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New Employee Experience Research from Qualtrics

New Employee Experience Research from Qualtrics

The News: Experience management company Qualtrics has released its 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report, which covers areas such as onboarding, frontline worker struggles, employee views on sharing work emails and chats as part of a listening strategy, and comfort levels on AI. More information on the Qualtrics 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report can be found in this press release.

New Employee Experience Research from Qualtrics

Analyst Take: There is no shortage of data, surveys, and reports as of late that focus on labor market and employee trends. Qualtrics recently released a report focusing on employee experience with some interesting findings, particularly in the area of employee acceptance of technologies such as passive listening and AI.

Onboarding Should Not Be Ignored

According to the Qualtrics research, new hires show lower levels of engagement, well-being, and inclusion than more tenured employees. New job excitement simply is not enough to keep employees, and according to the data, 39% of employees who have been with a company for less than 6 months plan to leave within the next 12 months, which is a 6 point increase from last year.

Companies need to do a better job from the very beginning of the relationship, starting with candidate experience and onboarding. It sets the tone for employee-employer relations. However, many companies aren’t prioritizing it. Other Qualtrics research has shown that only 41% of HR leaders prioritize the onboarding process.

With the quicker employee churn companies might be seeing, this beginning part of an employee’s experience needs attention. Companies need to make sure the process is easy and convenient. Attention must be paid to the digital employee experience for new employees. Do not make new employees perform a time-consuming search for the materials they need. Platforms where the necessary information can be kept in one place and accessed via many devices are optimal.

Additionally, companies need to follow up before and after onboarding, gathering feedback for continuous improvement and to make sure there is a transparent and ongoing plan in place for development and growth opportunities.

Struggles with Frontline Continue

Qualtrics data has shown that frontline employees are unhappy, poorly supported, and least trusting. A disappointing statistic for sure, but not altogether surprising. According to the data, frontline employees are less happy with their basic pay and benefits and lack the support they need to do their job well. This group also has a level of mistrust that makes them feel they cannot really make suggestions on improvements.

Trust is a cornerstone of creating a functional feedback culture. Without it, employees will not engage, which is a problem, especially with frontline employees, as they are often physically disconnected from a corporate office, which adds to the feeling of not quite being part of a larger purpose and not being heard or having a voice.

This discord is also a problem evidenced by the growing amount of data tying employee experience to customer experience, and the tie between frontline workers and customers is a strong one. These workers are often the actual face of the company or the voice on the other end of a call or person handling a digital interaction. If they are discontented, there will be CX repercussions.

Attitudes Toward AI and Other Technologies

Employees are a bit on the fence when it comes to AI, and the data shows there is some work to be done on education and trust building. Nearly a quarter (23%) of employees were neutral on whether they would want to use AI at work.

If an employee has some control over it, such as using AI for writing or as a personal assistant, there will be higher usage. However, if AI use is perceived as a risky situation, there is less likelihood of adoption. Only 37% of employees would use AI for performance evaluations, and 29% for hiring decisions. Senior leaders are more open to using AI than individual contributors, again indicating there might be a knowledge and understanding gap. About 65% of C-suite leaders are open to AI usage, which is twice the amount of lower level employees.

When it comes to other technologies, such as those used to help keep in touch with employee sentiment, there is a surprising level of comfort with the use of some inputs, such as work emails, work processes such as interview notes, virtual meeting transcripts, and chat messages. Seventy percent of employees are OK with their organization using email data to get insights into their work experience that can in turn be used to improve it. Those who work remotely are more comfortable with this passive listing, as are Gen Z and Millennial workers.

The picture for social media is not quite as rosy, with only 41% of employees feeling comfortable with their social media posts being used.

The In-Office/Hybrid Debate

The report also offered some data on the in-office hybrid debate, which showed that the key indicators for a good employee experience are highest for employees who can work a hybrid schedule. These workers have higher levels of engagement, intent to stay, and feelings of well-being and inclusion that those who are either never in the office or those who are in office full time.

Some interesting data that points to:

  • The need for more education around the use of AI in the workplace
  • More attention needs to be paid to onboarding
  • Frontline workers are still struggling, even with the rising awareness of the problems they face and the growing amount of technology solutions to support them
  • For technologies such as AI and passive listening, the benefits need to be clearly laid out and demonstrated for levels of usage and trust to build; I was personally a bit surprised at the comfort level of feeding emails into the process, but that shows that some companies are doing a good job educating on the value proposition (and must have a culture of trust)

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Frontline Worker Experience: Interview with Dr. Benjamin Granger

Qualtrics Broadens XM for Healthcare With New Solution

Qualtrics Uses AI to Generate Automated Summaries for Video Feedback

Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.


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