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Younger 'Digital Native' Workers Drive Changes to the Digital Employee Experience


As younger workers from the Millennial and Gen-Z cohort enter professional jobs, companies are increasingly scrutinizing their digital employee experience, or DEX. The DEX is a measure of the quality of employees' touchpoints with the technologies they use to do their jobs. There is evidence to show that an insufficient DEX may result in higher levels of expensive turnover among younger generations.

The recently released “Riverbed Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Survey 2023” found that organizations today must employ high standards for the DEX in order to remain competitive and retain talent, in particular for younger generation employees who would otherwise consider leaving the company. The survey explored generational expectations, hybrid work, the evolving role of IT, and challenges and strategies to delivering an exceptional DEX.

Unsurprisingly, the study found that Millennials and Gen Z employees have the highest technology and digital experience expectations in the workplace, with 91 percent of decision-makers believing they will need to provide more advanced digital experiences to meet their needs, and 89 percent saying younger generation employees place increased pressure on IT resources.

If an organization fails to meet the digital experience needs of younger generation employees, leaders surveyed believe 68 percent would consider leaving the company, and 63 percent say it would be disruptive, impacting productivity, reputation, or organizational performance. Additionally, 95 percent of leaders say delivering a seamless DEX is important (56 percent critically important) to remaining competitive. With heightened digital expectations, and talent, productivity, and competitiveness at risk, almost all respondents (92 percent) say investing in DEX is among their top priorities for the next five years.

In its analysis, Riverbed noted that the rising influence of digital natives, changes in how and where people work, and IT complexity has put tremendous pressure on IT leaders to deliver on the digital experience expectations of employees and the organization as a whole.

“…With over two-thirds of leaders believing younger generation employees would consider leaving the company if their digital needs are not met, the CIO is essentially becoming a chief talent officer too,” noted Dave Donatelli, CEO of Riverbed. “Compounding this challenge, the Riverbed Global Digital Employee Experience survey confirmed that delivering better digital experiences is getting harder, not easier. What’s encouraging is the vast majority of business and IT leaders understand the challenge at hand and are taking proactive steps to invest in technologies such as AI and unified observability, to help deliver an improved digital employee experience.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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