Employee engagement is a top priority for today’s business leaders, and for good reason. Research clearly demonstrates its importance to individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole. According to Forbes:
- Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability
- Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year
- Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work
We know that employee engagement plays a significant role in everything from company culture to innovation to the bottom line. But is engagement the end goal, or one piece of a more all-encompassing experience? What do employees need to truly become engaged? And how do you operationalize something that’s so human and complex?
EXTech: Employee Experience Technologies
Enter EXTech, one of the hottest new technology categories that brings together employee experience and technology. What is EXTech? Gartner defines employee experience technologies as “a diverse collection of employee-facing solutions designed to influence and improve the employee experience and organizational culture.” EXTech pulls from fields like neuroscience, behavioral economics, and positive psychology to motivate individuals and encourage desired behaviors. The analyst firm notes that EXTech isn’t just about engagement, although that plays a role in it; EXTech solutions are meant to support the entire employee experience.
How does EXTech differ from current solutions that focus on employee experience? First, it means reevaluating existing approaches that focus on a single silo, like productivity or sentiment. It also requires building a program for the emerging future of work, not yesterday’s highly structured roles, teams, and departments. EXTech solutions, according to Gartner, “seek to increase adoption, engagement, and performance through such elements as recommendations, nudges, mindfulness, and connecting workers to others as well as to common purposes.”
What does this look like in practice? EXTech solutions may enable employees to:
- Engage in regular feedback, coaching, encouragement, competition, and more
- Give input into things like their work schedule and working conditions
- Participate in volunteer, social, or wellness events
These are just a few ways to EXTech can benefit both employees and their company by creating a more employee-centric culture.
BMC Helix Digital Workplace and BMC Helix Chatbot
Employee experience plays a fundamental role in the BMC Helix platform, with EXTech capabilities designed to deliver consumer-grade experiences that empower employees. With omni-channel self-service that allows users to access knowledge, services, and products from their channel of choice, including Slackbot, Chatbot, SMS, and Skype, BMC Helix helps organizations step into the future of work.
Two products in the BMC Helix portfolio specifically support EXTech initiatives:
- BMC Helix Digital Workplace provides a single pane of glass for your employees to access what matters to them. It’s a one-stop-shop for all the products and services employees need to do their work, streamlining their experience to improve agility, productivity, and efficiency – all critical elements of their overall experience.
- BMC Helix Chatbot makes it easy for employees to find information and request services using natural language, so they can do their jobs more quickly, effectively, and with less friction. The experience is predictive, conversational, and personalized, improving user satisfaction while easing the burden on service desk staff.
EXTech is just beginning to revolutionize how we think about and improve the employee experience. Gartner rated EXTech a “High” benefit level in its Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace and here at BMC, we couldn’t agree more. We’ll give Gartner the final word: “Worker motivation and engagement are key in work environments that demand ever-increasing levels of innovation, creativity, imaginative problem solving and collaboration across teams. EXTech solutions that use these techniques to support an ever-improving experience can help drive motivation and engagement, thus contributing to business performance and outcomes, and a broader pivot to a more agile culture.”