5 great examples of businesses doing DEX right

How do you create the optimal digital employee experience for your business? We spoke to a couple of world-leading organizations about how they have found success in their DEX.

Putting a theory into practice can take a lot of effort, time and planning. When you’ve looked at what the digital employee experience entails, it can be difficult to know how and where to start.

From our experience working with the world’s leading organizations with their digital workplaces, the best place to begin is by looking at the weak points. When it comes to analyzing and enhancing the digital experience, it’s important to seal up any areas that puncture your digital workplace.

For a business, this could be anywhere from communication tools to issues with working from home. Do your employees struggle with accessing their correct logins? Are staff frustrated by their limited access to information? Is staff training being stunted by inadequate coaching programs?

Even the most sophisticated of enterprises have their shortcomings, and DEX is a process that needs monitoring. As software and tech evolve, the assessing of the relationship between the digital workplace and each one of your employees needs constant vigilance.

So how have some of the world’s leading organizations handled their DEX, and married the right technology for their often-complex operations? We’ve spoken to some of our clients to see the issues they faced and the ways they used their technology to improve the way they work, interact with each other and help their customers.

The IRC story

Of course, not all jobs are desk-based, so how can you provide a great digital experience for those workers who aren’t face-to-face with a computer all day?

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) had precisely this issue. The IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster and has 11,000 staff working in more than 40 countries.

Because of this diverse and dispersed form of work, staff members do not work in traditional methods. In fact, many of them do not even have a desk, leaving them cut off, and out of communication with their peers and organization.

Staff working for the organization speak 19 different languages and many fall into the category of non-desk worker as their day jobs involve constant travel or on-the-ground work in refugee camps.

“The enhanced connections between staff on RescueNet have led to a breakdown of silos between many departments.”

Kelsey Parsons, Global Communications Officer, IRC

Despite these difficulties, the organization has used the digital workplace to ease communication, incorporating translation services, wider internet bandwidths and a social intranet to connect its people, wherever they are in the globe.

The result delivers a DEX that has broken down silos between departments, provided better access to digital tools for remote workers and increased engagement across the workforce. People have greater insights into the work of their colleagues, whether they are in an office in London or a refugee camp in Yemen. The impact on workers has been massively positive and provided an experience that lifts the organization to operate successfully in the most challenging of environments.

The Federation of Small Businesses story

Federation of Small Businesses dex

A large part of making any new system work is down to stakeholder approval. Getting key figures in your company to support and champion you is integral to your success. But stakeholder approval also has another advantage. By harnessing the communication aspects of your digital workplace: your intranet, video conferencing, instant messaging platforms, your senior leaders can benefit from increased visibility. This can have a massively positive effect on the workforce, allowing them to see top tier management, connect with them and see their work in action.

I think… [internal comms]… is above average in that the COO [Julie Lilley] regularly communicates with staff via myfsb.

Staff feedback from Federation of Small Businesses’s intranet

The Federation of Small Businesses exemplified the power of leadership with their intranet, myfsb.  Chief Executive Julie Lilley was the original originator for a system that has united the organization. But Lilley wasn’t just instrumental in its creation and driving adoption. Her role in the day-to-day use of the intranet – with her blogs and interaction with staff and members – has huge benefits for the entire workforce. When FSB carried out an internal communications survey last year, it was Lilley’s activity on myfsb that was one of the highlights of the feedback. When it comes to introducing any type of change to a company, this level of leadership has an invaluable impact on the organization.

Thanks to the drive, persuasiveness, and enthusiasm of leaders like Julie Lilley, employees learn about the governance of the organization, allowing them to see those key figures in the business and create pathways to establishing contact with them. Through vlogs, blogs, and updates, senior figures lead by example: showing the workforce the work that they do, their dedication to the collective vision and inspiring others to do the same.

The Magic Memories story

Any business will admit that it has encountered many issues in setting up a watertight training program. From a shortage of trainers to inadequate processes, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent an organization from getting it right. However, in an increasingly technological world, the journey to a structured training program has been made a lot more accessible. Picking the right digital tools can enable e-learning and create a training program that enhances the skills of your workforce, improves confidence and provides better service.

“With our leadership programs, 60% of people have gone through it and have been promoted to a new position within the first six months.”

Nick Holmes, Head of Organizational Development, Magic Memories

Magic Memories is an example of e-learning done right. They launched their leadership development program by developing a virtual learning college (VLC) through their intranet, Click. Using team pages, they made a private team page for each cohort going through the program and used the functionality in that to resemble a VLC. For someone going through the leadership program, the first module is done in-house, where a program can be built around their needs. The remaining modules are completed through distance learning at the pace of the user. All modules are video episode learning and accessible from any location via Click.

“Essentially, we are able to execute a global learn leadership program through Click that has really high user engagement and results,” says Nick.

“Users can access what they need from any device or location – ideal in an industry where a lot of people may not have a laptop at home but can watch videos on their tablet, for example. With our leadership programs, 60% of people have gone through it and have been promoted to a new position within the first six months. That’s pretty huge, especially seeing as a year ago this didn’t exist.”

The IIE story

So what happens when your teams are located across the globe, speaking different languages in different time zones. How do you connect your dispersed workforce? How do you make information accessible to all? How do you communicate?

“A feeling of pride in the organization and the work we do together”

Sandra Roldan, Intranet Specialist, IIE

When it comes to complex operations, we need only to look at IIE, who have encountered almost every challenge when it comes to having a globalized presence. The organization’s growth as a world leader of education can be attributed to its drive for international collaboration. The organization implements over 200 programs from 19 offices worldwide; serving more than 42,500 enrolled participants and benefitting 14,00 member institutions across the globe, with around 5,700 enrolments in the US alone.

With the complications that such a globalized workforce brings, IIE needed to overcome their lack of consistency in processes and systems. With the organization’s previous systems failing to create a sense of community across its international regions, IIE was looking for a solution that would bring all staff together in pursuit of its core vision and mission.

 “Our old intranet was static and felt very corporate, with no features for social collaboration or knowledge sharing,” Sandra Roldan, Intranet Specialist at IIE, observes. “What’s more, there was no way to search for and find key procedural documents, which was a real barrier to effective working”.

Realizing that social communication and collaboration would be integral to operational success, the organization partnered with Interact. IIE’s new digital workplace platform provided them with virtual communities, which would break down the geographical barriers facing the globalized workforce.

Individual team ‘sites’ now provide dedicated spaces for working teams, who can communicate and collaborate quickly and easily with immediate members. Team members can also upload content or documents specific to their projects or programs. Forums within each team provide the social element where peers can ask, answer, and resolve questions within a simple, yet effective interface. Individuals and teams can come together as a collective to share knowledge and collaborate freely and easily, regardless of location or role.

“Our office in Houston can see what colleagues are working on in Mexico City and Hong Kong, giving us all a feeling of pride in the organization and the work we do together.”

The Avon and Somerset Police Story

You can only have an understanding of how important it is to have fast, relevant information at your fingertips when that function is defective. Fast search can improve work and empower the individual. Slow and/or erroneous search can frustrate, demoralize and stymie your worker.

To help your workforce carry out their job efficiently and productively, it’s imperative that they have access to the tools that can find what they need as soon as they need it. From forms to files, protocol to presentations – make sure all your company data, collateral, and paperwork are in an orderly fashion with the right means of getting to it quickly.

Avon and Somerset Police were already fully aware of the need to provide a fast response. The fast-paced nature of their job meant that they need to have access to the correct data quickly. For example, a procedure so they can charge a suspect, or the process when supporting a victim of crime. With their intranet, Pocketbook, employees are able to perform their duties quicker with a reliable source of information.

Pocketbook is the primary resource for information for their 5,000 frontline officers and 3,000 support staff, many of whom access the information strictly via their smartphones. Intelligence they access includes information on missing persons and advice on how to handle suspects from other officers who have dealt with them before.

In addition, the unique challenges and needs of its dispersed frontline are a priority. Tailored content and streamlined task workflows save valuable time and effort. The result is a truly useful and inclusive platform that supports those individuals doing critical and difficult roles out in the communities they serve. Pocketbook is now fully embedded not only as a centralized desk-based tool but as a critical information platform for officers and staff out in the field. This, in turn, ensures they provide the best possible support and service to the public.

What’s clear from these stories is that each organization has encountered completely separate issues and deployed its digital workplaces in different ways in order to overcome these different challenges. The result is a digital experience that meets their employees’ expectations and solves their problems at the same time. These interactions hold massive value, increasing productivity, efficiency and improving the interpersonal relationships between staff and senior leaders. This in time benefits employee engagement, job satisfaction and staff retention: major components to a business that can evolve and thrive in fast-changing technological times.