In the ever-evolving landscape of work, recent cultural shifts have left employees seeking a more purposeful and productive experience. The transition to remote and hybrid work, the Great Resignation, the Return to Office, and the rise of Lazy Girl Jobs have collectively underscored the need for a substantial improvement in the employee experience (EX). The pivotal question facing businesses is how to address this issue effectively and build a foundation for the future.
Legacy technology hinders workplace flexibility
The rapid adoption of remote and hybrid working during the pandemic exposed a critical gap in workplace flexibility. Despite the demand for support regardless of the physical location, businesses have struggled due to outdated technology designed to meet yesterday’s challenges. Legacy systems have become a hindrance, limiting the seamless integration required for a truly flexible work environment.
The App overload conundrum
While the adage “there’s an app for that” was once a promising solution, the current landscape is marked by an excess of applications that often operate in silos. The lack of interaction among these apps results in disjointed systems, adversely affecting productivity and employee morale. To address this, a fresh approach is needed, one where IT teams take the lead in developing unified solutions that cut across departments, fostering a more integrated and collaborative work environment.
The rise of AI in employee experience
Looking ahead, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionize the employee experience. Imagine a future where employees can inquire about project statuses as effortlessly as asking a virtual assistant for a favorite song. AI, functioning as a smart virtual assistant, could streamline information flow across internal knowledge, databases, and applications. This unified approach, increasingly AI-driven, holds the potential to enhance the overall employee experience, making tasks more efficient and accessible.
In this envisioned future, AI in the EX context becomes a powerful tool for answering queries, triaging requests based on sentiment and tone, and seamlessly integrating with HR and IT service management tools. The result is not only a more responsive system but also empowered employees capable of accomplishing a broader range of tasks at an accelerated pace.
Transforming service agent roles with AI
The impact of AI extends beyond routine tasks, particularly in roles like service agents who interact with customers regularly. AI can assist these agents by providing context-aware responses, incorporating customer context, tone preferences, and desired outcomes. In sectors with stringent time constraints, such as financial services, AI-powered tools can categorize and prioritize compliance-related tickets, enhancing both efficiency and customer satisfaction.
While AI won’t replace service teams, it will reshape their daily responsibilities. Agents will focus on managing and improving AI tools while handling complex queries that require a human touch. Routine, less intricate tasks can be automated, further optimizing efficiency.
Bridging the gap: From priority to implementation
The Zendesk Employee Experience Trends Report 2023 emphasizes the urgency of improving support for remote, hybrid, and in-person employees, with 84% of EX professionals prioritizing this objective. However, a significant disconnect exists, with 52% of employees expressing dissatisfaction with dated and cumbersome employee experience software.
The connection between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) is undeniable. When employees feel empowered and supported, they can provide enhanced value to customers, strengthening relationships and driving loyalty. Senior managers recognize this, with 87% affirming that a great employee experience aids in talent retention and attraction.
Companies at the forefront of change are restructuring their tech stacks to align with the demands of the hybrid work era. The focus is on ensuring seamless data flow across departments and implementing solutions that cater to the entire business. While AI requires an initial investment, it is increasingly recognized as an indispensable component of the future. Businesses are already integrating bots into EX applications, providing swift information and the necessary support for employees to excel in their roles.