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Measurement for Digital Workplace Experiences—Avoid a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Measurement challenges for most new technology initiatives are common—Digital Workplace Experience initiatives are no different. Measurement was mentioned as one of 10 key take-aways in the 2019 State of the Digital Workplace Report. The real take-away was not about what to measure. Instead, the take-away was about perceived limitations with measurement:

“Measuring the digital workplace is at a nascent stage, making it harder to drive improvement. Most organizations use fewer than three types of digital workplace metrics, and some, none at all.”

Why Do Leaders Struggle with Measurement?

Leaders experience challenges with measurement of early stage digital workplace experiences happen for two reasons:

  1. The initiatives don’t connect to specific outcomes.
  2. The initiatives don’t map to the following digital workplace experience interactions:
DWX Interactions diagram

Who Wants to Measure Early Stage Digital Workplace Experience Outcomes?

Early stages of the digital workplace experience journey should focus on outcomes important to early adopter employees.

“Early adopters” are employees who review, pilot and interact with new workplace experience technologies. They are “first in line” to test technologies that could potentially improve the quality of their work experience.

Some early adopters who discover the value of a new technology also help define potential outcomes for the company to measure.

Before prioritizing specific outcomes with employees, leaders should clarify which outcomes are important to specific “early adopters” audiences for early stage and mid-stage initiatives.

Defining outcomes based on each stage of a Digital Workplace Initiative supports a more tailored vs. a one-size-fits-all approach to measurement.

Below are examples of four types of outcomes that might resonate with early adopters at each stage:

  • Early Stage-Hiring and Onboarding-Attracting retaining more high performing employees
  • Early Stage-Elevating the employee experience—smart calendars and smart email
  • Early Stage– Elevating the remote employee experience—the ability to access tools and technology on the company’s intranet. 
  • Mid-Stage-Redefining collaboration–Expanding decision-making capacity
  • Mid-Stage-How work gets done–Communicating beyond departmental borders to solve customer problems faster and better.

Collecting Early Stage Metrics can be as simple as collecting qualitative statements like the those below:

  • Talent Acquisition leaders reported new HR technology solutions for talent attraction increases the number of qualified candidates they attract and recruit.
  • Employees preparing for sales and management meetings reported they value “smart emails” with content that relates to meeting on calendar and, smart calendars reminding them to bring materials for meeting.
  • More remote employees reported they were able to produce more deliverables based on their ability to access tools and technology on the company’s intranet. 
  • An increased number of employees reported they communicate and collaborate beyond the borders of their groups to solve customer problems.

Once qualitative statements like these are collected, more details surveys can be developed for an early stage initiative.

Mid-stage Initiatives on Success of Early Stage Outcomes

During Mid-stage Initiatives, the company rolls out successful piloted technologies while bringing on additional technologies. This is when leaders use lessons learned and adapt implementation approaches along the way.

Examples of additional outcomes to measure for mid-stage initiatives could include:

  • Redefining collaboration–Expanding decision-making capacity using humans and AI
    • New tools utilized to make better decisions
    • New tools utilized to make new decisions differently
  • Elevated Employee Experience with Smart Emails and Smart Calendars
    • Smart emails send content that relates to meeting on calendar.
    • Smart calendars remind employee to bring materials for meeting.
  • Increased utilization of existing technologies.
    • Intranet serves as a desktop dashboard for technology any remote employee needs.
    • Remote employees’ access to a desktop dashboard, empowers them to produce equal or better results

Collecting qualitative statements followed by more detailed surveys could include how these new technologies enable an increased amount of communication, collaboration and connection.

New lessons are learned and leaders adopt their implementation approaches for enterprise level initiatives.

Measuring Future Digital Workplace Experiences

Leadership teams for Digital Workplace Experiencescan count on measurement challenges to continue.

However, building on a foundation of Communication, connection and collaboration will help leaders keep the people aspects of the digital workplace experience front and center.

Leaders who focus on each type of interaction will find it easier to define which outcomes to measure and prioritize and fund.

Questions for the Future of Digital Workplace Experience Measurement

What outcomes will leaders use to measure the Digital Workplace Experiences of the future?

How are companies navigating through each stage of the digital workplace journey?

What digital workplace experience measurement stories can leaders share to help everyone in the DWX community progress?