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Powering the Digital Workplace with an Employee Experience Platform

Employee experience (EX) must catch up to customer experience (CX). See why employee experience platforms and modern intranets transform modern work.

The pay-it-forward effect is a well-known idea that doing something kind for someone else will lead to a chain reaction and encourage them to be kind to someone else. Whether it’s buying breakfast for the person behind you at the drive-thru or complimenting a stranger’s outfit, small good deeds can ripple outward and leave a larger positive impact. The same can be said for the relationship between organizations and their employees. When businesses invest in a successful work culture and environment, employees are more likely to feel innovative and motivated to meet organizational and customer needs.  

According to a 2020 study from Forbes Insights of over 300 employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) leaders, 70% of executives agree that improved EX leads to improved CX, which leads to rapid revenue growth. However, workplace technology and solutions are often way behind the curve. With CX expectations higher than ever because of digital leaders like Amazon and Netflix striving to make the customer journey as smooth and simple as possible, why are so many workplaces still relying on traditional intranets and digital filing systems that feel straight out of the 90s? 

A Composable and Accessible Approach to Employee Engagement

Too often, business meetings and corporate presentations get a reputation of being full of jargon and big numbers without a lot of real meaning behind them. However, if leaders can’t effectively explain what their mission is to the people who actually create their customer experiences every day, how can they ever expect those same employees to convey that value to brand new customers? Employee experience and customer experience need to speak the same language and have a common brand voice. This is only possible when EX and CX share the same content and architecture. Both experiences should come from the same building blocks. 

When intranets were first introduced, they were mainly built as a way for companies to talk to employees. The first business websites were intended to inform customers with basic information about who they are, what products they offer and how to get in touch. Talking "at" their customers rather than “with” them. These systems were siloed off from each other, only fulfilling a partial need or showing pieces of data rather than representing the full context of an organizational effort. 

These silos are often further divided across individual departments in teams. Sales, IT, marketing and customer success all operate within their own conferencing apps and project management tools without an overarching platform to unify different information and initiatives happening across the business. This lack of connection and collaboration hurts productivity and can ultimately lead to disjointed experiences for the end customer interacting with different parts of the business. Today, employees need a more dynamic platform that drives collaboration and helps them feel valued and connected to their work. 

With the workforce more dispersed than ever and many businesses starting to move to a hybrid-work model, employees rely on technology to stay in the loop with each other. There needs to be a more cohesive and simple way for teams to access all of the knowledge they need to do their job without switching between multiple applications and log-ins. The idea of an employee experience platform (EXP) arose as an extension of the promise of a digital experience platform (DXP) to bring together all digital functions and deliver a seamless experience to the right person at the right time. Internally, using a DXP to orchestrate all your employee systems via an open-API framework makes it simpler for people to access what they need from one place.

Within an open and connected employee experience platform, employees can stay abreast of the latest product developments, programs and customer responses in real time. No more asking around for the latest analyst report or event recording. Any information can be easily surfaced and used to drive further sales conversations or engage in meaningful customer conversations. National association of accounting and consulting firms BDO Alliance USA built an employee platform to optimize the way their employees search for reports and documents. The combination of Drupal’s flexible technology and composable architecture and the robust infrastructure of hosting on Acquia Cloud Platform provided the needed power and flexibility for members to efficiently find assets among its 120,000 searchable data points. 

Self-Service Tools Empower Global Workforces 

A platform leveraging low-code tools and component-based templates gives all teams the ability to build and deliver customer experiences without depending on finite IT resources. Low-code tools and intuitive drag-and-drop capabilities cut down on time to market, allowing businesses to serve customers on demand instead of getting stuck in a long queue of ticket requests. By investing in tools that don’t require technical expertise, businesses can also onboard new employees faster, so they can get working on meaningful projects in less time. 

For example, when multinational financial services company Charles Schwab needed to modernize their existing learning management platform (LMS), they turned to Acquia and Drupal’s open CMS to create, store and deliver virtual training and learning experiences to new clients and associates. Rather than rely on their old learning templates that were inaccessible on certain devices and channels, Drupal’s open framework allowed content to be delivered anywhere and anywhere, including on mobile, which was indispensable for many of their consultants who were now operating remotely.

The scalability and flexibility of Drupal could integrate with Charles Schwab’s multiple internal channels and resources and directly translate the knowledge of an LMS into applicable experiences on the front end. By unifying their LMS and CMS, the global organization built a common workflow and granted individuals more flexibility and independence in how they worked without sacrificing brand governance and capabilities. Things like drag-and-drop functions and what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) content creation tools also give employees the power to see the experience through the eyes of their end customer. 

Employee Experience Platforms Evolve to Suit the Experience

Rather than treating employee intranets and information hubs as static bulletin boards that present yearly revenue or other data without any context, an employee experience platform should evolve to meet changing needs. It should leverage flexible and modular applications and functions that can be enhanced and improved upon over time without the need to totally remove and replace the entire infrastructure and install a new system. Being able to integrate different employee-facing systems create a more cohesive work environment. 

 As employees continue to grow in their career and take on new roles and tasks, a central, intelligent employee experience platform supports them in growing their knowledge through proactively offering news articles, company announcements and other content assets that are relevant to them or their team.  By making sure each employee's efforts align to greater business objectives, it builds a sense of trust and transparency across departments and allows individuals to more immediately understand the impact they’re having. This greater visibility means that employees can optimize certain tasks that are working well and change course if something isn’t as effective for customers, rather than waiting for a quarterly or yearly review to find out where they’ve been falling short. The result? More strategic projects that customers want and a more trustworthy, satisfying employee culture.  

To learn more about how companies can create better customer experiences by improving the employee experience, download our whitepaper: Moving from Intranets to Employee Experience Platforms

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