How to make an impact and improve the Digital Employee Experience

A Digital transformation programme, lead by a fellow Service Designer and me, sponsored and guided by upper management.

Three months, from 30+ high level problem exploration to selection of 4 problem areas, to 3 product opportunties. In total 8 people were temporarily added to the programme divided into 3 teams of 2 service designers, to cover 4 projects and join into 3 design sprint. We also added a central team of 3 expert support (1 data analyst, 1 executive assistant, 1 innovation intern). We worked in two weeks sprints, to offer a bi-weekly moment for review and feedback with 25+ stakeholders.

Client:

CFO and Head of innovation

Team:

Service Design colleague, Service Design intern, and Innovation intern

Project Duration:

4 Months

Roles and responsibilities

My role was mainly being responsible for ‘people management’ and maximising the impact of insights and projects: setting up a scrum-inspired structure for frequent feedback, actively engaging stakeholders. I also set up a close collaboration between the team and other colleagues (especially with key stakeholders and our employee experience scrum team).

My colleague took the ownership of the organisational effort of the hiring of the team members, and the communication and collaboration of external clients and consultants. She was also responsible for creating a funnel of insights: connecting data analysis insights, company insights (e.g. employee surveys, FAQ from support, and communication goals).

We shared the coaching of the teams: I took ultimate responsibility of two teams and the intern, while my colleague took the responsibility of one team, the executive assistant collaboration, and the involvement of the data analyst.

Vision and setup

We visualised our working vision in the image below

Three Service Designers leading two streams: the three teams of external service designers, and a parallel stream of employee-insight collection. To merge the streams together, translate the insights into a problem statement and project vision, and facilitate a design sprint to explore solutions.

The process included many milestones, to offer frequent moments for inspection and adaption, to include the business needs and stakeholder input.

Impact and learnings

Project results and next steps

A backlog of projects was created, three potential product opportunties were explored. The project was supposed to end in May 2020, with possible extension for another year. Unfortunately the pandemic messed with the plans, and prioritise were rearranged, and this project was put on pause from April (after 4 months). However, I also quit, handed over the responsibilities to my successor and moved to Switzerland to start a new job from April 2020 on.

Project outcome

A clear overview of pain points, a validation of the impact of the pains and the potential of solving this with products. As well as close collaborations and networks cross-functional to support the employee experience from several departments. Till I left, the project showed a very clear high impact on the company: networks, employee-experience portfolio, and the awareness of the organisation of the importance on the topic.

Personal growth

I got a taste of leading big projects in a very short time span, with many external influences leading to a lot of networking, management of teams and stakeholders, and quick agile reactions to external influences.

Conflicts within teams made me a better coach. Opportunties for cross functional collaborations made me a better connector. Empowering teams and colleagues with a vision to improve the impact and sustainable use of research insights made me a better leader.