HR leaders must consider application performance when improving employee experience

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Significantly, one area of employee experience that employers are increasingly focussing on is the role of technology, and more specifically, applications and digital services, within the workplace. Whether it’s the applications they use to perform their work and communicate with colleagues and partners, or those they use to access benefits and wellbeing services, employees are reliant on applications for pretty much everything to do with their job. And therefore, there is a growing recognition among HR leaders that applications have become the foundation of every aspect of the employee experience.

By enhancing all aspects of the employee experience, business leaders are hoping to navigate through the many seismic changes we’re witnessing in workforce dynamics. From the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting through to profound skills shortages and the introduction of Gen Z into the workplace, organizations are having to drastically rethink the way that they attract, engage and motivate their people.

Without doubt, organizations that are succeeding in enhancing employee experience are seeing major benefits in terms of productivity and revenue generation. They’re also cutting through within an ever more fiercely contested labor market, as the war for talent intensifies in many sectors.


Employee experience is built on applications and digital services

Research by Cisco AppDynamics highlights the importance that workers now attach to the experience they get when using applications and digital services at work. 66% of employees claim that if the applications they use in their job fail to perform it leaves them feeling anxious and angry.

With employees entirely reliant on digital services to do their jobs and to access the benefits and wellbeing support they need, they have zero tolerance when these services fail. The majority report that they will only give an employer one chance to impress them with an application or digital service – if it doesn’t meet their expectations then they will be left feeling frustrated and dis-engaged.

Expectations for seamless digital experiences have skyrocketed in recent years. Outside of work, people are accessing the most innovative, intuitive and personalized applications on the market, whether they’re streaming content, connecting with friends and family or managing their personal finances. And they see no reason why this level of digital experience shouldn’t extend to the applications they use at work.


Employers can’t afford application disruption and downtime

Worryingly for employers, as many as 59% of employees report they have encountered at least one occasion over the past six months when they haven’t been able to do their job properly because of poorly performing applications and IT in their company. Given the strength of feeling people now have towards bad digital experiences, this finding should raise concern for business and HR leaders.

As part of their efforts to enhance employee experience, HR and business leaders need to be doing everything they can to ensure the digital services they make available to employees are working as they should at all times. But currently, many organizations aren’t providing their IT teams with the tools and insights they need to manage and optimize application availability and performance. With organizations shifting to multi-cloud and hybrid environments to accelerate innovation, technologists are facing overwhelming complexity and data noise from an increasingly fragmented and dynamic IT estate.

Within many IT departments, there is now a lack of unified visibility, with no clear view of applications running across on-premises and cloud native environments. This is making it almost impossible for IT teams to identify and troubleshoot issues before they impact end users. This is why we’re now in a situation where most workers report disruption to their work due to poorly performing applications.

The potential consequences of this for employee experience are extremely damaging – productivity dips, workers are left feeling frustrated and engagement levels plummet. Of course, when poor digital experience also affects customers, the ramifications extend to loss of customers, reputation and revenue.

In response, organizations need to implement an observability solution which spans across both on-premises and cloud native environments and provides a full view of the entire application path. And they need real-time business transaction insights, so that IT teams can rapidly pinpoint the root cause of issues and speed up resolution. Only with this level of observability can technologists ensure that applications are optimized at all times and provide employees with the level of digital experience they now demand.

Ultimately, those employers who are able to deliver great applications and digital services to workers, without disruption or downtime, can take a massive stride forward in their efforts to boost overall employee experience. Significant numbers of employees report that they are more likely to stay with an employer that provides brilliant digital experiences and to talk positively about the company to other people.

The ability of employers to create and communicate world-class employee experiences is becoming a decisive factor in commercial success. It is critical to attracting and retaining the high-quality talent organizations need to forge ahead in today’s market. The important thing that HR and business leaders must remember though is that their success will ultimately hinge on whether their applications and digital services are performing seamlessly at all times.