Digital employee experience: Build and operate differently

It’s one of the most effective ways HR can contribute to an organization.

John Doel

John Doel

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 503-820-6471

Workers’ expectations for consumer-grade experiences that are embedded seamlessly in the flow of work are evolving rapidly. A digital employee experience (EX) is one of the most direct and effective ways HR can contribute to the attract, retain, and grow talent imperative, when done right.

But how do you begin? And how does this process differ from what you did yesterday or are still doing today? In short, it requires organizations to flip how they traditionally built the HR function and served employees. HR must create a seamless digital work environment that is embedded in the tools employees already use, personalized to individual user needs, and sensibly linked to the way people move through their working lives—particularly at the most critical points of the journey.

At KPMG, we help organizations augment the digital EX build process with our proprietary digital interaction model. The digital interaction model is written from the employee’s perspective and reflects all aspects of how an individual would want to experience a given moment. Leveraging key data and insights about the employee experience across persona groups, a sound digital interaction model describes and helps answer for key inputs.

To earn promised returns on investments in human-centered digital EX—and continue to drive value that lasts—let go of old operating models and reorient operations around the employee journey. Injecting a human-centered mindset into the digital work environment will enable HR to reorient the operating model around the employee experiences that matter most.

Key questions organizations should be asking when building a digital employee experience:

  1. What are the collective and key activities individuals are doing?
  2. What tools do they use most to perform their jobs?
  3. Who do they interact with not just within their team but across the organization?
  4. How do they typically access policies and services?
  5. Which technologies facilitate the experience?

In our view, the digital EX delivers the greatest value when put under the oversight of a center of excellence that houses talent and content for leading the entire HR organization in optimizing key employee interactions. The HR operating model of the future will build on this foundation and add or expand the following capabilities:

  • Workforce shaping (including workforce planning and analytics and talent strategy and enablement)
  • Workforce insights (including data and analytics and automation)
  • Learning in the flow of work (including learning as a service, digital fluency, and integrated upskilling)
  • Purpose-driven culture (including culture and inclusion and ESG).

Bring digital experiences to life the way an individual wants it: Deliver a single, connected, omnichannel experience across platforms and systems.