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Qualtrics Wants to Boost Employee Experience by Unifying Data

April 27, 2022 Employee Experience
Mike Prokopeak
By Mike Prokopeak

Qualtrics today released Employee Experience ID, a software tool to collect and create a single view of employee experience data, that will be used to power Qualtrics' new Employee Journey Analytics capability.

First announced last October by Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics but not released until today, Employee Experience ID aims to capture data and create a unified view of an employee's experience inside the company over time that can be used to improve engagement and performance.

Traditional HR systems only capture operational data about each employee, such as their location, gender and tenure with the organization, said Claire Fang, Qualtrics chief product officer for EmployeeXM. Data on experience is quickly becoming the most valuable data for organizations as they look to tackle challenges such as retention, she said. 

"People want to work for — and do business with — organizations that show they are listening and responding with empathy," she said in an email interview with Reworked. "Organizations that gain a competitive advantage leverage both operational and experience data, which is the sentiment, beliefs and perceptions that people have."

How Employee Experience ID Works

Using Employee Experience ID, companies will be able to create an individual experience profile that gathers data from a variety of sources, including direct feedback mechanisms such as engagement and pulse surveys to indirect feedback systems such as collaboration tools and discussion forums and documented actions in internal platforms, such as training and IT support systems.

"As people, we share feedback on various channels – such as on an employee intranet – and in an increasingly digital world, the internal technology we use can tell us about our work behaviors," Fang said. "For example, a calendar app can show us how much time we’re spending in meetings per week."

This data can be used to get a unified view of employee experiences over time and provide insight into how to improve those experiences. The record can also travel with employees as they take on new roles inside the company, and will continue to be updated as data is collected in the new job, Fang said.

"Today, when someone joins a new team, the new manager has very little information about the individual unless the manager talks to all the prior managers this person had," Fang said. "With Employee Experience ID, certain non-confidential information — such as job history, training history, peer feedback and recognition — can all be provided to the new manager very easily, allowing the manager to quickly understand the employee’s journey at the company and be able to better support their growth in the new role."

Technology Increasingly Driving Employee Experience

With data in hand, Qualtrics customers can then use Employee Journey Analytics to identify how specific moments in an employee journey, such as hiring, onboarding, performance reviews and day-to-day experience with technology systems, work together and affect employee engagement and retention. A Qualtrics survey of 1,000 workers showed that 58% of employees said their job is the main source of challenges to their mental health, and further studies showed that 28% plan to quit within the next year.

That puts the work of HR and IT under the microscope. CIOs are often the decision maker when it comes to new technology investment and CHROs are the ones who have the most ability to use that technology to influence company culture, Fang said.

"This has become especially true during the pandemic with the rise of remote work as the technology employees interact with on a day-to-day basis has largely defined their overall workplace experience," she said.

Qualtrics said that Employee Journey Analytics can also signal trends and risks among groups of employees across different experiences and help employers adjust practices to keep them more satisfied and engaged.

What's Next for EX

Employee experience has become a key tactic in efforts to retain and attract employees in a competitive job market. Recent research by Willis Towers Watson indicated the vast majority of employers (92%) are prioritizing employee experience, but that's not matched by a favorable view in workers' assessments of their efforts. One survey found that only 38% of workers in the U.S. believe their organization assigns a great deal of importance to employee experience.

The surge in employee experience software and platforms is clearly a response to that challenge. Oracle joined the growing list of big software companies making it a key part of product strategy earlier this month with the debut of its Oracle ME employee experience software platform. Microsoft introduced Viva, the company's employee experience platform in February 2021, and SAP SuccessFactors has been honing its approach to what it calls human experience management since 2019. More recently, HR software firm UKG unveiled its approach to what it called "life-work technology" as its product strategy going forward.

“The pressure is on for organizations looking to recruit and retain top talent," said Jay Choi, Qualtrics executive vice president for EmployeeXM in a press release. "Every relationship is based on a series of experiences, and leaders who understand how employees’ journeys are impacted during their tenure will have a competitive advantage."

Qualtrics Employee Journey Analytics is available now to Qualtrics customers, and can be integrated with many of the platforms, systems and tools companies already use, including SAP, ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams, Fang said.

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