Jayne Lerman of Mastercard: "Designing great employee experiences requires a cross-company mindset."

Jayne Lerman’s day-to-day focus at Mastercard is to ensure that digital workplace technology helps enhance employee productivity to create an environment where staff can thrive.

“Technology is something that I’ve been engaged with and interested in my entire career,” she said. “I’ve always loved that technology can elevate our experiences and that it’s constantly evolving.”

Lerman currently leads global employee digital experience for worldwide payments and technology firm Mastercard where her responsibilities include driving technology innovation and employee tools adoption. She previously held employee-facing technology roles at organizations including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Building on a Solid Foundation

Lerman joined Mastercard in 2017 from Goldman Sachs where she was a managing director in charge of delivering solutions across people, workspaces and corporate service functions.

“I was attracted to Mastercard because of the great people who work here and the culture that they built, which includes having a strong set of values with decency at its core,” she said. “I also saw that the company had a solid foundation around employee experience supported by senior leadership. I was asked to join to further build out this area.”

Over the course of her career, Lerman has amassed a thorough understanding of the employee experience domain, which includes “tools, security, analytics and an experience mindset.”

Lerman is a speaker at CMSWire and Digital Workplace Group’s Digital Workplace Experience taking place June 17 to 19 at the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago. She will be participating in a panel discussion titled, “Next-Generation Workforces,” along with Nisreen Farhan, advisor for digital transformation at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Alex Kantrowitz, senior technology reporter at Buzzfeed and Toni Vanwinkle, senior director of digital workplace experience at Adobe, on June 18.

We asked Lerman for her thoughts on employee digital experience, employee engagement and to share some lessons Mastercard has learned on its own journey.

Think Holistically When Redesigning Employee Experiences

CMSWire: How did you first become involved in the technology world? What has led you to focus on employee digital experience and what fascinates you about this area?

Lerman: I first became involved with technology in college. It’s something that I’ve been engaged with and interested in my entire career. I’ve always loved that technology can elevate our experiences and that it’s constantly evolving.

What led me to focus on employee digital experience is the increasing engagement and reliance we have with the technology in our personal lives — mobile everything, from text and video to Uber and Netflix.

Our expectations now are that the technology we use in our work lives needs to be just as good, if not better, and as easy to use as what we have at home. This area of employee digital experience is evolving and so much is still new.

CMSWire: What do you think will be the next key digital workplace evolution and why? How will these advances benefit companies?

Lerman: The next evolution in the digital workplace is already on the horizon as companies are looking at the use of analytics and artificial intelligence to help them detect patterns and behaviors in how employee use technology, but to also help increase their productivity.

CMSWire: What’s your take on the future of work and the skills employees will need to cultivate as what ‘work’ is changes?

Lerman: There are a lot of skills that employees will need to cultivate as the world of work changes.

I think focusing on a combination of technological competency (artificial intelligence) and human skills (creativity/problem solving) will be integral for the workplace of tomorrow.

CMSWire: In your opinion, where are the key gaps today in the employee experiences organizations provide to their staff? Which factors are companies forgetting to take into account when thinking about redesigning employee experiences?

Lerman: When companies are redesigning the employee experience, they should think about it holistically, as experiences can touch many functions across the organization.

Many organizations also face the challenge of dealing with the complexity of different technology platforms and the resulting fragmentation. This increased complexity can lead to friction in an employee’s day-to-day experience.

CMSWire: Which one or two best practices and lessons learned would Mastercard share with its peers about employee engagement? Where is Mastercard on its employee digital experience journey and what’s next?

Lerman: A key lesson from Mastercard is to put yourself in the employee’s shoes when you’re designing a process or program. How will the employee experience it [the process or program] end to end?

Designing great employee experiences also requires a cross-company mindset. Developing and executing well on an employee journey rarely involves just one group.

Where are we on this journey? We’re already an employee-centric organization. But we’re not focused on one end goal: it’s a continuous journey as our world of work continues to evolve.

CMSWire: What advice do you have for organizations on how to measure positive employee experience and digital workplace success? What are some of the key metrics companies should use to track employee engagement?

Lerman: My advice would be to focus on important employee processes such as new hire onboarding.

We also continue to use engagement and pulse surveys.

CMSWire: Who is your favorite fictional character and why? If you could spend a day with that character, what would you do together?

Lerman: Atticus Finch. I just saw "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway and was reminded of the depth and breadth of his integrity and decency.

I would love to partner with Atticus on driving employee experiences at Mastercard.

Learn more about the Digital Workplace Experience.