That’s exactly what we sat down to chat about with Preston Lewis, CEO and founder of Intactic, a modern communications company focused on creating more human-centric experiences at work.
To learn more, read on for key takeaways and listen to the full podcast!
The evolution of employee experience (EX)
Employee experience is made up of all the touchpoints that shape a person’s work journey. These collection of moments define an employee’s experience. EX is fluid. Technology and employee expectations constantly change. Therefore, the way we shape experiences should evolve to keep employees engaged and connected as technology and employee expectations evolve.
Technology unconsciously influences how work gets done. Revisiting and questioning existing practices to ensure they meet the evolving needs of both employees and leadership is critical, Preston says.
It’s OK for EX practitioners to expect more from their technology. Wanting access to deeper insights into employee engagement and interaction patterns is appropriate and should be standard. That access allows organizations to tailor their approaches for better results. This requires a shared commitment from cross-functional teams to enhance this engagement and improve EX overall.
A holistic approach involving HR, IT and internal comms is crucial to create a seamless and satisfying employee experience. As is a carefully curated EX tech stack.
The modern employee experience tech stack
A modern employee experience should reduce friction. It should also amp up engagement. To do that, we need to leverage a well-rounded tech stack that integrates the needs of various EX influencers. And we need to be able to easily measure and analyze EX data. This piece is critical in continuing to evolve a human-centric employee experience strategy.
What keeps employees awake at night? What motivates them to share authentic feedback? How can leaders improve transparency and involvement? These questions are essential for understanding employees better. With the appropriate technology tools, internal communicators can find answers to these questions. Using this information, they can then devise strategies that address employee needs promptly and effectively.
Tech adoption and tightening budgets
Budgets are tighter than they have been in the past few years, with leaders and IT consistently asking for an evaluation of technology needs. The need for practitioners to demonstrate tangible returns on investment is real. Preston explores the art of building a convincing business case for technology adoption.
This strategic alignment ensures that the technology investment directly contributes to the organization’s overarching objectives — one of which needs to focus on the modern employee experience.
The process involves:
- Identifying key metrics that communications professionals can influence through technology
- Demonstrating how technology can positively impact these metrics
- Evaluating existing systems, processes and skills within the IC function to ensure that technology adoption addresses inefficiencies and gaps
Be sure to listen to the full podcast for more details to build a compelling business case for modernizing EX tech.
AI and internal comms
AI will change the entire internal communications landscape. We’re seeing glimpses already. It offers transformative capabilities to create, capture insight, and automate.
Think about the parallels between the adoption of AI and the initial adoption of social media. Just as social media has become integral to communication strategies, AI is also emerging as a valuable tool.
Preston highlights how AI can transform content creation and data insights, making communications more efficient and impactful. Check out some potential use cases:
- AI-powered tools can analyze existing content and generate more concise and engaging messages.
- AI can also surface valuable insights from data, saving time and enhancing decision-making.
AI has the potential to elevate the quality and efficiency of communication efforts. But its success or failure will hinge on creating cross-functional teams to tailor its application to align across the organization.
AI adoption, cost and job loss concerns
It’s no surprise that leadership buy-in is critical for a culture of innovation. Leaders need to give the green light for teams to test and pilot new technologies, embrace the mindset of constantly learning and adapting, and communicate this desire out to the entire company.
But the associated cost is one of the major concerns when it comes to adopting new technologies like AI. To address this obstacle, Preston recommends an approach that sheds light on the long-term benefits of investing in technology and training. “Agency on the inside” involves tracking time, measuring value, and upskilling the team. Then sharing those results up the chain.
Will AI replace jobs? It’s a doomsday-versus-enlightenment AI topic we’ve covered before and one that’s still top of mind. While AI might change the nature of certain tasks, it also creates opportunities for communicators to focus on higher-level, strategic work.
Organizations must emphasize continuous AI learning and upskilling.
Encourage open conversations around AI’s influence on the workforce. By addressing concerns and having active dialogues, organizations can build trust and ensure that AI is implemented in ways that enhance the modern employee experience and the overall business.
The future of employee experience
Looking ahead, Preston predicts a convergence of internal and external communications technology. Rather than separate systems, there will be a unified approach that focuses on creating a seamless experience for employees and customers alike.
For sure, transformative possibilities await. Organizations are delving deeper into the digital world. They’re integrating AI tools and strategies. This helps them understand and meet employees’ needs. Technology can craft a fulfilling employee journey.
There’s a wealth of new tools and technologies to use. These can shape a comprehensive, impactful modern employee experience. Such an experience will stay relevant in our constantly evolving world.
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Connect with Preston on LinkedIn, and be sure to listen to the entire conversation to learn more about creating a modern employee experience. Subscribe to the Cohesion Podcast to hear from other internal comms, HR and IT professionals, providing structured, high-value, quick-hitting strategies and tactics.