New Research on EX Management and the Shifts Required for Success

The XM Institute has published new research that examines the current state of employee experience (EX) management programs and the mindsets, skills, and actions required for employee experience (EX) excellence. You can download both of these reports for free:

  • The State of EX Management Programs, 2020. This research – based on a survey of HR leaders at 250 large U.S. firms – looks at the current state of employee experience (EX) management programs and future plans for EX. It also compares organizations that are more mature in EX (EX Leaders) with those that are less mature (EX Laggards). EX Leaders have better financial results, deliver higher quality EX and CX, and are more effective at using employee feedback to improve experiences.
  • Three Shifts for Employee Experience Success. This research looks at how companies can overcome employee engagement stagnancy by shifting to 1) purpose-led empowerment from functional job execution, 2) collaborative understanding and action from disinterested surveying, and 3) employee-engaging leaders from HR-driven programs. It includes over 20 examples from companies of these three shifts in action.

The graphic below, from The State of EX Management Programs, 2020, shows how more mature organizations (“Leaders”) outperform their less mature counterparts (“Laggards”). Ninety-one percent of EX Leaders report the employee experience that their organization delivers is above average compared to their competitors and 88% of EX Leaders report better financial results.

The graphic below from Three Shifts for Employee Experience Success outlines best practices for each of the three changes in mindsets and actions that companies must take to overcome employee engagement stagnancy and mature their EX program.

You can download both of these reports for free from the XM Institute.

Why I joined the XM Institute: HR to EX to XM

Note from Bruce Temkin: This is the first (of many) posts that will be written by thought leaders besides me. I’m thrilled to have Ben Granger join our Qualtrics XM Institute team and contribute to this blog.

Today, I am excited to announce that I have officially joined the Qualtrics XM Institute! I am joining a fantastic team of XM researchers and visionaries.

For the last 15+ years, I have been deeply immersed inside of the world of HR and recently, within the growing subfield of employee experience (EX). And this space is hotter than it’s ever been! Which begs the question (which I have asked myself many times) – why the change?

As Qualtrics, and now, SAP, introduce the category of experience management (XM) to the business world, I have viewed HR and EX through a different lens. One that makes EX look surprisingly similar to the fields of customer experience (CX) and traditional market research.  

Over the last 4 and half years, I have worked with hundreds of HR leaders all over the globe. And among them, I recognize an undeniable appetite to learn from their peers doing similar work with their organizations’ customers and future customers. For me personally, some of my greatest learnings have come from non-HR professionals – exceptional researchers like Carol Haney and Bruce Temkin and methodologists like Dave Vanette and Steve Snell have greatly influenced the way I consult my clients…about EX!

Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that some of the most innovative and intriguing EX programs that I have come across, are led by former CX program and marketing leaders. 

The alignment between EX and XM became readily apparent to me when Bruce Temkin and I sat down for an interview a few months ago. As is always the case when Bruce and I chat, we got lost (in a good way) talking about “big” ideas and possibilities for XM.

In fact, as I learned more about the discipline of XM and it’s foundational frameworks and principles, I saw in them, solutions (answers) to many of the problems (questions) that I and those HR leaders that I’d built relationships with were trying to solve.

In some ways, I felt that HR and the related fields of IO Psychology and EX were already deeply immersed in certain XM activities. For example, IO Psychology has built an incredible body of academic research to support many of the EX measures that organizations leverage today.

But, I also felt that HR/ EX was well behind in other areas. For example, measuring employee experiences in seamless and conversational ways, designing processes that are consumer-grade, translating raw data into consumable and actionable insights. I sometimes summarize these (over simplistically) as a lack of creativity. There is so much left for us to learn from XM!

While my move to the XM Institute is partially self-serving (I want to expand my knowledge and expertise), I suspect that my personal transition from HR to EX to XM is simply a microcosm of   a major industry trend. A trend of organizations aligning their XM principles and practices and building bridges across all of the experiences that they must manage and master (customer, employee, brand, product, etc.).

And for those not totally convinced that this trend is real, ask yourself these simple questions.:

  • Are employees and customers going to be more or less demanding of organizations in the future?
  • Will employee and customer acquisition and retention become more or less challenging in the future?
  •  Will alignment across the core experiences (e.g., employee, customer, brand) become more or less important for organizations in the future?

Likely everyone who reads this will answer “more” to every question. I have yet to find anyone who has not. 

I rest my case.

 Throughout my career, my passion has been around building and improving the experiences of employees at work and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But I am extremely excited to be joining an exceptional group of researchers and thought leaders and to help bring XM to the business world!