The employee experience should focus on people, not technology


Employee experience: 5 employees stand chatting in an office.

If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that it’s worth taking time to adapt technology to suit users, not the other way around.

Most of us engage with technology every day. We browse, share, and connect. We enjoy a slick user experience as consumers. But we’re often plagued by inefficient technology in the workplace.

At telecom provider Telia Company, we pride ourselves on giving customers next-generation services. So, when users told us our complex support and order interfaces made for a poor employee experience, we listened. After all, talent is a company’s most important asset, and happy workers are productive workers.

Troubleshooting the issue

With operations across the Nordic and Baltic states, we had more than 25 solutions and processes in place for support and provisioning. Different regions handled things differently, frustrating cross-regional managers who had to follow various employee onboarding processes every time they hired a new employee.

When managers needed to order a new laptop kit, for example, they faced manual workflows and templates. They wanted one common solution with a single point of entry and an intuitive user interface—essentially, a centralized resource for IT support, facility management, human resources, finance and procurement, security, ethics, and compliance.

Transforming the employee experience

We assembled a team of seven, supported by a wider network of 30 stakeholders, to make sure we could get the system right for everyone. We interviewed users and primed ambassadors to help with user adoption upon rollout but, most importantly, we never lost sight of the user experience.

Consolidating systems, standardizing processes, and automating services proved cost-efficient—but that wasn’t our primary goal. In fact, we had an almost-backward approach. We mocked up a portal to help us visualize what we wanted to achieve and gave it a consumer-like interface. Then, we started work on the back-end development to bring it to life.

The portal, built on ServiceNow, completely reinvented the employee experience, so we needed a strong name to distance it from our previous mix of solutions and show users we meant business. We settled on PLAZA—a one-stop shop where staff can find everything they need to support their roles quickly and easily.

A focus on continuous improvement

We use the agile methodology to continuously develop and improve PLAZA while gradually introducing more functionality. PLAZA has a dashboard with a search function and favorites bar to help users find what they need, and we’ve built a maintenance board so they can see issues right away. They can also access our chatbot for immediate help.

To encourage user adoption, we implemented a solution called My Engagements, which promotes employee participation in social and environmental causes that align with our company vision. It uses elements of gamification where users can collect points and win badges based on these activities, and a leaderboard encourages healthy competition.

Small touches like that really help users see PLAZA as their portal—a place designed especially for them. Although we’re still developing the solution, we now have a user satisfaction rating of 8/10, and the portal gets up to 7,000 unique visitors a week.

Our plan for this year is to go mobile to support remote workers and build a stronger intranet presence to make it even easier for users to find what they need. By focusing on users rather than technology, we succeeded in transforming the employee experience.

Learn more about Telia’s user experience transformation.

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