Companies Still Investing in Employee Listening Programs

Perceptyx Research Shows Economic Downturn Is Not Dampening Interest

Perceptyx study on employee listening

In the CX world, there has been a lot of chatter about what this year might look like with budget cuts and potentially leaner organizations. All signs point to CX being particularly needed, and that investments in digital CX will continue, with some growth.

But what about EX? With hiring and retention still being a challenge but with tightened budgets, will companies see the value in EX investments? New research from Perceptyx says yes, at least when considering investments in employee listening and feedback solutions. In a Perceptyx study of 1,100 organizations, nearly all organizations have a formal listening program in place today (95%), and seven out of 10 of those are planning to further accelerate listening programs over last year. More than half of the organizations said they would increase spending on employee listening over 2022 levels. Organizations are also listening to employees more frequently, with 70% surveying at least quarterly, compared to 60% in 2022.

“There’s a clear mindset shift evident in this year’s study: employers no longer see listening as a discretionary tool for employee retention, to be cut along with other benefits and initiatives, when times are tough. Employee listening is now seen as a direct path to better business performance – when done correctly,” says Perceptyx Director of Research & Insights Emily Killham. “The most successful companies are maturing their listening programs, shortening the time it takes to act on data, and getting buy-in and feedback from all parts of the organization, not just HR.”

What was encouraging to see in the data was that leaders felt that an economic downturn is the best  time to invest in employee listening, not the worst. More than three out of five leaders placed a higher value on listening during a recession than during more favorable economic times, and only about 10% thought it was less important.

While the collection of employee feedback is something that has been going on for a while, not all organizations have mature programs. Those that do are reaping the rewards. Survey data shows that mature programs are 6x more likely to exceed financial targets and 7x more likely to retain talent, even during times of high attrition. The finding applies across the 600 HR decision-makers and 500 non-HR leaders Perceptyx surveyed at organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Additionally, the study found that organizations with the most robust listening programs are: 

  • 6x more likely to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction
  • 8x more likely to adapt well to change
  • 9x more likely to innovate effectively

Not surprisingly, the study demonstrated that the best-performing organizations showed good alignment between HR executives and non-HR executives on the importance of employee listening. Alignment is certainly critical when rolling out any strategic initiative. What was surprising was that listening was deemed so important to these best-performing organizations that 2.5x as many leaders intended to slow hiring vs. listening programs. This finding holds true even for organizations that saw budget cuts and layoffs in recent months.

Feedback and listening programs are just one piece of the larger EX ecosystem, but it is an area that Dash Research also identified as a crucial focus area that should not be allowed to languish even if difficult decisions need to be made on technology investments.

Source: Dash Research

The collection of data is becoming commoditized in the EX market, but it is that data that fuels the information flow that uncovers successes, failures, and areas of growing concern. With the struggle to keep employees, keeping a pulse on employee sentiment and satisfaction is more important than ever. Feedback technologies have evolved from annual surveys to more sophisticated and ongoing omnichannel listening programs that can churn out insights and analysis that, in more EX-mature organizations, can be put into workflows for action to be taken. Employee churn is expensive and can lead to inefficiencies, poor morale, and even poor customer experience. Putting a solid feedback program in place can head off and address any turning tide of employee sentiment before it results in departures and, in best performing organizations, support strides in positive customer experience.

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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