and digital investments that deliver on a new vision for work — one that relies on the potential of wellness, agility, and ease. With high attrition rates, a moment of profound opportunity has arrived: organisations can pick up the right tools and carve a new way of working or risk being left behind.

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