“My laptop did not arrive in time. My Outlook was not configured correctly. The company phone did not sync with Teams and Office 365. My laptop sometimes gets kicked off the Wi-Fi network. I wish I had an extra monitor—a 14-inch laptop screen is too limiting. I didn’t receive a Bluetooth headset, so I used my personal headset that I purchased from Amazon. Having these challenges my first week made me question my longevity at the organization.”
This was feedback from a friend of mine when I asked how her onboarding process went at her new job. Stories like these are now commonplace among new employees in the post-pandemic era. Many IT teams are struggling with the procurement, deployment, and support needs of their transitioning workforce.
While companies put a lot of time and resources into hiring top talent, there is a need for more alignment between Human Resources and IT departments to provide new employees with a welcoming experience. After all, retaining talent is as important as winning them.
In a recent Forrester survey, over 42% of decision-makers agree that employee retention is a critical priority driving the need for improving Digital Employee Experience (DEX). IT procurement, deployment, and support functions in your organization all play a significant role in shaping end-user satisfaction. Here are a few factors to consider as you prepare IT department plans for 2023.
User Needs Vary Based on Work Location
The idea that remote employees and offices may need different equipment is a no-brainer. But do you know how different their equipment needs are? A home office would need unique configurations for each employee based on their setup needs and preferences. For example, some of your employees may need noise-canceling work headsets, while some may have access to a quiet workspace where a standard headset is appropriate. Similarly, some employees may prefer to work with a single monitor while others may need a dual monitor setup to be productive. The equipment needs of a hybrid employee may be even more complex as they require technologies to address both the office and home workspaces.
User Needs Vary Based on Role Types and Specializations
It’s vital for IT to understand various job functions to provide optimal technologies. And within those functions, there are specializations that ladder up to differences in equipment needs. If you’re in an industry organization—such as manufacturing or healthcare—you may be more familiar with supporting your specialist professionals. However, the hardware, software, and support needed for each could vary based on their specific function. For example, data analysts may require an additional screen to be effective in their role, but the form factor of that extra monitor may vary depending on the nuanced differences between their specialized roles.
User Needs Go Beyond the Functional
Your users also have needs or wants that extend beyond functionality. Employees expect their work equipment to fulfill them emotionally, just as we expect our personal devices and gadgets to fulfill our aesthetic and other needs. The higher-order value goes further than aesthetics. I would argue that devices, accessories, and operating systems that are designed with user experience in mind can provide a certain level of therapeutic value in an otherwise intense work environment. Similarly, security and privacy software can help reduce anxiety. When you create your procurement plan for devices, accessories, and software, make sure you consider the emotional value factor as well.
Inclusivity Is Key
When you choose devices, accessories, software, and services, it’s also important to understand your workforce through an inclusivity lens. Are you considering that some of your employees may be differently abled or may have a disability that calls for a unique work setup? Manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of these factors, and there are types of equipment that have higher accessibility ratings. Inclusivity can be seen in broader ways too. For example, a remote hire could be in an area without strong broadband connections. Providing a device that supports LTE could help this employee tremendously.
Check out our eBook for more tips on how to plan for IT procurement and deployment for your organization.