This excerpt was pulled from JumpCloud’s “Leveling the Playing Field for SMEs” eBook. The eBook itself dives into topics related to recent workplace changes and modern expectations, as well as how to deal with it all as an IT professional through technology unification, improved onboarding, centralized and secure device management, and the use of multi-factor authentication.
This excerpt is focused on the importance of creating a positive employee experience within your organization, as well as the particular impact that IT has on the employee experience.
Many businesses focus almost exclusively on how to create compelling digital experiences for their customers, which makes sense. But, it’s also incredibly important to put resources into improving the employee experience within small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). IT plays a significant role in the overall employee experience — think onboarding, role and access changes, and offboarding.
First Impressions Make or Break the Employee Experience
One example of IT’s impact on the employee experience is the onboarding process.
Everyone knows that first impressions matter. Unfortunately, 5% of employees will quit after a disastrous first day, and 20% of employees will quit within the first 45 days.
The National Federation of Independent Business reports that 40% of businesses have trouble filling open positions.
That can cause a lot of unwanted turbulence with customers, partners, and other employees.
That’s why employee onboarding is such an important process. New employees expect access to whatever applications and services they need to be successful, but provisioning new users and devices can become a very time-consuming manual process for IT admins. It is a source of friction on both sides of the aisle.
Organizations should be eager to empower their employees to succeed from day one, which means that IT teams need to make certain new employees have the right access to the right applications (while limiting access where it isn’t needed). Documenting role-based policies can help manage this process, but it still adds complexity since different departments have different access requirements.
Traditionally, IT admins must maintain and install a master disk image (i.e., a gold image) with the appropriate applications and configurations on each device before it is ever touched by a new employee. Usually this involves physically ordering and configuring the device before handing it off to the user.
With this process, an IT admin would need to obtain the employee’s information, such as name, title, and department, their access and application requirements, and so forth. Then they would need to order a new device or retrieve one from storage and manually configure it. After that comes more installation of software and the creation of new accounts for cloud services, as well as user licenses and authentication for each application. Finally, the machine would be ready for delivery to its new user.
This traditional onboarding method involves a lot of checking the box, validations, and records-keeping. By the end of it all, IT admins can spend hours manually provisioning a new employee. That doesn’t sound very scalable (or enjoyable) when growing companies may add numerous new employees each month. And remote environments further complicate the process.
Working from anywhere has made onboarding employees more difficult. Unfortunately, device management tends to be an office-based process since IT admins need to physically retrieve laptops from storage or manually provision them. What’s more, millions of new employees have never been in physical contact with their co-workers, and that includes their IT admins.
Onboarding can feel like a full-time job, but what happens when an IT admin gets pulled into another urgent project or has too many employees joining at once? A disappointing number of employees have shown up to work on their first day without a laptop ready for them — that is certain to leave the wrong first impression. The physical IT onboarding model can create a roadblock for new employees that are eager to work while simultaneously draining IT teams of their time and attention.
Zero-Touch Deployment: 100% Wow Factor
JumpCloud Zero-Touch Enrollment streamlines onboarding with a seamless experience that accelerates new employee provisioning from hours to minutes. New employees are amazed by the polish and prestige of the process. IT admins are relieved to eliminate another time-consuming manual process as their business continues to scale. In fact, IT admins may never even need to lay their hands on the device.
JumpCloud also combines a powerful device management system with identity management and SSO, so that IT teams can manage their entire onboarding process from a single, cloud-based console. Windows, Linux, and macOS devices can all be deployed, configured, and managed from anywhere, to anywhere. That gives employees the flexibility to work however they want to help attract and retain the best talent.
IT admins can automate user and device settings for Mac, Windows, and Linux machines by grouping new employees with the team they are joining to grant access to the applications and services they need to make work happen. These pre-configured settings save time and create a positive experience for the new employee and IT admins alike.
The Impact of IT’s Tech Stack on the Employee Experience
Nine out of 10 SME IT professionals agree that the employee experience is an important factor when making IT purchasing decisions.
IT admins want technology that unifies their existing stack, enables remote work environments, and is easy to use. Clearly, SME IT professionals are concerned with seamless experiences for their users as well as themselves.
With the urgent transition to remote work behind us, SMEs must now plan for the long-term future of work — a future defined by the “work from anywhere” mandate. The majority of workers indicate they want more flexibility in their work schedules, work locations, and how they get work done.
It is clear that SMEs need to modernize their infrastructure to support remote work as seamlessly as they once supported their offices; the most clear and direct path to a modernized infrastructure is through IT unification. IT unification is the process of identifying a platform (or suite of interrelated technologies) to become the core of your IT stack, incorporating it throughout your stack, integrating with critical systems that surround your stack, and finally consolidating around the core by shedding irrelevant or unnecessary legacy tools.