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Blog Post|7 minutes

Dear IT, Employee Engagement Is On You

February 10, 2020

(The letter every Fortune 5,000 CEO should send to their IT department)

Dear IT,

Ten years ago you and I would have never discussed things like employee experience and engagement. We used to communicate in more defined terms. Admittedly, business needs were more centered on our customers, less on our own employees.

But times have changed.

This is the age of employee experience and if we don’t take it seriously, and involve IT all the way, our company we will get left behind.

Unfortunately, you and every other enterprise IT department are being asked to take a more active role in shaping employee experience without fully understanding the context for that request.

Here’s what you need to know and why:

In its simplest terms, the success of every enterprise company depends on this sequence of events:

Engaged Employees → Positive Work Experiences → Business Success

This isn’t just my opinion—research papers, analyst reports and business articles all explain that engaged workers beget positive work experiences and in turn, business success. And companies with high levels of employee engagement report higher profitability, shareholder value, productivity, and longer employee retention than their competitors.

I admit there are plenty of variables outside your control that make an employee “engaged” at work.

Factors like career growth, learning opportunities, team dynamics, job fit, and salary all play a part, but work place technology is hands down the most critical component to employee engagement and our company’s success.

Think about it: our expectations for powerful, reliable digital experiences have skyrocketed just in the last decade. We’ve grown so accustomed to receiving the best digital experiences during our 5-9 that we expect the same type of experience during our 9-5.

Where IT meets employee engagement

What do I really mean by employee “engagement”?

I think the clearest explanation is in the dictionary: engagement means an emotional involvement or commitment; and the state of being in gear.

engagement definition

Perhaps that first part has less to do with IT support, but the second definition—being in gear—falls squarely on your shoulders.

Just as it is for every other global 2000 company, powerful digital tools (software & hardware) fuel every single digital touch point we make with customers. Our employees simply cannot advance the business without fast, reliable, and secure applications and work devices.

Disengaged workers can cost companies up to $550 billion a year

The Engagement Institute

This much you probably already know.

But did you know that workers in larger enterprise organizations (+20,000 employees) receive worse digital experience scores than those in smaller companies?

Or did you know that a study in 2019 by Deloitte showed that within most companies, only 38% of employees are satisfied with their work-related tools and technology?

Many employees that receive poor digital work experiences (and I’ve heard this from our very own colleagues) often choose to suffer in silence rather than reach out to IT for help. So while your department monitors tickets at the L1 help desk, there is another world out there of unreported employee technology problems, each tugging at the reins of our company’s forward progress.

Every single time an employee experiences a technology disruption, our business is held back. And every employee computing problem serves as a deliberate attempt to disengage employees, to render them useless and unproductive. Just as employee engagement produces business success, employee disengagement creates business failure. In fact, it has been reported that disengaged workers can cost companies up to $550B a year!

As I mentioned before, I know employee engagement has more to do with just IT but the truth of the matter is workplace technology is the single most important piece to this puzzle. Your department, when paired with the right ITSM solutions, can reach into the heart of our employees’ digital problems and shape their experiences for the better.

All I ask of you is to change your mentality. See technology problems through the eyes of our employees, not just what your dashboards tell you. Start at the endpoint. Start at the employee, and work your way backwards to the data center.

And above all, know that you are the most significant drivers of employee engagement and success for this company.

Best of luck and I look forward to building the employee experience with you!