Employee Experience in the Age of SaaS

Eric Christopher

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The subscription economy has reinforced employees’ expectations of immediate access to tech, complete with the intuitive usability of consumer software. Therefore, in the age of SaaS, maintaining high standards of employee experience is a challenge for enterprises.

Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO at Nutanix, embraces the new and complicated challenges facing IT and procurement leaders. In order to meet employees’ high expectations, Wendy and her team have devised a method for measuring and optimizing the tech processes every Nutanix employee follows to adopt and utilize software applications.

Measure Employee Experience

The first step to reaching the expectations of application users is to create a quantitative standard by which to measure employee experience. At Nutanix, tech-related employee experience is measured against KPIs of First Time Right (FTR) and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

First Time Right (FTR)

When IT receives a support ticket, First Time Right measures if the support was delivered correctly on the first try. In addition to accuracy, FTR takes timeliness into account. To earn a positive FTR score, an application’s support must meet employee expectations of accuracy and timeliness.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score compares the industry standard against Nutanix’s survey results at every interaction. Measuring whether users loved, felt indifferent, or hated their experiences utilizing tech, the NPS gives Wendy’s team the opportunity to follow up with disgruntled employees to better understand the obstacles IT and employees face.

During a weekly IT team meeting, Wendy addresses the FTR and NPS scores of the previous week. By keeping her thumb on the pulse of the company, Wendy can ensure ongoing monitoring and improvement of enterprise-wide employee experience.

Optimize Employee Experience

When tackling the employee experience crises that many enterprises face today, Wendy quickly discovered that optimization would be applied application by application. Armed with app-specific FTR and NPS measurements, Wendy identifies areas for improvement on an ongoing basis.

From the identification of a crisis-level application to the implementation of a refreshed tech process, Wendy’s team dedicates about 10 weeks to each application. The steps to optimize an application’s employee experience are as follows:

  1. Isolate a problematic application by uncovering the lowest possible FTR and NPS measurements.
  2. Analyze preferred employee experience to determine the best case interactions.
  3. Build a process expressed in code, enacting Nutanix’ machine learning tools.
  4. Implement the process.
  5. Continue ongoing monitoring of the application’s FTR and NPS measurements and iterate on process improvements until the measurements indicate that issues have been eliminated.

The optimization of core employee productivity applications such as email, messaging and document handling has been one of Wendy’s team’s greatest employee experience successes at Nutanix. After enacting a new automated process, productivity software download NPS and FTR rose from the single-digits to near 100 percent: today, every employee is fully satisfied with their experiences adopting and utilizing these core employee productivity applications.

People-First Processes, Expressed in Code

While processes are expressed in code, nurturing employee experience is, in nature, a people-first practice. To hit the mark when creating intuitive and effective processes, IT leaders must understand how the current system fails.

For example, at Nutanix, Wendy discovered that employees failed to gain access to DocuSign because the process contained too many steps and the wait was too costly. IT learned that most employees requesting Docusign were on a tight deadline; if access to DocuSign could not be granted within 10 minutes, employees would create rogue freemium accounts.

Additionally, Wendy discovered that Nutanix employees preferred to communicate their tech needs through Slack. By employing sophisticated integrations, Wendy’s team was able to effectively grant users access to DocuSign only 10 minutes after employees sent request tickets through Slack.

To reach the high levels of employee experience found at Nutanix, IT teams must follow in Wendy’s footsteps: determine employee experience KPIs and build healthy relationships with application users to perfect the org’s tech processes, one application at a time.

About the Author

Eric Christopher

Eric Christopher is CEO and Co-Founder of Zylo, the leading SaaS management platform. After 14 years of buying and selling software, Eric knew there had to be a better way to manage cloud applications within a company. Eric started his career in sales at ExactTarget from 2002 to 2010. He spent the next six years in Chicago leading sales teams at Shoutlet and Sprout Social Inc., and founded Zylo in 2016.