In part 2 of this series on EX, we look at how the principles of ITIL 4 can help make a difference in retaining and recruiting your workforce.

by Karen Ferris
Date Published February 1, 2022 - Last Updated January 20, 2023

In part 1 of this series on EX, we discussed the need to augment EX to retain or attract a workforce that no longer feels tethered to employers in a geographic region, and that wants the best, most meaningful work experience possible.

Now, we’ll discuss how IT service and support can make that happen.

ITIL 4 contains 7 guiding principles that provide universal and enduring guidance to an organization, and support successful actions and good decisions to deliver business value. The guiding principles can be leveraged to manage the employee experience. They can be used to put in place an employee-first approach to service management.

The guiding principles first came into being with ITIL Practitioner back in 2015. I was one of the six global architects of the ITIL Practitioner publication and qualification, and we actually came up with nine guiding principles, and those nine have now been distilled to 7.

Let’s look at each principle and how it can assist with experience management (XM).

Start where you are

Where are you today? What processes and platforms do you have available into which you can incorporate employee feedback on their experience?

For example:

  • Does each Service Desk interaction close the loop, asking them to rate the experience?
  • When an employee accesses the knowledge management system, do you get their feedback whether or not they found what they were looking for?
  • When an employee uses the service catalog, do you get their feedback how easy the catalog was to navigate?

When you obtain this information, you must act upon it. When you analyze, slice and dice, and filter the data such as by incident/request type or department or location, you can get some real insights into what is working and what is not.

Progress iteratively with feedback

Once you find a starting point and create a baseline, you can move forward from there and demonstrate improvement. Identify the quick wins and address the priorities.

Do not try to do everything at once. It is important to note that the employee experience will change overtime as expectations change, so continually get feedback to ensure you are acting on the right things. You need to act on current, not historical feedback. Get feedback on the improvement you have made to determine their impact.

Focus on value

Employee experience drives the customer experience. When we improve the customer experience, we increase our profitability. When we improve the employee experience, we retain and attract talent which impacts capability and operating costs.

When you connect the service management and technology improvements you are driving to these values and business outcomes, it will convince your executives that the continuing investment in improvements is worth doing.

Collaborate and promote visibility

Don’t do this in a silo. Experience management is enterprise-wide, and you have to enable everyone to share their experiences, so that every voice is heard.

Explore whether there are other areas of the organization that can assist in management of the employee experience. For example:

  • Are there statisticians that can help with data analysis?
  • What is the current employee value proposition and how can service management enhance the proposition?

Promote visibility. Let people see what you are doing. Ensure everyone knows why they are being asked for feedback and what you are going to do with it. Provide regular communication about improvement initiatives and the progress being made. Publish feedback that has been received.

Keep it simple and practical

Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep it simple and be pragmatic. Get employee feedback in a simple manner that doesn’t overburden people. It’s not about the most elaborate and elegant solution, but about delivering the desired outcomes. Look for the most straightforward method to improve the employee experience.

Think and work holistically

Leverage experience management across the entire IT portfolio so you get to hear every voice from every part of the organization. As issues emerge determine whether they can be resolved before they become major issues that could affect the entire organization. Be proactive.

Remember, nothing stands in isolation. What you change in one place can have an effect elsewhere. There can be a ripple effect, so ensure that there is not an adverse impact of a change downstream.

Optimize and automate

When you know what your employees want and need on a continual basis, you can be ahead of the game and proactively design better technology experiences from the start.

Experience management solutions such as Qualtrics, Survey Monkey Enterprise, and Birdeye can integrate with service management systems and processes that you already have in place. They can optimize the collection and analysis of feedback and provide insights and triggers for action. They can automate the collection of feedback following improvements and provide real-time alerts when issues arise.


Service management can improve the employee experience, and therefore the customer experience, and future-proof the organization. When service management adopts an experience-led approach, it helps create places that people want to work and gives the organization the competitive advantage.

Karen Ferris is a self-professed organizational change and service management rebel and author. You can learn more about her work here.
Tag(s): supportworld, employee engagement, employee satisfaction


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