When anyone asks why they should do employee listening, have them reflect on this piece of sage advice: 

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Brilliant in the Basics

The Vital Role of Employee Experience (EX) Maturity-Models: 

Employee engagement surveys are occasionally criticized because they fail to bring about lasting, positive change within an organization. Instead of helping executives know how to mold and design their organization’s employee experience (EX), the survey morphs into an expensive, anonymous suggestion box. 

Some of this criticism is fair because, by themselves, surveys don’t drive employee engagement. They are an analytical tool that is part of the leadership process. Criticizing an employee engagement survey is sort of like criticizing the mixing bowl for failing to deliver amazing chocolate chip cookies.  

The reality is that well-developed, long-term strategies (called EX maturity models) drive employee engagement.

Our experience has taught us that the following elements must be included in an effective EX maturity model:

  • Defined stages of progression (measurement, followed by commitment, followed by management, etc.); 
  • Realistic objectives at each stage of progression; 
  • Behaviors that we expect to see and those we must master at each stage; 
  • Leader/owners who are accountable to see that the strategy is functioning and OKRs are being met; and 
  • Defined outcomes for each stage (a clear vision of how success will be measured) 

If you haven’t taken the time to develop your EX maturity model, we suggest you start right away. To help you get started, and for more tips and tools, visit our resources page at decisionwise.com.

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6 Common Employee Experience Survey 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. 

1. General Survey Software Platforms 

At one end of our spectrum are general survey software platforms such as Qualtrics, Medallia, Forsta, Survey Monkey, and Alchemer. These powerful tools are primarily used in research institutions and customer experience campaigns but can be adapted to measure the employee experience. However, they do come with some limitations and are better suited for organizations with I/O psychologists on staff or experienced professionals that understand survey science. 

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. 

2. HRIS (HCM) Systems 

HRIS (HCM) systems such as Workday, Success Factors, UKG, and BambooHR incorporate employee survey features but are not as sophisticated as specialized survey tools. They can handle basic survey administration adequately but lack reporting options and data analytics features. Most organizations utilize these tools to poll employees about things like existing perk offers or training programs. 

3. Performance Management Systems 

Performance management systems like Lattice, 15-Five, Cultureamp, and PerformYard are technology-based solutions that are primarily focused on performance management but can also gather employee surveys such as annual employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, or even bare-bones 360-degree surveys. 

These tools enable managers to stay in touch with employee mood and sentiment in real-time but are not suitable for deskless workers and lack significant reporting, data exploration, and analytics capabilities. 

4. Purpose-Built Survey Tools 

Purpose-built survey tools, such as Quantum, Perceptyx, Glint, Energage, and DecisionWise, are designed to 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. 

They can handle the complicated hierarchies found in modern organizations and offer unique solutions such as paper surveys, kiosks, and features for workers who do not have a desk. 

5. Employee Feedback Specialists 

Employee feedback specialists such as DecisionWise, HSD Metrics, Work Institute, Newmeasures, and People Element focus on employee feedback and offer 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.  

These specialists are an excellent solution for businesses wishing to outsource the complete employee experience process to a partner who specializes in this area. 

6. Management/HR Consulting Firms 

At the other end of the spectrum are large management consulting firms or boutique HR consulting firms such as Willis Towers Watson, Aon Hewitt, Deloitte, Mercer, and PWC. These vendors offer a number of HR and talent management services, including employee surveys, and 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. 

Which Type of Vendor is Best? 

The best provider for your firm depends on money, experience, internal resources, organization size, and the intended outcomes. Small businesses with limited budgets and basic expectations may benefit from using purpose-built survey tools, while larger organizations that want to use data to drive change may find working with an employee feedback specialist or consulting firm to be the best option.  

Once you determine the optimal provider type for your company, you can make an exact “apples-to-apples” comparison and choose the best vendor. 

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