An Employee Stack is the backbone of your Employee Experience

Take the same diligence you bring to your product experience to build a more practical and efficient employee experience

It’s time to choose a customer service tool for your product. Because this is a tool that your customer will interact with, your evaluation criteria will likely be more robust than simply asking whether it has a good service contract and price point. You’ll want to pick the tool that makes the experience easier, more presentable, and smoother overall.

So when it’s time to pick (or switch) internal tools, the ones our employees use to get their jobs done, why do we tend to fixate only on cost? 

Selecting the right IT tools can no longer be about price, service, installation, and contracts. Yes, those components are part of it. But now, with these tools being so fundamental in shaping the employee experience, we’re seeing they affect a whole lot more.

Today, building and maintaining your Employee Stack is less about vendor selection and more about understanding who’s working with these tools and what processes they eliminate or improve. And, ideally, how can they inspire collaboration and support retention.

Creating an Employee Stack requires a methodical approach to ensuring that you have the right tools for individual tasks – and that everything integrates seamlessly. In our experience, employees aren’t so concerned about moving between several tools. They just want them to work, that transition to be super easy, and to generally make their day-to-day better. 

In other words, folks don’t want multiple things that do the same thing. But they don’t mind having a few extra tools or steps in the process if it’s helpful.

The ideal way to build your Employee Stack is to map out the employee journey using the same methods and approaches to understand your customer base: user research studies as well as generative and design thinking workshops to understand the process and explore solutions. Then you can do due diligence on the IT products and recommend a strategy for how they all fit together.

It’s valuable to bring your people into the conversation through workshops – to let them suggest new tools and agree to try them together. Bringing in employee representation is a key step to eventual adoption and making your people feel heard.

Traditionally, the only view most leadership teams would have of an Employee Stack is as individual budget-line items. By mapping your Employee Stack to your employee journey, the decision-making process considers the value of all the tools and how those tools work together when applied across the entire employee journey. Whether it’s to support sales, manage inventory, or perform an accounting task, do all the tools cumulatively create an excellent end-to-end experience?

Some of these tools might not be the cheapest. But looking at them as a holistic Stack allows you to weigh the pros and cons of each and strike the ideal balance that’s aligned with your business objectives. 

Of course, getting those yearly technology bills down is important, but in today’s increasingly digital workplace, you have to factor in the productivity increase and morale impact your Employee Stack can support.

Studies show that more than anything else, employees want flexibility – and that means having the right tools in place to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Because when employees have to struggle with a tool or process that makes their job harder, it’s like the company is saying that they don’t matter. 

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