Two years ago, I moved to San Francisco. I decided to take my wife out for dinner. We had it all planned, the reservation made. We were dressed, ready to go, and left for our date. Forty-five minutes later we made it to the restaurant. Of course, the restaurant was only three miles away. So what was the problem? Parking! For me, searching for a parking spot caused unnecessary tension and ultimately put us in a bad mood for the rest of the night. It wasn’t an overly productive experience, and we missed out on a potentially amazing evening.
The very next day, I went shopping to solve our parking problem. I bought a GPS device that included all the parking lots and garages in the city. Now, I just put in the address and the GPS tells me the five closest places to park near my destination. I never spend more than five minutes looking for a place to park. Magic!
How many of us feel that same way every day when we go into work? As an employee, you want to come in, be productive, and not have technology get in the way. All too often, your PC has issues, your conference room technology goes down, you can’t sign-in using VPN, and email synch with your mobile device just won’t work! Don’t you wish your company treated you just as they would treat their revenue paying customers? I do.
I believe that your internal IT department should treat you as if you are paying customer because you actually are. If you consider your revenue and divide it by your employees, the ratio of revenue to employee will always trump revenue per customer by a long shot. So why do companies make the mistake and treat employees like second-class citizens when it comes to technology experiences?
When I could not find a place to park, all I wanted was an easy way to find a spot. When employees want to be productive at work and add value, they are looking for ways to easily get their work done. Most employees want to do amazing things. They want to transform the company, hit revenue goals and targets, and they want customers to love the services and products their company offers. With this passion for success, IT leaders should put themselves in the place of the employees they service. They should think about an employee’s work-life and goals. They should think about an employee’s IT experience from the employee’s point of view and not IT’s. Employees should be treated like each of them makes a difference for our customers.
3 tips to consider when delivering an amazing end user IT employee experience:
- Employees operate differently. One size does not fit all. You need to understand your employees and their behaviors. I recommend categorizing them into personas. This will help you understand the diversity of employees and why they behave in different ways. It will also ensure that you truly understand how to deliver the best experience for them personally and then more broadly.
- Employees don’t want to contact you. It is a waste of time for employees to contact IT for help. They not only lose time, but they lose valuable work productivity. Create avenues and ways for your employees to serve themselves. Make it easy to do the most common things. Give your employees more authority to do what’s right for them. Worry less about meeting a global standard pushed down for the masses.
- Employees want to communicate and collaborate. All too often, companies throw together conference rooms in a way that looks sexy, cool, or has the latest gadgets. However, this mostly caters to a single persona and not the employees as a whole. Most employees will be frustrated and annoyed, and will have to create their own solutions. I recommend you truly understand the entire experience on a conference call or in a conference room. Then, create an environment where all employee personas can be productive.
Now, think a moment about your latest experience with IT. What feelings or thoughts come to mind? Do you feel like IT truly thought about the experience from your point of view? Are they making it possible for you to be productive?
If not, be an advocate. Don’t be afraid to help, influence, and drive change. You are the most important asset to any company. Vineet Nayar said it best in the title of his book, “Employees first, Customers second.”
If you are productive, aligned to the company direction, and the company has a great product. The company can never fail!