2021 was a year to focus on digital workplaces and the processes around them. Driven by the pandemic challenges or new competitors, organizations of all sizes are began prioritizing the employee journey. So, if 2021 was a year to build infrastructure for and accelerate processes for the employee journey, what are the trends that will shape success in 2022?
According to a report published by CMSWire, 77% of organizations consider digital workplaces extremely important in terms of organization’s priorities. Every piece of a digital workplace—portals, intranets, web applications, mobile applications—has a role in the grand scheme of business.
However, there’s a gap between simply owning and operating these assets and aligning them to a holistic business vision—like delivering a rich, engaging employee experience.
In addition to this, an increasing number of startups in many industries are creating an extinction event for those companies that do not recognize the mandate to create useful and meaningful digital experiences not only for customers but also for all business audiences.
Here are 5 major employee experience trends innovators will adopt in 2022:
1. Custom Cloud Solutions for Stability and Growth
More and more, the world of in-house IT is changing. By adding scalability and self-maintenance through cloud and SaaS solutions, organizations can build new, rich digital experiences without requiring a robust IT team to support them.
For large companies, cloud solutions give flexibility, service availability, and extra support for these technically challenging times. With minimal configuration and setup process, enterprise solutions in this category provide multitenancy, user management, robust backup, and recovery services—an overall rich platform that can provide a solid foundation for technology roadmaps for the next 5+ years for internal and customer-facing channels.
Unfortunately, some SaaS solutions sacrifice customization for attractive pricing. But the real competitive advantage comes when organizations leverage a cloud-based DXP to target business needs. This is something that we will be seeing a lot in 2022 for digital workplaces as we continue exploring new futures powered by these capabilities.
2. Mobile-First Design for Digital Workplaces
Employees have become accustomed to mobile access to nearly every piece of information they need after years of interacting with digital experiences that are CTA-focused, streamlined, and intuitive.
For 2022 and on, having a slow, clunky employee portal will no longer be enough. New and existing projects need to be seen through the lens of a mobile-first approach of designing and delivering digital experiences across channels that meet simplicity principles.
Thinking mobile-first means understanding the goals of each page or resource in a digital workplace, ensuring consistency, and simplifying your processes. These considerations should be used as a baseline for all your designs, no matter how big the screen is. It also means making sure your organization can reach all employees, including those away from a computer, such as frontline and field workers.
For us at Base22, a digital consulting firm with expertise in employee portals and intranets for large organizations, one of our best practices is to establish a mobile-first design system with templates, widgets, and dynamic components for your digital experience platform, so you can successfully create pages and content that’s ready to be served to business audiences without requiring development time.
3. Hyper-Personalized Experiences as an Ally for Productivity
Hyper-personalization comes from the simple understanding that users gravitate toward what feels most human when interacting with digital channels.
In the last two years, digital workplaces have become the primary channel of communication with the workforce. They are particularly important for remote workers and newly hired employees that have never met their employers or colleagues face-to-face.
To implement a hyper-personalization approach, your organization can leverage user attributes (personal information like role, seniority, and department) to deliver relevant content through an employee portal or mobile application. This makes a digital connection feel more real as it creates “moments that matter” for the employee that are more meaningful and fulfilling to their needs.
But the benefits of hyper-personalization go beyond connecting and strengthening relationships. Cluttered digital workplaces and work technologies can be an active source of distraction for employees, especially for employees less accustomed to the amount of noise a poorly constructed workplace can generate, as reported Udemy.
By curating content and tools, a modern intranet can help to reduce information overload and enable employees to deliver value to customers and businesses. It’s about making their jobs easier as soon as they sign in: less time wasted finding the information needed to work, less confusion regarding policy or procedures for each role, and less support time (from HR or IT) to achieve their tasks.
This approach is what allows organizations to build and maintain truly engaging, action-driven digital workplaces, and avoid unnecessary loss of resources. 2022 will be a year where hyper-personalization impacts businesses and organizations as a critical success factor for employee experience.
4. Holistic Digital Experiences: Engaging Employees and Business Partners
In business, technology should not only serve the consumer, but it should also enable employees, vendors, stakeholders, and distributors to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate.
Companies need to create better partnerships between customers, employees, and partners, with digital solutions and user experiences that provide the correct information when needed to complete a task.
Creating a holistic digital experience means infusing your brand promise into all digital solutions and orchestrating them to target business goals.
In a recent Salesforce survey, 85% of business buyers stated that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
Even at the backstage of our services, experience matters: user interfaces must be frictionless, and information must be available on-demand. To achieve this, technologies like DXPs are exceptional at creating holistic solutions from siloed ones and building cohesion in the employee experience across all interactions.
This year we will see more organizations (no matter the size) adopting this mindset of startups to be able to face new challenges. Disruptive companies begin with the customer and employee experience and work backward to supporting systems – they are not encumbered with legacy system limitations.
5. Single ID & ID Management to Improve Security and Access
Delivering “seamless experiences” is a top priority for executives in the digital workplace consolidation journey, according to the State of Digital Workplace report (2021 Q2). It is not surprising as access and logins are very tangible elements of the employee experience, with multiple interactions per user per day. As business audiences become more demanding, seamless experiences and ID management will be a present trend this year and on.
Having a single sign-on for their internal systems is a key component of holistic digital environments. This means each user has a unique set of credentials for all applications and tools, and that their access is managed and controlled by the IT team across the business environment.
This is a feature that provides benefits to all parties involved: it provides consistency to the end-users and resolves pain points of multiple logins, while allowing the IT team to have centralized control about user groups, permissions, and overall security for their technology stack.
Base22 and Liferay: Robust Digital Solutions with Agility
Base22 has found that Liferay DXP Cloud is built to deliver on these trends and create the digital transformation needed by established companies to avoid the extinction event. As a Liferay Partner, we have been able to deliver highly personalized experiences coupled with Single Sign-On capabilities to deliver a seamless experience holistically to employees, customers, and suppliers which are suitable for all form factors. Leveraging the Cloud Platform-as-a-Service capability will reduce both up-front investment costs and ongoing support costs.
Contact Base22 for a free assessment of your user experience and your digital readiness to address these trends created by the escalating customer expectations of all businesses to deliver digital solutions. Let us help you to think like a startup!