How poor DEX is harming employees

February 06, 2024

Sarah Morrison

How poor DEX is harming employees image

In today’s world of hybrid and digital workplaces, understanding the impact of digital experiences (DEX) on employee wellbeing and satisfaction is a priority for HR teams. Successfully promoting employee wellbeing means identifying and preventing burnout, spotting disengagement and reducing stress. It also means being able to eliminate pain points like digital friction that exacerbate wellbeing issues.

Yet despite organizations’ best efforts, DEX is getting worse – not better. In our recently published Digital Employee Experience Report, almost a fifth (18%) of respondents said their DEX was ‘poor’, up from 15% in 2021. What’s more, 30% of respondents say their employer hasn’t realized they need to pay more attention to digital experience and employee wellbeing in a hybrid model – up 9% (from 21%) in 2021.

The drop in DEX is contributing directly to employee dissatisfaction, but it’s also increasing the risk of burnout. Our research shows knowledge workers are forced to work an extra 3.1 weeks per year because of a lack of access to technology or technology that doesn’t work properly.

Loss of staff is a risk businesses can’t afford

It’s not sustainable for employees to work more than three extra weeks each year. Not only is this inefficient for businesses, but employees are likely to leave for a better experience elsewhere. Our data showed that more respondents say poor DEX has reduced their job satisfaction now (43%) than in 2021 (38%), and more say it has made them want to leave their job (29%) now than in 2021 (18%).

Staff lost because of substandard DEX are expensive and hard to replace. 70% of businesses report that competition for well-qualified talent has increased in the last year, and 77% reported difficulties attracting experienced candidates. It’s estimated that the average cost for filling a vacancy is £6,125 – and the wider implications of staff turnover mean the average cost of replacing an employee at manager level is £19,000.

Beyond the tangible recruitment and replacement expense, there’s the added intangible costs accrued during onboarding of new employees and the productivity loss that occurs while new employees are getting up to speed. There’s also the substantial loss of knowledge that results from skilled employees leaving. Together, these costs far outweigh the initial recruitment fee.

HR leaders should remember that monitoring and improving DEX proactively it is far simpler and less costly than it is to replace knowledge workers driven away by digital friction. With the right tooling, issues can even be identified and resolved before the employee notices, allowing resources to be directed with pin-point accuracy.

Takeaways for HR leaders

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen some increased focus on employee experience, with data from LinkedIn showing the Employee Experience Manager (EEM) role was one of the fastest-growing in 2023. But there’s still more to be done. In our research, 59% of knowledge workers say their organization doesn’t have a dedicated EEM, or don’t know if such a role exists in their company (check out this article from Scalable co-founder Mark Creswell for his take on this subject).

One way for HR leaders to measure and track patterns in employee wellbeing is with DEX analytics. DEX analytics surfaces friction points in digital experience and flags them to HR and IT teams for action. This kind of software can also spot when employees are in danger of burnout – for example if they are continuously working outside of normal hours or working too many hours each day. The good news for HR teams is that more than half (56%) of knowledge workers are open to their employer using DEX software to gather this data. In this way, HR teams can eliminate digital friction, improve employee experience and wellbeing, and hold onto valuable talent.

Find out how Acumen from Scalable Software can help your HR team and request a demo here