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Better IT self-service boosts employee engagement, productivity

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Enabling efficient and user-friendly IT self-service plays a role in improving employee experience, which results in improved engagement & productivity. This is according to Rohitkumar Nair, Director of Segment Marketing at Freshworks, who was speaking during a Freshworks webinar on IT self-service.

Nair noted that research conducted recently by Harvard Business Review analytic service and sponsored by Freshworks found that 92% of respondents said employee engagement was critical to their organisation’s success. Employee disengagement impacts business revenue, employee attrition and company culture. The report found that engaged teams are 17% more productive, show 24% - 59% lower turnover and 21% greater productivity.

Technology plays a make or break role in employee engagement, he said. “The research found that 77% of good employees will consider looking for a new employer if their current employer doesn’t provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs. For IT leaders this means technology and employees are inseparable, but it extends beyond laptops and mobile devices – it also covers factors such as applications and organisation-wide engagement practices.”

Nair said the self-service portal, once touted as the solution for better, faster, cheaper IT service, was not delivering on IT self-service ambitions, however.

He cited a recent whitepaper by Stephen Mann, principal analyst at ITSM.tools, which found that the portal channel has the lowest level of employee happiness and the highest level of lost productivity of all IT service channels. Even during the move to remote work, chat as a channel improved more than the self-service portal. 

In the recent Freshworks ITWeb IT Self-Service Survey, over75% of respondents said their self-service portals had achieved high adoption, although on the question of how they would rate the success of their self-service portals from an ROI standpoint, 60 – 70% said they had only achieved marginal success or limited use.

A poll of webinar participants echoed these findings, indicating that 40% – 50% felt their employees weren’t very happy with the IT self-service portal. On the question ‘How would you rate the IT portal’s employee experience at your organisation?’ 36% said Ok, our employees aren’t fans but still use it, 16% said Poor, our employees avoid using it, 40% said Great, our employees love using it and 6% said they didn’t know.

Nair said effective IT self-service must offer immediate and friction-free service and support experience, by using alternate access channels and smart capabilities such as RPA, chatbots and virtual assistants, as well as smart search and autoresponders for email. He highlighted Freshworks’ ITSM solution, Freshservice, allows organisations to provide exceptional service support experience by taking self-service to the channel of choice of the employees.

“During the pandemic we have been talking a great deal about frontline workers, and in service management, the frontline workers are the agents and admins. It is important to work with them to understand their challenges and how the organisation can make their lives easier using technology such as Freshservice," said Nair. 

It’s not just about IT service, but about having a robust self-service platform in place for functions across the organisation to improve efficiency and employee experience,  he added. 

“The best part about this platform is the ability to scale across other departments and functions. Our survey saw finance, marketing and procurement looking to leverage the self-service capability from IT for their own departments.”

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