What is Employee Experience?

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Hint: It’s not just about HR.

“When I was eventually able to change jobs, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I’d never have to use the abysmal employee-facing enterprise software again.”

This sentiment resonates with many who have spent time in the corporate world. On average, employees use between 5 to 10 different software applications daily, with some in specialized roles using even more. These range from universal tools like email clients and document processing software to specific systems like warehouse management software.

Enterprise software, in particular, has garnered a reputation for poor user experience due to various factors. One reason is that it’s often purchased and implemented by teams who may not fully understand the intricacies of specific business functions. Additionally, end users, who are the ones using the software, often have little say in the decision-making process, leading vendors to prioritize features that matter more to decision-makers than end-users.

At certain points in our day, using certain software feels as painful as pulling teeth, contributing to daily stress and impacting mental health and well-being. However, it’s not just employees who suffer; businesses do too. Recurring user challenges and errors lead to higher costs in training and support, while usability issues result in costly errors and lost productivity. Software that isn’t well adopted becomes a wasted investment.

So, who should take responsibility for improving this situation? IT leaders are often the first point of contact, as they are involved in the entire process from purchasing decisions to implementation. However, improving employee experience is increasingly becoming a top priority for many IT leaders.

According to a recent Gartner survey in 2024, 52% of respondents identified improving external-facing customer experience as a top priority, while 37% cited improving internal-facing employee experience. Despite this, many IT solutions fall short in terms of user-friendliness, leading to low adoption rates, employee frustration, and decreased productivity.

A Gartner study found that 70% of IT projects fail to meet their objectives due to poor user experience design, resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities. One major challenge is the CX/UX skill gap, with corporate IT teams often relying on traditional roles like BAs, Devs, and Testers to build functional tools with minimal focus on user experience.

In cases where third-party solutions are implemented, standard configurations are often applied without deep customization or understanding of the organization’s needs. Here lies an opportunity for internal CX/EX champions to step in and drive positive change.

CX teams are well-equipped with the data, skills, and mindset to drive meaningful improvements within the company. They have professionals specializing in UX design, research, and data analysis who can gather, analyze, and share insights on customer and employee behavior. Additionally, CX teams can advocate for user-centric design within the organization, highlighting the business benefits of investing in UX and its impact on customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

By enabling IT teams to prioritize employee software experience, CX teams can ultimately drive growth and enhance overall business outcomes.

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