Qualtrics Hopes ‘Benefits Optimizer’ Will Help Boost Employee Experience

Qualtrics Screen Shot

Employee experience management firms Qualtrics launched “the Employee Benefits Optimizer,” a tool that leverages employee feedback and models trade-offs to help companies create compensation and benefits packages that align with their culture and budget.

Qualtrics said the tool is the first of its kind. Built on the company’s XM platform, the Optimizer automates much, if not most, of the multilayered process involved in designing and implementing benefits offerings. In addition, the Optimizer offers guided configuration and real-time trends and reports to help employers identify the best-matching packages for their needs.

.@SAP’s vision for @Qualtrics: an enterprise-wide feedback tool for topics related to operations and customers, as well as employee experience. #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

In building a benefits package, Qualtrics said the tool gathers employee feedback and identifies the trade-offs they’re willing to make. A live simulator report allows HR to experiment with various options and packages as they’re designed. 

Jay Choi, Qualtrics’ vice president of EmployeeXM, emphasized the importance of workforce feedback to benefits design. “Organizations spend millions of dollars to create a benefits and compensation package for their employees, but they have never been able to put employee feedback at the heart of such a critical decision,” he said. “Employee Benefits Optimizer closes a gap for HR leaders by making it easier for them to ensure that the money they spend is driving impact across the entire organization.”

One customer, Goldman Sachs, said–through Qualtrics–that the tool was “extremely useful in helping us understand what programs our employees value most.” David Landman, global head of talent assessment, said the platform’s ability to obtain feedback and identify employee preferences across a range of demographics was particularly useful.

Employee Benefits Optimizer is the latest addition to Qualtrics EmployeeXM, which is designed to identify and close experience gaps throughout the employee’s lifecycle. The platform is meant to help managers understand and improve the experience of their employees, an ever-growing need for companies seeking to hire and retain talent in a tight labor market.

EmployeeXM is the newest, bulked up version of what used to be its Employee Experience product. Launched in March 2019, the platform’s new capabilities emphasized the need to move from point-in-time to continuous, real-time efforts to assess employee feedback, and also to personalize how it’s collected and analyzed.

Employee Experience to Customer Experience

Qualtrics was acquired by SAP in an $8 billion transaction that closed in January. At the time, SAP CEO Bill McDermott said the move would “accelerate the XM category with an end-to-end solution with immediate global scale.”

More importantly, perhaps, is SAP’s vision of Qualtrics is as an enterprise-wide feedback-gathering tool for topics related to operations and customers as well as employee experience.

Recently, Adaire Fox-Martin, who runs SAP’s global customer operations, told Diginomica that Qualtrics would help transition SAP from being a “system of record” to a “system of action.” “You can place it in a system where some action can take place on that sentiment, in order to close that feedback loop,” she said.

Diginomica’s Phil Wainewright observed the SAP-Qualtrics combination played into the trend toward XaaS-driven “continuous connection to customers that fosters a virtuous cycle of engaging customers, monitoring their interactions and iteratively improving their experience.”

As Wainewright notes fitting Qualtrics’s technology into SAP’s stack is no small undertaking. However, its potential raises the questions about how influential Qualtrics will continue to be in the HCM sector. SAP’s a big company, with big customers, and helping them gauge customer experience may well take priority over managing the workforce experience.

Although Qualtrics’ web site offers more information about customer- and marketing-focused products than HR-focused ones, SAP continues to maintain the company’s relevance to employee experience measurement. In April, Qualtrics, SuccessFactors and Thrive Global launched the Thrive XM index, a tool to identify companies that deliver an exceptional employee experience and strong business performance.

The index, said SuccessFactors President Greg Tombs, “allows companies, for the first time, to receive a comprehensive view of the way experience metrics and HR metrics … can collectively serve as leading indicators for business performance.”

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Image: Qualtrics