Best Practices

3 steps to improving enterprise UX to boost employee engagement

Published Jun 7, 2021

No matter where employees physically are, they’re likely doing their work in software. As a result, there is an onus on leadership to ensure employees have everything they need to use these tools efficiently and effectively. Besides, those who feel satisfied with the technology they are required to use are more engaged and can spend more time doing their jobs well, and less time struggling through confusing or frustrating software.

In other words, it’s not just about providing software to employees–it’s about ensuring they actually adopt and use these tools the way you intended. The question is: What should you do about it?

In our latest webinar, guest speaker Andrew Hogan, principal analyst at Forrester, joined Jason Gatoff, VP of product marketing at Pendo, to discuss the relationship between enterprise UX and employee productivity. It’s no small task, but there are certain strategies (and tools) available to help teams plan, execute, and measure UX improvements that will enhance the employee experience and, ultimately, fuel positive business outcomes.

Here are three key steps Andrew recommended:

1. Get buy-in and ignite action

You’re likely going to need to build a business case for improving the user experience of your employee-facing software. Even if there’s already an interest or directive from leadership, you’ll still need to get buy-in across the organization and inspire others to take action. Andrew laid out a few different ways to approach this step, but emphasized the importance of leveraging any revelatory or shocking insights when possible.

Here are three types of arguments you could leverage:

    • Economic: This is rooted in the idea that by improving a digital tool, you will achieve benefits related to productivity (e.g. fewer errors or faster work), people (e.g. higher morale or lower attrition), or transformation (e.g. improved customer loyalty or higher digital adoption), which will ultimately translate to increased savings and/or profit.
    • Personal: Humanize the situation by helping decision makers really understand the pain that employees are experiencing. This is when showing vs. just telling is especially important.
    • Visionary: Talk about your proposal in terms of the ideal future state it will help create. Again, try to show as much as you can–storyboard your vision out, or include a prototype of what the new experience could look like.

Every company is different and will probably use some combination of these three (and other) arguments–it’s important to find the balance that works best for your needs.

2. Help everyone understand employees’ needs

Most people in your organization won’t understand what employees really need when it comes to their experience with software. This could be due to a variety of reasons, like inherent organizational barriers or the fact that some employees have very specialized roles. Regardless, make it a priority to educate others (from leadership all the way down) on employees’ needs, just as you would when your users are external customers.

This will first require you to build a better understanding of employees’ needs. Spend time with people one-on-one and even watch them do their job–this type of exposure is invaluable. From there, you’ll be able to create more accurate personas based on fellow employees’ tasks, motivations, and current barriers to success.

3. Simplify whenever (and wherever) possible

Employee-facing tools tend to be full of jargon, but lack information that actually explains what those things are. As you look to improve employees’ workflows in software, keep one action in mind: simplify.

Think about how you can remove steps in workflows, streamline multiple flows into a single experience, and, most importantly, create consistency within and across platforms. This means using simple language, and finding the balance of providing enough information without overwhelming your user.

To learn more about making UX improvements to bolster the employee experience, you can watch the full webinar here: