Better EX to exceptional CX — 4 ways government agencies have successfully improved their digital experiences

We’re in the midst of a massive and much-welcomed paradigm shift in the way the government interacts with citizens and employees. There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic infused new energy and urgency into the need for change. Government technology leaders accomplished years of digital transformation in a matter of months at the start of the pandemic, including important customer experience (CX) gains.

While many digital initiatives over the years have focused on CX, agencies at the federal, state, and local levels are increasingly turning their attention to employee experience (EX). And for good reason — EX is inherently linked to CX because government runs on people power. I have always said that a good CX starts with a good EX as the two are symbiotic. If employees don’t have modern tools, they simply cannot deliver the responsive and efficient service that citizens increasingly expect.

There are other compelling reasons to focus on improving government EX. The government workforce is aging and experiencing a wave of retirements — both anticipated and accelerated. A State and Local Government Workforce 2021 survey revealed that almost 40% of state and local human resources professionals say their retirement-eligible employees accelerated their retirement date, and more than half expect the largest anticipated number of potential retirements will take place over the next few years.

This reality coincides with an extremely competitive job market where talent shortages and hiring difficulties are at a 15-year high. As agencies seek to fill positions as employees leave the workforce, they’re wise to invest in EX.

Almost 40% of state and local human resources professionals say their retirement-eligible employees accelerated their retirement date, and more than half expect the largest anticipated number of potential retirements will take place over the next few years. As agencies seek to fill positions as employees leave the workforce, they’re wise to invest in EX.

Employees also want to interface with technology that’s as user-friendly and intuitive as the tech they use in their personal lives. At the federal level, President Biden’s Management Agenda reinforces the importance of ensuring a modern EX in the pursuit of elevating CX. It commits to ensuring that the federal workforce is empowered and well-equipped to deliver digital services effectively to the public. To provide such services, the government needs high employee engagement and evolving workplaces and work practices to reflect the needs of its workforce today and tomorrow.federal workforce is empowered and well-equipped to deliver digital services effectively to the public. To provide such services, the government needs high employee engagement and evolving workplaces and work practices to reflect the needs of its workforce today and tomorrow.

This applies to government organizations at all levels. Agencies must have an agile, efficient, and engaged workforce with the right technology, so they spend less time on burdensome and often frustrating administrative tasks and have more time to focus on work that matters — connecting citizens with the information and services they need.

How can government fast-track elevated EX in the pursuit of world-class CX?

Here are four ways government agencies have successfully improved their CX by focusing on EX:

  1. Consider the voice of the customer. When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wanted to improve EX and CX, they focused on recognition, development, and engagement. The NIH created toolkits for managers, developed leadership programs and advisory workgroups, and reviewed technology platforms to see how employees could better engage with co-workers. By focusing on the employee experience and desire for connection, the NIH executed a strong CX program.
  1. Use human-centered design practices to create a roadmap. When the Veterans Administration (VA) set out to create its first employee experience journey map, taking employees from the beginning of their careers through separation, the agency interviewed employees at all levels — part-time workers to executives, healthcare providers and clinical staff, attorneys, and program analysts. This human-centered EX journey enabled VA to take targeted and direct action in the areas that matter most to its team members — all in the pursuit of better service to veterans and their families. Additionally, the VA created a veterans journey map. The agency gleaned approximately 11,000 insights that they mapped into ten life stages any veteran may encounter and calls out key “moments that matter.”
  1. Build EX and CX around people, process, and technology. The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey found that agency employees wanted to better understand how to use virtual tools because they needed to meet with customers remotely. Some agencies responded by offering webinar-style training to enable employees to improve their competency and comfort with the new virtual tools, gain new technology skills, and boost their overall ability to engage and deliver exceptional service to citizens.
  1. Leverage technology to improve workforce productivity. According to a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact report on the cost savings and business benefits enabled by Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud, federal, state, and local agencies are enabling their employees to deliver their missions more efficiently and effectively by leveraging innovative technology. With the right tools, employees can save time and focus on higher value tasks that improve service delivery and the overall CX.

Adobe is on the frontlines of helping government agencies build exceptional EX in their pursuit of delivering world-class citizen service. We understand that digital solutions must work not only for citizens, but for the employees who power government services too. Here are a few examples:

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) College of Distance Education and Training went above and beyond to build exceptional EX by offering their employees MarineNet, an eLearning ecosystem built with Adobe Experience Manager that provides 24/7 access to self-paced and instructor-led courses, assessments and surveys, virtual learning environments leveraging Adobe Connect, user-generated videos and materials, and social communities.

The State of Utah is committed to continually evolving EX. The state launched a telework technology initiative in 2019, which included the ability to ensure virtual signoffs on critical documents, including incident action plans with Adobe Acrobat Sign. Employees were also empowered with accountability and clarity throughout the process with seamless facilitation between departments. Acrobat Sign enabled the state to better respond to emergencies and ensure efficiency and business continuity in the long term. Who could have imagined the immense impact of this investment just a year later as the state faced dual disasters of an earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic? State employees were able to continue vital services ensuring their productivity, even while impacted and sheltering-in-place themselves. The State of Utah continues to expand use of the solution today as it empowers employees with modern solutions.

We’re inspired daily by the many ways that agencies are innovating with our solutions to ensure that their employees are engaged and equipped for their mission delivery.

Learn more about how Adobe can help you improve your mission delivery by elevating both CX and EX by visiting our website, contacting Adobe’s government team, or your account executive to learn how Adobe can help you on your “better EX to exceptional CX” journey.