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Bad technology experiences can leave employees unhappy, less productive and may even prompt some to quit. It's a point backed up by studies and analysts. And it's a problem Qualtrics sees as an opportunity.
This week, Qualtrics announced EmployeeXM for IT, an IT-specific employee engagement tool. It measures and monitors employee satisfaction with the IT stack on everything from hardware to applications.
Because technology experience has a direct relationship to employee engagement and productivity, IT managers who deploy the tool will likely have to work with HR, according to Qualtrics.
Qualtrics, which is based in Provo, Utah, was acquired by SAP for $8 billion in 2018. The firm's platform measures brand, product, customer experience and employee experience. It has a dedicated employee experience platform, EmployeeXM.
EmployeeXM for IT assesses whether employees can do their jobs effectively and efficiently. It also measures the quality of help desk services. Its features include technology experience benchmarks against other IT departments.
Technology experience stakes
"How does the organization generally feel about the internal IT department?" said Jay Choi, executive vice president and general manager of EmployeeXM. CIOs don't usually have a good understanding for how their employees feel about their services, he said.
The product will give satisfaction scores on a firm's technology such as productivity and collaboration tools, marketing automation tools and ERP tools, Choi said. The EmployeeXM assessment tools will also look at specific functions in the applications. It can integrate with management platforms, such as ServiceNow, to generate a ticket in response to a service problem, he said.
"One of the big drivers of engagement are people who are feeling like they're making daily progress," Choi said. That's a finding from a recent study Qualtrics did with Microsoft. To Qualtrics, that means making sure employees have "the tools and capabilities, the processes and the support they need to get their jobs done efficiently and effectively," he said.
CIOs generally want more engagement data, according to David Johnson, a Forrester Research analyst who works with CIOs. IT managers want "to keep a better pulse on how well things are working for people."
Tech is implicated when employees quit
"Technology is being implicated in departures by employees," Johnson said, and CIOs are aware of it. "They want to be proactive and stay on top of this," he said.
David JohnsonAnalyst, Forrester Research
If people are struggling at work, "sometimes there is a technology root cause -- it may be impossible for them to search and find the information that they need to be successful," Johnson said.
Bad technology experiences have a direct impact on employee satisfaction, according to a study this year by G2 Crowd Inc. In a survey of 1,600 workers, it found that more than half of survey takers are unhappy with their software tools, and nearly 25% said the poor technology experience made them consider leaving their jobs.
Interest by CIOs in getting a better understanding of tech's impact on employee engagement is prompting IT managers to collaborate more with HR managers, said Josh Bersin, an independent HR analyst.
"The employee experience is a combination of things: the employee's job and work, the IT environment, the management environment and the environment and culture of the whole organization," Bersin said.
"It turns out that all employee experience [EX] programs need to involve HR, IT and often facilities and operations," Bersin said.