Enterprise Design: building a better experience for your team

There has been a lot of interest in recent years about creating the best experience possible for your clients. UX and CX design is at the forefront for most businesses but what about those people who work for you? Don’t they deserve a great experience too?

Called enterprise design, those businesses looking to remain vanguards of the business landscape are looking after their employees. They know that enterprise-wide satisfaction directly affects their customers. In other words, employees who are pleased with their workplace are likely to discuss this positively with their peers, which obviously reflects well on the business. If they have the right, usable tools and systems to perform their jobs, they can provide speedy and efficient experiences to your customers. On the other hand, businesses with an unhappy team and unwieldy systems are prone to factors like high staff turnover, receiving a bad reputation through word of mouth and this same disillusioned team providing customers an equally disappointing experience.

Some businesses are wary of sinking time and money into seeking this type of experience design for their internal teams. Or maybe they are not even aware that their team are unhappy with the tools and ecosystem of their employment. Regardless, there are several changes a business can make immediately that are not expensive nor require a great deal of effort. The size of the organisation is obviously a factor in enterprise design, however as noted before, even attempting to change (and caring enough about your staff’s wellbeing at work) could go a long way in ensuring a satisfied enterprise and, in turn, a satisfied client base.

Firstly, it is a fact worth mentioning that companies compete against one another not only for a customer base, but also for the best talent in the industry. The battle goes deeper than pay packets; industry leaders want optimum working conditions, and they want the latest technology for their sector made available for use. Prior to recruiting, it is best advised that HR Managers conduct research into technology and workplaces to determine what is sought-after.  Therefore, good enterprise design attracts the best talent in the industry! 

For the rest of the workforce in your business, the reality is that expectations and attitudes of the workforce have changed greatly too. A few decades ago, employees were seeking stability and loyalty from their workplace above all else. They would stay with a firm most of their lives and the business would reward them accordingly. A small raise in pay at various intervals, promotions and bonuses, long service leave at acceptable increments, and then a watch or cufflinks at retirement.

These days, it is unlikely that employees will even make it to any form of long service leave, and employees are buying their own cufflinks.  It is no longer enough that a business is offering its staff a job. They want more meaningful experiences.

Today’s employees no longer are excited by job security, attractive pay packets, bonuses and career progression.  The qualities that they demand are mobility, technology, purpose and fast results. If your business hasn’t yet transformed to the latest digital solutions available to your industry or sector, don’t expect that your employees won’t notice. They will become frustrated that their efforts to progress, discover and evolve in their chosen career are thwarted by the original dinosaur technology they are forced to work with. 

Technology is an investment, and your employees are likely to think the same way as your customers. They will expect the latest mobile technology relevant to your industry, and so will your customers, so you are best to incorporate enterprise-wide mobile solutions before you lose your team and customers.

 Then, to make things more complicated, our workforce is made up of five generations who are likely all motivated by different things, just as they bring different abilities to the team. The generations include Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z.  The diversity of representation in your business is wonderful. Attracting all five generations to your business and keeping them interested and engaged, however, is crucial to your business’ success. And what appeals to one is not likely to do so for the other.   

As Millennials make up the largest group of today’s workforces, ensuring your business is at the forefront when it comes to technology and digital solutions will keep your Millennial employees impressed and engaged. Technology is rightfully very important to them and they would not be impressed by having to work with ancient programs or hardware. You probably test with your customers, why not test enterprise systems with your staff!

One of the greatest changes to the workforce over the last decade comes in the shape of mobile devices.  Mobile has allowed one of the more powerful workplace attitudes, mobility and flexible working, to take place. Mobile has allowed businesses to create remote working environments by design, allowing employees to work off-site, from their own home office, or elsewhere.  And having the option to do is something that many employees would be grateful for – a great perk. However, the ability to work remotely relies greatly on factors including the industry you work in.

There is no doubt that the workforce has changed dramatically over the past few years and continues to change. The workforce is effectively made up of individuals who are influenced by the trends and technology of today, and therefore, to capture the most sought-after talent in your industry, you are going to need to provide the optimum working conditions. Doing your research in advance to discover what exactly those optimum working conditions are will definitely come in handy when it comes time to recruit.

 

 

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Katja Forbes
Katja Forbes is a pioneer in the Australian experience design industry and founder of Sydney-based company Syfte. She is International Director of the Interaction Design Association Board. a global organisation of over 100,000 individuals focused on interaction design issues for the practitioner.

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