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Bridging the Digital Divide for Better Employee Experience

Eric House - Feb 23 2021
Published in: Mobility
While many employers are focused on employee experience, some lack clear strategy, an issue that’s exacerbated by a digital divide.

A newly released report, the 2021 State of the Sector, details results from a survey of more than 800 employers from 45 countries. It found that among the many changes employers managed over the past year, employee experience was brought to the forefront. Employee experience can be defined as the journey each employee takes with a company, including everything from company culture to the work environment to day-to-day technology. And while many employers are focused on employee experience, some lack clear strategy, an issue that’s exacerbated by a digital divide.

According to the survey, employers are focusing on enhancing the employee experience in such areas as employee mental health and wellbeing (70%), diversity, equity, and inclusion (55%), and “new ways of working” (52%). And while 60% of employers reported having a clear purpose and vision for 2021 and two-thirds of organizations are discussing employee experience at the C-Suite level, only half of employers have solidified what employee experience would actually mean or how to formalize a strategy.

What Employee Experience Should Include

Strategizing for employee experience takes into consideration employee needs, which can start with the overall company culture, or the shared values, attributes, and characteristics of an organization. To cultivate company culture that values belonging and support, having an overall mental health and wellness strategy or an organizational focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) can demonstrate that the organization values employee needs and will support them in their success across the board. For employers to better understand these needs going into 2021, employers can leverage technology and data with analytics and intelligence tools to address employee needs in a targeted and dynamic way.

The Digital Divide

However, the rapid shift to the remote environment has caused a digital divide. Employers have had to ensure that all remote employees were supported with adequate technology and communication channels to ensure business continuity. This resulted in multiple channels of digital communication, from mobile messaging apps to Zoom and other platforms focused on enhanced digital collaboration. While the influx of digital options was meant to support internal communication, according to the Gallagher survey, organizations have become overwhelmed with digital options, causing a digital divide between intent and delivery.

Such results indicate the immense potential not just for overall employee experience, but digital employee experience. Employers can bridge the digital divide and improve upon internal communication in the remote environment by first defining what digital employee experience means for the organization to enable leaders to take more cohesive actions. Then, streamlining digital platforms to align with communications goals can target specific communications needs. Ensuring their flexibility and compatibility across the organization is key, and knowing when to pivot, can enhance the overall digital employee experience and organizational communication, and solidify the organization’s success going into 2021.

Want to Learn More?

Employee experience, as well as software and technology, are part of the A to Z of the new era of relocation. To learn more about other areas that are top of mind for workforce mobility in 2021, check out the latest issue of Mobility magazine! Have anything to add? Join our members-only town hall tomorrow, 24 February, at 11 AM EST, or submit a presentation for our upcoming Spring Conference!