A new global study, carried out by Forrester Consulting for Lenovo and Intel, underlines that improving the employee experience thanks to IT equipment is more than ever a strategic issue for companies, and all the more so in the current context of massive use of telework and hybrid work.
The key takeaway from the study is that while companies are seeing a 5x return on investment—better productivity, organizational agility, and customer satisfaction—IT decision makers and employees disagree on technology priorities: decision makers IT are prioritizing the strategic integration of IT, software and service needs, while employees place more importance on their day-to-day technology experience.
This shows the value of involving employees more closely in decisions about IT investments in order to strengthen team engagement and improve productivity and customer satisfaction.
Bridging the gap between employees and IT decision makers
In the current environment, companies are focusing their IT investments on remote and hybrid working. IT managers are committed to improving the range of devices, software and services they offer to allow employees to work in the best conditions. At a time when the latter report a return on investment x 5 (1 US dollar invested yields 5 US in terms of increased staff productivity, organizational agility and customer satisfaction) and where many of them are planning to increase their investment by almost 25% in two years, there is a major opportunity to transform businesses in a sustainable way.
Both IT decision makers and employees consider a satisfying technology experience to be crucial. It is at the origin of important positive effects: nearly 60% of decision makers surveyed noted a better score (+10%) given to the work experience as a whole when the technological experience is improved. The technologies that IT departments offer are key to advancing the workplace experience, beyond factors such as human resources, benefits and more.
Yet employees still report being frustrated with their experience with their hardware and software IT equipment:
- 50% of respondents say their PC is outdated or unsuitable (for example, not fast, reliable or powerful enough)
- 46% note that their software malfunctions and disrupts their work
- Only 33% are extremely satisfied with the current company-provided laptop
- Only 30% of respondents said their laptop or desktop is suitable for collaborative work.
If IT decision-makers and employees agree on the importance of a satisfactory technological experience, there is on the other hand a significant discrepancy as to the priorities to be addressed and the means to be implemented. The first concern of IT decision makers remains the sustainability of their technological investment rather than its impact on the commitment of the teams.While 84% believe employees can easily switch PCs if their current computer needs to be replaced, only half of employees believe this is an available solution. They nevertheless agree that renewal cycles can be improved and better aligned.
Put employees first to better leverage technology investments
The study suggests several ways to improve the employee experience and the economic benefits for the company thanks to technological investments.
- Redirect investments. Many IT decision makers are investing resources in exploring new emerging technologies such as 5G, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence or machine learning tools. Based on feedback from employees surveyed, it’s important to focus on employees’ immediate priorities first: building a solid foundation of personal and collaborative computing tools.
- Reconsider priorities. Decision makers should also focus on improving the user experience as a whole rather than just focusing on measuring productivity. It is nevertheless an area of improvement that IT decision makers have integrated, since nearly 80% of decision makers plan to focus on improving employee engagement in the coming months.
- Focus on personal computing tools. 77% of full-time employees say that personal computing devices are an essential factor in their daily work and collaboration with colleagues. Most respondents confirm that they are essential for increasing customer satisfaction (69%), revenue growth (62%) and employee retention (55%).
- Involve employees in investment decisions. A majority (72%) believe that listening to employees and clarifying their needs should be a priority to improve the work experience. Employees are aware of the value of their work equipment (connectivity, reliability, portability, size/weight, battery life, etc.) to business results. Listening to their feedback can therefore be of great added value in defining the most relevant technological investments.