Ex Series: Monitors and EX – Demographic Considerations

November 25, 2019

In our last post, we explained how monitors can play a huge role in creating a positive Employee Experience (EX). From ergonomics to front-of-screen experience to connectivity, there are many features that can improve or hinder an employee’s productivity, wellbeing, and attitude in the workplace. As such, employers should be thoughtful and intentional with their considerations for the tools they provide their employees because EX can directly impact CX.

To take this point one step further, though, employers should consider the unique needs of different employee demographics. Just as employees have different job responsibilities and functions, they also have distinct approaches to their workspace and technology and want to have a selection of monitors to choose from accordingly. A few of these demographics include employee generation, geographic location, and business size.

Employee Generation

In addition to other environmental factors, younger generations of employees view workspace technology and equipment as an indicator of their company’s care for their performance/well-being, whereas older generations focus on their methodology and process. Further, Millennials and Gen Z professionals tend to align their career with a higher purpose (according to IDC), whereas employees in the Baby Boomer generation and older tend to view their career simply as a way to provide for themselves and their families.

This difference in perspective also creates a difference in the way an employee’s age affects their career motivations. While Gen X and Boomers may consider healthcare benefits and compensation to be the biggest driver of success at work, younger professionals in the Gen Z and Millennial groups tend to prioritize workspace design, learning and development opportunities, and health and safety measures to be key motivators.

This is especially important considering the recent IDC finding that “one-third of organizations surveyed globally expect millennials and Gen Z to account for over 30% of their future hires in the next 1-2 years.” Because of their experience with latest-and-greatest personal technology, younger generations demand minimalist, high-powered, high-performing environments. As such, employers should revise their approach to employee motivation to accommodate this shifting workforce.

Geographic Differentiators

Among all of the businesses surveyed globally by IDC, US and UK markets show a distinct priority for the well-being and productivity of their employees, but the majority of companies (nearly 80%) in those locations also implement one-size-fits-all strategies—a tactic completely counterintuitive to the data supporting the employee perspective. IDC found that about a quarter of respondents in the US and UK wish to be consulted in the allotment of their monitors.

Furthermore, about 70% of IT and business decision makers in China prefer a defined catalogue approach with standard offerings provided to all employees. This is in stark contrast to the 94% of employees who want to have a say in the types of monitors they use in the workplace. “As employee experience takes priority,” IDC reports, “ensuring that employees have the right tools to do their jobs is important. Forget the one-size-fits-all approach, and allocate monitors based on job role and function.”

This is advice has different implications depending on geography: Chinese decision makers should understand the different needs of their employees instead of defaulting to the same equipment for everyone; decision makers in the US and UK should align their equipment policies to incorporate employee perspective from the beginning.

Business Size

Finally, the size of the company has an indirect influence on IT and business decision makers’ monitor provisioning strategy. Medium-sized enterprises tend to be so concerned with business growth that they lose sight of the value of enhancing EX. On average, medium sized-businesses keep their monitors for an average of 6 years before refreshing, much longer than their commercial and enterprise counterparts according to IDC. As such, decision makers in these organizations should expand the breadth of their understanding of how EX directly impacts CX. Employers in these organizations should provide their employees with opportunities to update their equipment more frequently.

On the other end of the spectrum, larger enterprises tend to implement EX policies that meet the minimum needs of a positive EX, but fail to dive deeper to go above and beyond the status quo. To stimulate a productive and enthusiastic workforce, IT and business decision makers should reach further into their road map for ways to enhance the employee experience.

In Conclusion…

Regardless of age, location, or business size, employees want more authority when it comes to their workspace elements to improve their EX. Considering this, IT decision makers should review their company policies and align with demographic-specific insight on how to leverage monitor trends to improve EX. What this really comes down to is an employee’s desire to have a say in what device(s) they get, a wider selection to choose from, and a frequent refresh/upgrade opportunity. When this happens, CX (and business growth) is likely to improve as a direct impact.

Read the full IDC report here.

Read the previous posts in our Employee Experience blog series here and here.

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