Podcast: Vendors Expand Visions of Employee Experience

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Welcome to PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. I’m Mark Feffer.

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Interesting talk about employee experience in the last few weeks. I mean, everyone in HR tech’s been talking about it for a while, but now the talk’s getting to be all-encompassing, meaning it’s everywhere, and about everything.

Podcast: The employee experience discussion's becoming all-encompassing: It’s everywhere, and about everything. #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

Last week, ServiceNow and Qualtrics put together their digital workflows and experience-management technology on a single platform. With the resulting solutions, customers will be able to bring sentiment data from Qualtrics into ServiceNow Customer and IT workflows. The idea is to help them use data to improve experiences.

Then, Oracle extended its approach to guiding employees through different actions or information. They launched Journeys, a platform HR can use to create customized workflows. Here again, a big part of Oracle’s message is that Journeys can improve not just the employee’s experience, but even the experience HR has while they put together resources for others to use.

Both announcements paint the whole idea of what’s-an-experience with a much broader brush than we’ve seen before. And that’s reflected in the language that’s coming out of the HR vendor community. For instance, ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott said that “Empathy at mass scale is the business differentiator of the 21st century.”

Which sounds a little like George Burns’s old observation: “The key to success is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” But I digress.

Back to Mr. McDermott. He also said ServiceNow and Qualtrics aim to help “redefine the experience economy.” Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin put it more prosaically. He said, “Businesses succeed or fail based on the experiences they deliver. Experience data,” he added, “has become the most valuable data in every organization.”

The two companies believe that most organizations try to manage experience by relying on siloed systems. So, their strategy is to make feedback “actionable,” in part by combining their capabilities. Their integrations help users visualize performance, uncover drivers of satisfaction and then take action.

As for Oracle: They introduced the concept of Journeys in late 2020, but now it’s become a full-blown platform. Since last year, the company says it’s learned a lot about how HR’s been working to respond to a variety of changes, and has to continually launch new processes and tools to guide employees through them.

Journeys is less about new technology than it is about new capabilities. Oracle said it’s responding to an evolution in HR technology from systems of record, to systems of engagement and, now, systems of design. Customers want to curate new “experiences” quickly, the company said. And Oracle wants to make it easy for HR to introduce new things.

Let’s put these new products in context.

Nearly three-quarters of HR professionals say the employee experience is more or much more important than it was three years ago, according to HR.com’s Research Institute. Seventy-seven percent say they’re putting considerable effort into enhancing employee experience.   

Meantime, the pandemic has businesses thinking about experience more holistically, as a dynamic that’s created not only by managers, rank-and-file and HR, but by how workers interact with departments across the organization, and the tools they use to get their jobs done.

In fact, nearly every touchpoint between employers and the workforce has become part of the experience equation. That’s why Josh Bersin talks about how HR tech is shifting to becoming “work tech.” He thinks vendors will spend much of this year trying to improve the employee experience through apps that are easy to use, and which integrate neatly with existing tools. 

Which is what Oracle, ServiceNow and Qualtrics seem to be up to.

This has been PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. A publication of RecruitingDaily.

This edition has been brought to you by Criteria. Resumes and interviews aren’t good at predicting job success, and they lead to bias that gets in the way of hiring a diverse, high-performing team. Visit criteriacorp.com to see how Criteria can help you unlock the potential in your candidate pool. That’s www.criteriacorp.com.

And to keep up with HR technology, visit the HCM Technology Report every day. We’re the most trusted source of news in the HR tech industry. Find us at www-dot-hcm-technology-report-dot-com.

I’m Mark Feffer.

PeopleTech is a member of Evergreen Podcasts. You can check out other shows at www.evergreenpodcasts.com.

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