There is a fine line between capturing employee sentiment and spying on his workforce. The tools for measuring employee experience are becoming more and more sophisticated. […]
In many boardrooms, the fear goes away because the loyalty of employees to their employers decreases. We are talking about the “Great Resignation” or the “Big Quit”, which has long been rampant not only in the USA. In Europe, too, companies are increasingly taking employees off the rails. The reasons are different. In addition to corona-related upheavals in the labor market, younger employees in particular often rethink their life plan and pay close attention to a healthy work-life balance.
Qualtrics, provider of solutions for experience management, wants to provide user companies with tools that can be used to monitor the mood of their own employees. For example, employees who were playing with thoughts of quitting could be identified more quickly and countermeasures taken accordingly.
At least that’s the theory of those responsible for Qualtrics. With Employee Experience ID, the SAP subsidiary has presented a tool that should offer HR departments a uniform view of each individual employee. Companies could use it to identify how their employees prefer to work, what their “commitment” is, and how the feedback on working conditions is.
The Employee Experience ID summarizes the data collected over time on the employee experience in a profile. Data sources can be HR applications, collaboration tools and feedback systems. Another tool, Employee Journey Analytics, is intended to identify key moments in which employers should ideally influence their employees – for example, during the familiarization phase, when returning from parental leave or when purchasing new work equipment.
Based on such analyses, companies can also identify trends among certain employee groups. For example, if companies find that female middle management employees are particularly likely to quit, supervisors can be more vigilant, seek feedback and initiate changes to create a better experience for this group.
At the end of the day, this is about the employee journey, comparable to the customer journey in marketing and sales. Qualtrics helps companies track how employees in their own company are doing, says Jay Choi, Qualtrics EVP and Chief Product Officer for EmployeeXM.
“Companies that want to recruit and retain top talents are under great pressure. Every relationship is based on a set of experiences. Managers who understand how the working life of an employee is influenced during his service have a competitive advantage.“
IT managers in particular have a key role to play when it comes to employee experience: they have to take care of the integration of experience management systems and also ensure that employees experience their IT environment positively. Employees who say that their technology supports them well in their tasks work more committed and have a much closer bond with their bread giver, according to the result of a Qualtrics study.
“The hiring manager and the CIO are the people who reach out to every employee and have the greatest impact on their engagement and retention,” notes Brad Anderson, president of products and services at Qualtrics.
However, the recording and analysis of employee experiences has a completely different facet. David Brodeur-Johnson, senior analyst at Forrester, raises privacy concerns when, for example, an employee’s survey responses and their correlation with workplace events can be examined. Here it is important to question the possibilities of the respective experience management platforms.
For example, in the past, Qualtrics has not allowed managers to break down data into groups of fewer than six or eight people to maintain the anonymity of individuals, according to Brodeur-Johnson.
“This kind of data is very powerful,” says the analyst. “If she gives managers the opportunity to make their employees glasses, and maybe even used for punishment, we consider it dangerous.” The IT managers have a responsible management role to play here, says Brodeur-Johnson. It is important to observe governance and security policies and to ensure that the company does not take unnecessary risks.
Forrester talks about finding the right balance. On the one hand, it is about gaining more insights into the sensitivities of the workforce and thus creating a better employee experience, on the other hand, sensitive personal information of individual employees must be protected at all costs.
Qualtrics is not the only provider that wants to examine the emotional world of employees. At the beginning of April, Oracle announced an extension to its Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management Suite. Oracle ME includes the Oracle Touchpoints function, which records and tracks the mood of employees and gives managers recommendations for further measures based on the collected feedback.
Workday also offers similar features. In January 2021, the SaaS specialist took over Peakon. The provider offers a tool that collects data on employee mood in real time and uses analyses to make suggestions to superiors on further measures.
Momentive, formerly SurveyMonkey, has built APIs into its central survey platform to share data with Salesforce, Microsoft Teams and other enterprise applications, providing a broad picture of employee engagement for analysis in tools such as Tableau or Microsoft Power BI.
At its core, it is all about collecting and evaluating as much employee data as possible at all possible touchpoints. Qualtrics also collects and consolidates far more than just data from employee surveys to find out what motivates employees. In order to create its Employee Experience IDs, the SAP subsidiary also accesses HR systems to determine an employee’s position in the hierarchy, recent performance evaluations and important life events such as returning from parental leave.
Expense management systems identify frequent travelers, Microsoft Viva allows insights into work patterns via teams use, and with the help of IT service management tools, it is possible to see how many support tickets an employee submits or how quickly or in what quality they are processed. At Qualtrics, the latter works, for example, through integration with ServiceNow. Thanks to the acquisition of Clarabridge in October 2021, Qualtrics can also analyze the mood in employee comments. This applies not only to surveys or support tickets, but also to chat platforms such as Teams or Slack.
Management receives an overview of the mood via employee journey analytics, either for the entire company or for certain groups of employees – consolidated in a central console via various dashboards.
Here you can graphically display how the mood around various interactions such as onboarding or IT support is developing. Accordingly, action plans should be developed to improve sentiment and thus also engagement.
Qualtrics MANAGER Anderson reports from a multinational retail company that, using employee experience tools, found that new employees were more satisfied and less stressed when the future manager sent them a text message or e-mail before their first day at work.
By analyzing the feedback from onboarding with engagement metrics, this company instructed its managers to welcome new employees accordingly. A small but important measure that can significantly affect the performance of a team, according to Anderson’s conclusion.