Design thinking in employee engagement

The inaugural UK EquatePlus user group explores User Experience and technology in the workplace
User experience illistration

Yesterday saw the inaugural UK EquatePlus User Group forum in London. The forum, led and facilitated by User Experience agency Webcredible created the perfect opportunity for the delegates to get together and learn about technology trends and other hot topics within the digital industry and employee platforms.

The half-day event presented the attendees with an impressive array of topics and provided our clients an opportunity to learn about UX (User Experience) and technology trends as well as input into our continuous improvement process and ongoing platform development programme. The group went through a step-by-step review of a typical user journey and discussed potential ideas and suggestions for improvements to a share plan participant’s User Experience journey.

The session was a great opportunity for Equatex to provide an industry leading perspective on some of the issues companies face with technology usage in today’s market, how to best manage and utilise them. Discussion highlights included the importance for big organisations to provide consistency across digital properties and providing ease of access via Single Sign-On and real-time trading.

Annoyed by some websites? It’s not your fault…

 

User experience agency Webcredible, whose mission is to design delightful user experiences, led a broad exploration of the importance of design thinking and user experience. Using real-world good and bad examples in the consumer arena, the group discussed how adopting this kind thinking can be applied when engaging employees.

“If you’re annoyed by some websites, it’s not your fault” says Webcredible. “What you’re having is a bad user experience”.

The user experience is a measure of how well a computer system – such as a software product, a corporate website, an intranet or an ecommerce site – engages and meets the needs of its intended users. Systems that have a good user experience take account of how people think, learn and work.

You can recognise a computer system with a good user experience because:

  • You find it welcoming and approachable
  • It uses language that you understand
  • Things are where you expect to find them (not where the geeky IT bloke in the corner would put them)
  • You don’t get stuck (or sit in despair) wondering what you’re supposed to do
  • You quickly manage to get the results that you want
Companies are discovering that not only is a top-notch user experience good for their customers, it’s also good for their employees.

Leading technology companies like Apple, Google and Amazon have long-known that designing products a good user experience is essential to acquiring and retaining customers.

And more and more companies are discovering that not only is a top-notch user experience good for their customers, it’s also good for their employees.

Just as you are the consumer of Apple or Google’s products, so employees are the “consumers” of a company’s computer systems: its intranet, staff self-service, staff benefits system, the expenses system, and so on. And the costs to a business can be high if staff find these systems awkward and difficult to use.

User Experience illustration

A poor user experience reduces employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction while at the same time costing companies money:

  • Lower employee engagement because staff are reluctant to use systems that are unappealing or difficult to use
  • Higher stress levels if staff are forced to use them, which further undermines productivity and encourages higher staff turnover
  • Lower productivity because the staff avoid using the systems altogether, take longer to do tasks, or make mistakes (for example, incorrectly filling in forms) that other people then have to deal with
  • Higher training costs because staff need to learn unfamiliar concepts or overly-complicated ways of doing tasks
  • Higher support costs because staff are unable to remember how to do tasks from

 

So how do you go about designing systems that staff actually enjoy using?

 

Webcredible says that companies need to follow a user centred approach to designing their systems:

  • Understand what staff need to do, how they behave, what they expectations are, and where they are currently having problems
  • Structure systems according to how staff think, learn and behave
  • Make sure design elements are visually rich, memorable and engaging
  • Create prototypes and test them with staff early while there is still time and budget to make changes
User experience cartoon

Another hotly discussed topic was the mixed views of ‘Bring Your Own Devices Vs Company mobiles’. It was evident that everyone supported App usage overall, although it was apparent that there is still some reluctance to complete large transactions digitally.

The event was a real success and Equatex CTO Adrian Wyss was delighted with how it went: “The user group was a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to engage with clients include them in our continuous improvement process and ongoing platform investment.

User Groups take place across geographical locations. To find out about upcoming events in your country, please contact your Client Relationship Manager.

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Communication team at Equatex AG
Equatex provides international employee and executive compensation plan services for today’s global enterprise, supporting clients with participants across Europe, Asia, Australia and America.

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