This article is an update to a previous article, “Understanding the Employee Engagement Survey Provider Landscape: A Guide to the 6 Vendor Types

The employee experience is a top concern for executives and leaders around the world. While some organizations have developed their own innovative solutions to measure employee engagement, most tend to rely on technology or simply outsource the entire process. Because options are so varied, organizations may struggle in deciding which employee experience tools and vendors will best fit their unique needs. In this guide, we highlight six common options, from do-it-yourself software tools to full-service consulting firms. This guide will help you understand your alternatives so you can choose the right solutions for your organization.

Download: Sample Employee Engagement Survey

6 Employee Experience Survey Vendor Types

1. General Survey Software Platforms

At one end of our spectrum are general survey software platforms. These are powerful and comprehensive tools that are primarily used in research institutions and customer experience campaigns. They can be adapted to measure the employee experience but do come with some limitations.

These platforms often include a variety of survey templates from which users can adapt the survey to match their specific requirements. Reporting options include everything from simple, pre-defined dashboard widgets to fully configurable pages. Survey platforms are often better suited for organizations with I/O psychologists on staff or experienced professionals that understand survey science.

General survey software platforms provider icons

Qualtrics, Medallia, Forsta, Survey Monkey, and Alchemer

2. HRIS (HCM) Systems

Many human resource information systems incorporate employee survey features inside their platforms. The disadvantage is that these applications are not as sophisticated as specialized survey tools. However, they can handle basic survey administration adequately. Most organizations utilize these tools to poll employees about things like existing perk offers or training programs. However, as previously stated, their value as a comprehensive survey solution is limited due to a lack of reporting options and data analytics features.

HRIS Systems provider icons

Workday, Success Factors, UKG, and BambooHR

3. Performance Management Systems

Performance management systems are technological solutions that are primarily focused on performance management but can do basic employee surveys such as annual employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, or even bare-bones 360 degree surveys.

The main advantage of these employee experience tools is that enable managers to stay in touch with employee mood in real-time. They are effective in circumstances where all employees have corporate email accounts and are dedicated to using the system. They are not suitable for deskless workers since they necessitate regular access to portals by employees and management throughout the day. Furthermore, because their survey options are auxiliary or supporting features, their surveys lack significant reporting, data exploration, and analytics capabilities.

Performance Management Systems provider iconsLattice, 15-Five, Cultureamp, PerformYard

4. Purpose-Built Survey Tools

Rather than developing and supporting a broad survey platform, some suppliers target specific aspects such as patient experience, consumer experience, or employee experience. These solutions are frequently the best in terms of data visualizations, reporting options, and analytics because they are focused on a certain vertical and acquire and deliver the best data possible. Survey functionality is also robust, as are benchmarking and normative datasets.

These providers can survey the entire organization and offer unique solutions such as paper surveys, kiosks, and features for workers who do not have a desk. Several of these tools can handle the complicated hierarchies found in modern organizations.

HRIS Systems provider icons

Quantum, Perceptyx, Glint, Energage, and DecisionWise

5. Employee Feedback Specialists

These are vendors that focus on employee feedback, which is clearly DecisionWise’s sweet spot. Vendors in this area provide everything from custom software solutions to full-service teams to assist clients with all things employee experience, including employee engagement, 360 degree feedback, and lifecycle surveys. DecisionWise is an excellent solution for businesses wishing to outsource the complete employee experience process to a partner who specializes in this area.

Employee Feedback Specialists vendor type; employee experience tools and providers

DecisionWise, HSD Metrics, Work Institute, Newmeasures, and People Element

6. Management/HR Consulting Firms

On the other end of our spectrum are large management consulting firms or boutique HR consulting firms. These vendors offer a number of HR and talent management services, including employee surveys. They have extensive expertise with employee surveys and may publish research on a wide range of issues. They also provide assistance with mergers and acquisitions, compensation strategies, personnel planning, and benefits structuring. Large organizations frequently use these vendors since they may already have a business relationship or are looking for outside staff to supplement internal HR efforts.

Management/HR Consulting Firms platforms vendor type; employee experience tools and providers

Willis Towers Watson, Aon Hewitt, Deloitte, Mercer, and PWC

Which Type of Vendor is Best?

The best provider for your firm depends on money, experience, internal resources, organization size, and the intended outcomes. For their first staff survey, small businesses with limited budgets and basic expectations may benefit from using Purpose-Built Survey Tools. On the other hand, if you have a large employee population and want to use data to drive change, working with an Employee Feedback Specialist or Consulting Firm may be your best option. Once you’ve determined the optimal provider type for your company, you can make an exact “apples-to-apples” comparison and choose the best vendor.

Everything you need to know about Employee Experience

For a comprehensive guide on employee experience, check out our “Employee Experience Explained” page.