Frustration at technology a factor in employees leaving jobs

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Ivanti has announced the results of its State of the Digital Employee Experience (DEX) study where it worked with global digital transformation experts and surveyed 10,000 office workers, IT professionals and the C-Suite to evaluate the level of prioritisation and adoption of DEX in organisations and how it shapes the daily working experiences for employees.

The report revealed that 49 per cent of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organisation provides and 64 per cent believe that the way they interact with technology directly impacts morale.

In fact:

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  • 26 per cent of employees are considering quitting their jobs because they lack suitable tech
  • 42 per cent have spent their own money on better tech to work more productively
  • 65 per cent believe they would be more productive if they had better technology at their disposal

Conflicting views remain between C-Suite, IT and employees when it comes to the future of work and technology’s role in enabling the culture of hybrid work. Just 13 per cent of knowledge workers prefer to work exclusively from the office, yet 56 per cent of CXOs still feel that employees need to be in the office to be productive.

This is despite 74 per cent of the C-Suite report that they themselves are more productive since the start of the pandemic – showing a disconnect between what they have experienced and what they believe employees need to do to be productive.

These results echo a recent IDC Perspective, Empathic Leadership for a Hybrid Future of Work, which found that companies with traditional command and control leaders are seeing their employees leaving at a higher rate. Those leaders are more reluctant to offer flexible work models and want all employees to work fully from the office.

Globally, the C-Suite’s number one priority was employee productivity, with workplace culture and employee satisfaction falling further down the list.

Furthermore, 62 per cent of the C-Suite concedes that leadership prioritises profitability over employee experience. As employee experience continues to fall to the bottom of the C-Suite agenda, IT will continue to deprioritise it on theirs, with only 21 per cent of IT leaders considering the end user experience to be the main priority when selecting new tools.

“Ensuring positive employee digital experiences is the new cornerstone of modern business IT management,” noted Steve Brasen, Research Director with Enterprise Management Associates.

“The improvement of workforce productivity helps attract and retain essential talent, accelerates business agility and competitiveness, reduces operational costs and drives organisational success and profitability.

“Understanding DEX requirements is the key to adapting related technologies and practices that will support each organisation’s unique environment.”

Innovation is undeniably the driving force behind the rise of hybrid work, but the unfortunate truth is that many organisations still experience major challenges in its adoption. The top challenges reported by office workers include too many emails or chat messages (28 per cent), a lack of connection to coworkers (27 per cent) and software not working properly (23 per cent).

But despite these challenges and executive scepticism, all groups reported being more productive in the era of hybrid work, highlighting the fact that it is not so much the place of work that impacts productivity, but the experience that people have when interacting with technology.

“The Everywhere Workplace has forever changed employee expectations when it comes to where they work, how they work and what device they work on,” said Jeff Abbott, Ivanti CEO.

“How employees interact with technology and their satisfaction with that experience directly relates to the success and value they deliver to the organisation. The Digital Employee Experience should be a board level priority and IT teams are poised to be strategic leaders in their organisation to make it happen.”

The growing variety of devices and networks that hybrid workers use has greatly expanded the inventory of assets that IT teams need to manage, but 32 per cent of IT professionals still use spreadsheets to track these assets and only 47 per cent agree completely that their organisations have full visibility into every device that attempts to access their network.

One of the biggest challenges facing IT leaders today is the need to enable a seamless end user experience while maintaining robust security. The challenge becomes more complex when there is pressure from the top to bypass security measures, with 49 per cent of C-level executives reporting they have requested to bypass one or more security measures in the last year.

“Maintaining a secure environment and focusing on the digital employee experience are two inseparable elements of any digital transformation,” said Abbott. “In the war for talent, a key differentiator for organisations is providing an exceptional and secure digital experience. We believe that organisations not prioritising how their employees experience technology is a contributing factor for the Great Resignation.”

With the availability of innovative new technologies that both enable and support hybrid workforces, IT now has the opportunity to make a positive impact on broader organisational strategy.

By taking ownership of the digital employee experience and working closely with the C-suite to accomplish common goals, IT can drive better business outcomes – from employee productivity to workforce retention. After all, the Everywhere Workplace is undeniably the future of work and digital experience is its number-one enabler.

Echoing these sentiments, Dr. Lily Phan, Research Director for Future of Work, IDC Asia/Pacific, notes that “empathy must lead to actions. Great leaders take the responsibility to make positive changes happen and make sure they are practiced enterprise-wide. Leaders who are real change agents set examples to make others truly believe that changes are genuine and long-term.”