PEOPLE ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY: DEEP DIVE INTO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & EXPERIENCE AUTHORS: PRIYANKA MEHROTRA & STACIA GARR - REDTHREAD RESEARCH

 
PEOPLE ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY: DEEP DIVE INTO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & EXPERIENCE AUTHORS: PRIYANKA MEHROTRA & STACIA GARR - REDTHREAD RESEARCH
People Analytics
Technology:
Deep Dive Into Employee Engagement &
Experience

Authors: Priyanka Mehrotra & Stacia Garr

   © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   1
PEOPLE ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY: DEEP DIVE INTO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & EXPERIENCE AUTHORS: PRIYANKA MEHROTRA & STACIA GARR - REDTHREAD RESEARCH
Contents
About RedThread. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3

Key Findings.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4

Introduction.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 6
PAT Critical to Staying in Touch with Employees.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7
PAT Market Evolving Quickly. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7
A Closer Look .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7

Understanding Employee Engagement & Experience.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 9
How Tech Can Help .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10

Employee Engagement And Experience Vendors’ Capabilities .  .  .  .  .  .  . 11

Customers Are Happy With Their Engagement And Experience Vendors. . 13

Employee Engagement And Experience Vendors.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 15
Employee Engagement Vendors.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 16
Putting the framework into action .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 18
Employee Experience Vendors.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20
Putting the framework into action .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 22
“Passive Primary” Vendors .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25
Putting the framework into action .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 27

Looking Forward .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 30

Conclusion .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 31

Appendix 1 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 32

Appendix 2: Summary of methodology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

Appendix 3: Authors & Contributors.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 41
Authors .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 41
Endnotes.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 42

               © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.                                                                                 People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   2
PEOPLE ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY: DEEP DIVE INTO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & EXPERIENCE AUTHORS: PRIYANKA MEHROTRA & STACIA GARR - REDTHREAD RESEARCH
About RedThread
Sure, we’re experts in performance, people analytics, learning, and
D&I—and we’re well-versed in the technologies that support them. But
we’re also truth-seekers and storytellers in an industry often short on
substance, and too full of @#$%. Our mission (indeed, our very reason for
existing) is to cut through the noise and amplify what’s good. We look for
the connections (or red threads) between people, data, and ideas—even
among seemingly unrelated concepts. The result is high-quality, unbiased,
transformative foresight that helps you build a stronger business.

To learn more, reach out to us at hello@redthreadresearch.com or visit
www.redthreadresearch.com.

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   3
Key Findings

1.	 Employee engagement and experience became extremely
   critical in 2020-21. People analytics tech that focused on employee
   engagement and experience helped business leaders understand
   what was happening with their people—both with data and at scale.
   67% of PAT vendors from our study reported employee engagement
   as a primary area of focus in 2020, compared to 60% a year earlier.
   Similarly, 58% of vendors stated employee experience as a primary
   area of focus in 2020, versus 43% in 2019.

2.	 Employee engagement and experience are different but related
   to each other. Employee experience has a much broader scope than
   employee engagement. Engagement is the outcome of employee
   experience. A people analytics technology vendor is a company that
   uses people data to help companies understand their employee
   engagement or experience.

3.	 People analytics tech vendors in this space fall into 3 categories.
   Each category comprises of a framework for the vendors included
   within it:

   a) Employee Engagement Vendors:

       •    Professional services background. Vendors founded
            by people with a strong background and experience in
            professional services, such as consulting.

       •    Employee engagement native. Vendors for whom primary
            bread and butter continues to be engagement surveys.

       •    Employee engagement via other talent areas. Vendors
            known for their other products, such as performance
            management, along with employee engagement.

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.     People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   4
b) Employee Experience Vendors:

       •    Focused on employee engagement and experience. Vendors
            primarily focused on creating and improving personalized
            experiences for employees throughout their lifecycle

       •    Focused on customer experience. Vendors that capture and
            analyze customer experience data, and connect that to other
            types of data

c)     “Passive primary”:

       •    Text analysis. Vendors use sophisticated text analysis to
            understand how employees feel

       •    Organizational network analysis (ONA). Vendors
            collect employee communication and network data, and
            apply collaboration analytics to understand employee
            engagement levels

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   5
Introduction

In December 2020, we wrapped up our year-long study on the people
analytics technology (PAT) market. One of our key findings from the study:
PAT vendors responded quickly to customers’ needs that arose from the
twin pandemics of 2020 (COVID-19 and racial injustice).

Practically speaking, this meant vendors focused much more heavily on
employee engagement and experience than before. As Figure 1 shows,
67% of PAT vendors from our study reported employee engagement as a
primary area of focus in 2020, compared to 60% a year earlier. Similarly,
58% of vendors stated employee experience as a primary area of focus in
2020, versus 43% in 2019.1 (Readers can access important details on the
vendors in this space, including our summary thoughts on them, in the
appendix as well as via our interactive tool.)

Figure 1: Primary Areas of Focus for PAT Vendor Solutions—2020 vs 2019

                                                                                          67%
                         Employee engagement
                                                                                      60%

                                                                                    58%
                            Employee experience
                                                                          43%

                                                                                                    2020 n = 47
                                                        2020      2019                              2019 n = 37

                                                                                                          Source: RedThread Research, 2020.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.          People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   6
PAT Critical to Staying in Touch with Employees
People analytics tech has enabled leaders to keep a check on employee
pulse throughout the year, especially as fatigue from the pandemic began
                                                                                         People analytics
to set in. For example, 75% of employees in the U.S. reported symptoms of
burnout toward the last quarter of 2020.2 Further, findings from a survey
                                                                                         tech that focused on
by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 41% of                   employee engagement
American adults struggled with mental-health issues stemming from                        and experience helped
the pandemic.3                                                                          business leaders
For example, orgs that leveraged this tech to boost their existing (or                   understand what was
to design new) listening strategies were better able to support their                    happening with their
employees as they faced rapid and unexpected changes.4                                   people—both with data
Today, as COVID vaccinations roll out worldwide, a sense of hope is                      and at scale.
starting to emerge. Leaders are looking to reshape the future and redesign
new ways of working. To do this effectively, they must understand how
employees are feeling and how their needs are changing.

From measuring how employees feel about returning to offices, to making
recommendations to managers on how they can communicate effectively
                                                                                         Once again, people
to keep employees engaged, PAT can be pivotal in helping employers
                                                                                         analytics tech is poised to
redesign their workplace strategies.
                                                                                         play a crucial role.
PAT Market Evolving Quickly
Given how rapidly business needs have changed, it’s no surprise that the
PAT market has continued to grow and evolve in 2021. In the first 3 months
of this year, we’ve witnessed some big players make important moves that
reflect the growth and evolution of this market.

•   Workday announced its acquisition of Peakon, an employee
    engagement solution

•   The IPO of Qualtrics, an experience management platform

•   The launch of Microsoft’s Viva, an employee experience solution

A Closer Look
The employee engagement and experience market is critical and
changing rapidly, and it deserves a deeper study than we gave it in

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   7
2020. The purpose of this research is to provide those responsible for
employee engagement and experience (HR leaders, people analytics
practitioners and managers) with greater insights on this technology,
specifically around:

•   The role of people analytics in employee engagement and experience

•   The different vendors in this space and how best to understand
    their offerings

Before we dive into the specifics, we want to take a moment to define the 2
terms “employee engagement” and “employee experience”—and how they
connect to each other.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   8
Understanding
Employee Engagement &
Experience

Let’s start with first clarifying the definitions for both of these terms.

Employee engagement: A measure of energy, involvement, and concentration
that is exhibited in work attitudes and behaviors. It is a measure of how an
employee feels and behaves at a particular point in time.

Employee experience: Employees› collective perceptions of their ongoing
interactions with the org. It encapsulates the ongoing perceptions of an
employee’s interactions with the org through their entire journey

Given these definitions, it is clear that employee experience has a much
broader scope than employee engagement. Figure 2 below highlights a
few other main differences between these 2 terms.

Figure 2: Differences Between Employee Experience & Employee Engagement

                                          Employee
                                         Experience
                                                            =                        Employee
                                                                                    Engagement

                                               Cause                                  Effect
                                         Bottom-up                                    Top-down
                                        Broad scope                                   Narrow scope
                       What employees perceive                                        What employees do

                                                                                                    Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.    People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   9
So how should we understand the relationship between these 2 terms?

Basically, how an employee behaves is a direct result of their perceptions                  Employee engagement is
based on all their interactions with the org throughout their lifecycle. So,                an outcome of employee
employees will be more engaged with their work if they have an overall                      experience.
positive experience with the org.

Figure 3: Understanding The Relationship Between Organizational Interactions,
Employee Experience & Employee Engagement

                           Ongoing                        Employee                              Employee
                        Organizational                   Experience                            Engagement
                         Interactions

                      What organization                 What employee                     How employee feels
                            does                          perceives                         and behaves

                                                                                                     Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

How Tech Can Help
Tech plays a critical role in helping orgs with both employee engagement
and experience. Such solutions can:

•   Offer tools for leaders to check-in and connect with their employees to
    improve their interactions with people

•   Provide an internal platform for employees to communicate and share
    information to improve interactions with the overall org

•   Enable orgs to listen to their employees in a continuous manner to
    understand how they feel

So, how has PAT leveraged these capabilities to help leaders with their
challenges around employee engagement and experience? We take a
closer look at this in the next section.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.    People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   10
Employee Engagement
And Experience
Vendors’ Capabilities

Before we venture any further, let’s define an employee engagement or
experience people analytics tech vendor.

Employee engagement or experience technology vendor:
A vendor that uses people data to understand employee engagement
or experience.

In our 2020 people analytics study,5 we grouped all participating vendors
under 9 categories, based on their tech and analysis (organizational
network analysis, text analysis, workforce planning, or multisource
analysis) or the talent areas they focus on (labor market analysis, learning,
employee engagement and experience, employee coaching, or HCM /
integrated talent management).

Employee engagement and experience was the biggest category in our
study, with 36% of all vendors. PAT providers in this space offer capabilities
that enable customers to do four things, as outlined in Figure 4:

Figure 4: Role Played by PAT in Employee Engagement & Experience

          Collect and analyze                Collect and analyze           Integrate and analyze                 Highlight areas
           perception data                      passive data                 different data that                   of concerns
                directly                      on interactions /                drive employee                    and recommend
           from employees                    work / environment          engagement and experience               actions to users

                                                                                                               Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.              People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   11
Specific to current times, vendors have leveraged these capabilities in
several ways to help their customers. Figure 5 provides details on each of
the roles identified in Figure 4.

Figure 5: Roles Played by PAT Vendors to Help Customers with Employee Engagement &
Experience—2020-2021

             WHAT                                       HOW                          IN 2020                             IN 2021

                                      From employees via                 To keep a check on                  To understand the
Collect and analyze                   COVID-19, reopen- and              employees’ needs                    different preferences and
perception data directly              return-to-work-specific            and challenges due to               needs as offices reopen
from employees                        surveys, pulses, and               COVID-19 and remote
                                      feedback                           working

                                      On interactions,                   To identify shifting                To understand different
Collect and analyze
                                      work, networks, and                patterns and work                   work behaviors patterns
passive data on
                                      environment via                    behaviors to improve                and activities of a hybrid
interactions /
                                      communication and                  wellbeing and help avoid            workforce, and promote
work / environment
                                      productivity tools                 burnout                             overall wellbeing

                                      Perception data from               To understand the impact            To understand the
                                      different surveys (e.g.,           of COVID-19 across the              different employee needs
Integrate and analyze
                                      engagement, return-                different digital aspects           and their impact across
different data that drive
                                      to-work, COVID-19,                 of employee engagement              the different digital
employee engagement
                                      onboarding, exit, etc.) and        and experience                      aspects of employee
and experience
                                      passive data                                                           engagement and
                                                                                                             experience

                                      Identify areas of concern          To help facilitate a shift to       To help facilitate a return
                                      and recommend actions              remote working                      to offices or adoption of a
Highlight areas
                                      to specific users (e.g.,                                               hybrid approach
of concerns and
                                      managers, HR business
recommend actions to
                                      partners, people analytics
users
                                      practitioners, and
                                      employees)
                                                                                                             Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.            People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   12
Customers Are Happy
With Their Engagement
And Experience Vendors

Our people analytics study of 2020 included a poll of 72 customers, which
revealed that customers of these PAT solutions are generally satisfied
with them. Specifically, customers gave an average NPS score of 61
for employee engagement and experience vendors (see Figure 6), as
compared with the average score of 67 for all vendors in the study. To put
that into a bit more context, the average NPS for SaaS companies in 2020 is
a score of 40,6 making 61 a great score for PAT vendors in this category.

Figure 6: Average Customer NPS Score for PAT Employee Engagement & Experience
Vendors
                                                                                  Average NPS score

                                                                                          61
                                                                                                               7 vendors scored ≥ 60
                                                                                                               5 vendors scored ≥ 40

    -100                                                                                                                                100

            Needs improvement (-100 - 0)               Good (0 - 30)         Great (30 - 70)            Excellent (70 - 100)

                                                                                Total Eng / exp vendors with customer responses = 12;
                                                                                           minimum 5 customer responses per vendor

                                                                                                            Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.           People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience       |   13
Some of the quotes from the most satisfied customers in this
category include:

“An innovative vendor, constantly improving the
product and providing excellent customer support and
flexibility.”

—Large healthcare company for an employee
experience / engagement analysis solution

“Comprehensive surveying and reporting tool with
good support.”

—Large retailer for an employee experience /
engagement solution

“High flexibility can be used for multiple purposes.”

—Large pharmaceutical company for an employee
experience / engagement solution

PAT will continue to play a crucial role in helping customers as they
prepare themselves to face a new set of challenges related to employee
engagement and experience in 2021 and beyond.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   14
Employee Engagement
And Experience Vendors

Let’s turn to the specific employee engagement and experience vendors,
which we divide into 3 categories:

1.	 Employee engagement (EE) vendors

2.	 Employee experience (EX) vendors

3.	 “Passive primary” vendors

In the content that follows, for each category, we provide a framework
that is based on the heritage of the vendors, such as founder or
                                                                                           The origins and
acquisition history.
                                                                                           backgrounds of the
At the end of each category, we provide a set of checklists to help both                   vendors, as well as if
customers and vendors think about some key questions when selecting or                     they’ve been acquired
selling tech (respectively).
                                                                                           or have acquired others,
We provide our summary thoughts on each vendor included in this space,                     influences the capabilities
which includes details on their approach to data creation, acquisition                     they offer and how they
history, a customer NPS, if available, along with what excites us, in the
                                                                                           go to market.
appendix. For a complete RedThread assessment on each vendor, please
visit our interactive tool. Readers can use the tool to click on the logo of a
vendor and read our assessment for them.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   15
Employee Engagement Vendors
For vendors in the employee engagement (EE) category, we created a
framework with the following groups:

•   Professional services background. Vendors in this group were
    founded by people with a strong background and experience in
    professional services, such as consulting. Their offerings come tightly
    coupled with professional services (although the tech can also be
    purchased on its own).

•   Employee engagement native. These vendors started out as
    engagement survey providers, and their primary bread and butter
    continues to be engagement surveys.

•   Employee engagement via other talent areas. Vendors in this
    group are known for their other products, such as performance
    management, along with employee engagement. A number of vendors
    in this group have either acquired other talent solutions in the past or
    have been acquired themselves—which influences their approach to
    the market and areas of focus.

A clear distinction among these different groups is difficult due to areas of
overlap and, thus, some vendors fall into more than 1 group. All vendors
included in this category:

•   Have a very strong focus and background in developing employee
    engagement and pulse surveys

•   Go to market as an employee engagement platform and have
    traditionally focused on engagement as a primary talent area

•   Have customer success stories that primarily feature examples of
    understanding employee feedback and improving engagement

Figure 7 below shows our framework for this category.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   16
Figure 7: People Analytics Vendors That Focus on Employee Engagement

                     Professional                                                       EE via
                       services                          EE                          other talent
                     background                        native                           areas

                                                                                                  Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

    © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   17
Putting the framework into action
In the following checklists, we offer some key questions for potential
customers and vendors to help them better understand the tech and their
needs, respectively.

                                             Questions to Ask—Customers to Vendors

 Those with a               Can your engagement survey product be purchased as a standalone?
 professional
 services                   Are there additional costs for professional services or are they included as part of the
 background:                 annual subscription cost?

 Those that                 To what extent do you connect engagement data with other organizational data?
 are employee
 engagement
                            To what extent, if any, do you collect passive data?
 native:

 Those that drive           Which other talent areas, beside engagement, are the majority of your customers
 engagement                  currently using your solution for?
 via other talent
 areas:                     How do you connect insights from employee engagement to insights on other
                             talent areas?

 All vendors:               To what extent do you partner with other vendors or solution providers?

                            How do you enable users to take action on challenges and areas of concern identified
                             by the solution?

                            What resources do you provide to enable customers to take action?

                                             Questions to Ask—Vendors to Themselves

  What are the different talent areas our solution can impact, beside engagement?

  What are some of our strengths and capabilities that set us apart?

  How can we better partner with other solutions to improve insights for users?

  To what extent do we enable our users to take quick and agile actions on areas of concern?

  How do we ensure that our insights and recommendations have a bigger impact?

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.       People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   18
Real-World Threads7

Formed in 2010, Coffee Circle is a German coffee-roasting company that
employs 70 people.

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Coffee Circle began leveraging the
people analytics solution for engagement purposes to support its employees
through the crisis. As Deborah Moschioni, Head of HR, explained,

“We wanted to understand how everyone was feeling during this
difficult period so that any means of supporting them better could
be identified. Additionally, the wording of the COVID response
templates was particularly compassionate and mindful of the
situations many of the respondents may be facing.”

In April 2020, Coffee Circle ran its Recent Changes survey, based on its people
analytics solution’s Emergency Response template. With a 74% response rate,
the survey identified 3 areas as having the most positive ratings:

1.	 Trust and support in regard to the measures the org had put in place to
      address the pandemic

2.	 An appreciation of how the leaders had been communicating

3.    An appreciation of having more free time and flexibility

The survey highlighted pain points around the difficulties in staying focused,
remaining productive, a lack of social connection, and having feelings of
anxiety. The company addressed these issues by introducing daily check-in
calls between leaders and their teams, and a virtual kitchen so that people
could still find a space where they could chat with others.

As the situation started to normalize, Coffee Circle began to explore what
employees needed moving forward and identify any aspects of their working
life which may be holding them back. The company used its people analytics
solution’s tailored Return to Work template and launched a Needs and
Learning survey at the end of June 2020.

The data showed that people’s attitudes had shifted, with 42% now valuing
professional growth. Since the data also showed an appreciation for flexibility
and autonomy (42%), Coffee Circle decided to continue operating a hybrid
working model, with people able to choose how and where they work best.

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.      People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   19
Employee Experience Vendors
For vendors in the employee experience (EX) category, we created a frame-
work with the following 2 groups:

•   Focused on employee engagement and experience. Vendors in this
    group focus on engagement and experience, and provide insights
    that are primarily focused on creating and improving personalized
    experiences for employees throughout their lifecycle

•   Focused on customer experience. Vendors in this group provide
    capabilities to capture and analyze customer experience data, and
    connect that to other types of data

Given our focus on employee experience vendors, we don’t include
vendors that only focus on customer experience. Instead, we included
vendors that focus on customer experience in addition to the other two
areas of employee engagement and employee experience.

All employee experience solutions included here also focus on
engagement, and provide engagement and pulse surveys. However, we
included these vendors in this category instead of engagement because:

•   Several vendors have a strong focus and background in customer
    experience, and can help users connect those insights with
    employee experience

•   Several vendors provide capabilities that collect data from the digital
    exhaust and connect active data with passive data—thus, providing a
    more continuous listening approach

•   They go to market as an enterprise experience platform

Figure 8 shows our framework for this category.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   20
Figure 8: People Analytics Vendors That Focus on Employee Experience

                                              Focused on                      Focused
                                                EE + EX                        on CX

                                                      Viva

                                                                                                         Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

    © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.          People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   21
Putting the framework into action
In the following checklists, we offer some key questions for potential
customers and vendors to help them better understand the tech and their
customers’ needs, respectively.

                                             Questions to Ask—Customers to Vendors

 Those focused               To what extent, if at all, do you collect passive data to measure employee experience?
 on engagement
 and experience:             What listening channels do you use to capture employee data?

                             What other data do you integrate with?

 Those focused               What percentage of your customers are using both customer experience as well as
 on customer                  employee experience products?
 experience:
                             To what extent, if at all, do you collect passive data to measure employee experience?

                             What is your approach to using employee experience data to drive customer
                              experience?

 All vendors:                To what extent do you partner with other vendors or solution providers?

                             How do you enable users to take action on challenges and areas of concern identified
                              by you?

                             What resources do you provide to enable action taking?

                                             Questions to Ask—Vendors to Themselves

  To what extent are we providing additional capabilities, beside engagement surveys, that can impact and
   improve employee experience?

  To what extent are we holistically capturing and measuring all the significant experiences in the employee
   journey?

  What other additional data sources can we leverage?

  How can we better partner with other solutions to improve insights for users?

  To what extent do we enable our users to take quick and agile actions on areas of concern?

  How do we ensure that our insights and recommendations have an impact?

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.       People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   22
Real-World Threads8

Southwest Airlines has always believed that, if the company takes care of its
employees, then the employees will take of its customers.

Once the pandemic hit, the company soon realized that, due to the low load
factors on its flights along with the unpredictability of the virus, it needed to
adjust very quickly. Luckily, a few years earlier, Southwest had partnered with
its people analytics tech provider to map out its employee company journey.
So, when the company began feeling the impact of COVID-19, leaders turned
to that journey to make sure they were thinking through all the moments
that matter.

Figure 9: Southwest Airlines Employee Journey

                                                     Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

   © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.            People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   23
With the help of its people analytics tech, Southwest tackled challenges
specific to the time of the crisis, such as:

•    Creating bite-size virtual learning

•    Shifting resources to move people where they’re needed

•    Giving employees new opportunities

•    Developing enhancements for remote learning

•    Providing tools and resources

The company offered employees voluntary time-off and a voluntary
separation package, and set up a recognition program for departing
employees. The company rolled out a range of surveys throughout the year
that focused on specific areas, such as:

•    For frontline and HQs employees focusing on overall sentiment,
     leadership communication, confidence, and health and safety

•    Remote work, productivity, leadership support, and return to campus
     sentiment

•    D&I and hospitality

Southwest also created an exit survey for those who voluntarily separated
from the company. The insights from the PAT solution helped the company
focus on better equipping its leaders and served as key inputs into the future
remote work policy.

Working with its PAT solution as a partner, Southwest had previously created
a set of personas that represent where and how its employees work, as
well as where they are in their career journey. Once the pandemic hit, the
company added a COVID lens to these personas to address their specific
employee needs. Leaders also created new personas based on the state
of COVID-19 and the company, and developed a set of actions that leaders
could take to help employees.

Southwest continues to use these insights to design new solutions for pain
points, identify specific communication and training needs, and better equip
its leaders.

    © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.    People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   24
“Passive Primary” Vendors
Recently, we’ve come across a few vendors that have traditionally swum
in slightly different lanes of talent areas, but which are starting to market
themselves in the engagement space. These vendors are not survey
providers. They do not collect employee perception data directly from
employees, and thus, do not measure employee engagement in the
traditional manner.

These vendors collect passive data—created by employees through digital
communications, emails, and collaboration tools—to provide insights
                                                                                           “Passive primary”
on employee attitudes and work behaviors, and, thus, understand
engagement levels. Others apply their services—such as text analysis—to
                                                                                           vendors are PAT solution
feedback data already collected by the customer to identify patterns and                   providers that use
themes that can be used to understand employee engagement.                                 passive data to produce
                                                                                           insights for the purpose
For vendors in this category, we created a framework with the following
2 groups:                                                                                 of understanding and
                                                                                           improving employee
•   Text analysis. Vendors in this group use sophisticated text analysis to
                                                                                           engagement and
    understand how employees feel
                                                                                           experience.
•   Organizational network analysis (ONA). Vendors in this group collect
    employee communication and network data, and apply collaboration
    analytics to understand employee engagement levels

This framework is helpful in introducing consumers to instances in which
employee engagement can be understood through approaches that don’t
involve any surveys. These vendors provide a new way of measuring and
understanding employee engagement.

A big challenge that these solutions are able to overcome is self-reported
high engagement levels in employee surveys. The flipside to this are the
obvious legal, privacy, and security risks that such data collection methods
bring along with them.

Figure 10 shows our framework for these vendors.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   25
Figure 10: People Analytics Vendors That Impact Employee Engagement and / or
Experience

                                              Text Analysis                       ONA

                                                                                                          Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

    © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.           People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   26
Putting the framework into action
In the following checklists, we offer some key questions for potential
customers and vendors to help them better understand the tech and their
needs, respectively.

                                             Questions to Ask—Customers to Vendors

 Those focused               What kinds of themes and categories, as well as prescriptive comments that relate to
 on text analysis:            employee engagement, can the solution identify?

                             To what extent can the text analysis identify comments and themes that have the most
                              value for understanding employee engagement?

 Those focused               What kinds of employee data do you analyze to measure employee engagement?
 on ONA:
                             How do you use network data to understand employee engagement?

 All vendors:                How do you measure employee engagement?

                             To what extent do you partner with other vendors or solution providers?

                             What’s your approach to data ethics, security, and privacy? How do you overcome
                              concerns around these issues?

                             How do you enable users to take action on challenges and areas of concern identified
                              by you?

                             What resources do you provide to enable action taking?

                                             Questions to Ask—Vendors to Themselves

  To what extent are we aligned with our users on how we approach and define employee engagement?

  What other additional data should we be collecting to measure employee experience?

  How can we better partner with other solutions to improve insights for users?

  To what extent do we currently work with our customers as partners on issues around data ethics, security,
   and privacy?

  To what extent do we enable our users to take quick and agile actions on areas of concern?

  How do we ensure our insights and recommendations have an impact?

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.       People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   27
Real-World Threads9
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) leveraged a PAT solution
to turn Yammer into a listening tool for the executives and leaders: This
provided them with the data to show the impact of their connection on
employee engagement. The data have been a catalyst for getting ANZ’s
executives and leaders connecting on Yammer as it shows the impact of
leaders’ actions, resulting in increased executive engagement. The company
can use the data to look at conversations that’ve been really engaging or not
so engaging.

With an already well-established Yammer network across the ANZ business,
Yammer Communities went “berserk” during the COVID-19 pandemic,
when most employees suddenly found themselves working from home (see
Figure 11). Each day, employees were encouraged to post their questions
in Yammer. The team facilitating Yammer then reviewed the questions and
focused on the most important and popular.

“The engagement was huge. We saw a huge uptake in mobile logins. I
think on our top day we had 14,000 people log in.”

—Richy Cartmell, Yammer Community Manager, ANZ

Figure 11: A Screenshot of ANZ’s Community Dashboard

                                                     Source: RedThread Research, 2021.

The team has been using polling as a method of engagement to
discover the wants and needs of employees. Early in the bank’s
COVID-19 response, it posted a poll on Yammer asking how ANZ
employees felt about returning to the office. The poll received more

   © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   28
than 3,500 votes and 120+ replies: People explained they were more
concerned about safely getting to and from work than the risk of
transmission in the office.

Data from the analytics tool is available for all ANZ employees to
access, along with the solution’s internal training sessions. When
people see their own online behaviors’ data, it acts as a “wake-up
call” to encourage the right behaviors on Yammer and leads to
conversations on how to improve collaboration.

   © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   29
Looking Forward

We expect to see the PAT employee engagement and experience space
change and evolve in the near future in the following ways:

•   Increasing number of new players. The market is poised to keep
    growing for the foreseeable future for the following reasons:

    ⸰     Everybody wants more data. As companies look to reopen their
          offices or adopt a hybrid approach, deeper and regular insights
          from perception and passive data will continue to be critical for
          leaders and managers.

    ⸰     The personal now impacts the professional. Areas that were once
          considered separate from the workplace and owned by individuals—
          such as physical and mental wellbeing, and work-life balance—became
          crucial drivers for employee engagement and experience during
          remote work. Employers now see themselves as more responsible for
          these areas as they impact an employee’s overall experience with the
          org and drive engagement. Tech solutions in this space can help.

•   Rise of nontraditional engagement and experience vendors. Users
    will increasingly see the value of applying PAT solutions—that use
    nontraditional methods of data collection, and don’t go to market
    as either engagement or experience solutions—to impact these
    areas. Similar to DEIB tech, we foresee more tech vendors offering
    capabilities for the purpose of engagement and experience. For
    example, with collaboration and wellbeing seen as crucial drivers
    for engagement and experience, ONA can offer useful insights to
    users. We’re already starting to see this growing shift with vendors as
    mentioned in our “passive primary” vendors section.

•   Enabling action. PAT vendors within this space will do more than
    just collect and analyze data: They’ll increasingly provide specific and
    targeted recommended actions as part of their solution offerings.
    Additionally, they’ll also offer users more and more resources within
    their platforms that’ll enable them to act on those recommendations.

        © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   30
Conclusion

Employee listening became a strategic priority for leaders in 2020 and will
continue to be critical in 2021. Efforts to understand and drive employee
engagement and experience enabled companies to weather the storms,
so to speak. While the pandemic will eventually come to an end and
social unrest will be addressed (we hope!), lessons learned during these
turbulent times will stick with us far into the foreseeable future.

Leaders must continue investing in these areas if they want to successfully
survive and work through future disruptions. People analytics tech, that
focuses on these areas, can help orgs care for their employees and be
better prepared for the future.

      © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.   People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   31
Appendix 1

This section contains a part of our RedThread Assessments for each
vendor. For additional information and details on the vendors, such as
their customer NPS score and capabilities, check out our interactive People
Analytics Technology tool.

                                                       EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

  Company’s Name                              Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                              In early 2020, Betterworks, a performance            •    Connections to key results that allow
                              management-focused solution, acquired                     users to track progress toward achieving
                              Hyphen, an employee engagement solution                   them
                              and a participant in our 2019 study. The             •    Ability for employees and managers to
                              acquisition allows Betterworks to compete                 share information with HR through a
                              in the performance / engagement /                         “Confidential Questions” tool
                              recognition / analytics category that we’ve
                              seen numerous other vendors join in the
                              last few years. We’re looking forward to next
                              year when we can begin to see the results of
                              the acquisition through new products that
                              customers have used.
                               A long-time leader in the employee                  •    Integrations with core workplace
                               engagement / experience space, Culture                   tools (e.g., Slack and Teams) to enable
                               Amp delved into the world of performance                 feedback giving and collection in the
                               management with its 2018 acquisition of                  flow of work
                               Zugata. We’re now able to see the deeper            •    Guided support for 1:1 conversations
                               integration between these engagement                     within its performance tool
                               and performance products that can help
                               users to have a more holistic view of their         •    Clear principles that guide the work
                               employee experience. This approach                       (i.e., employee experience is everyone’s
                               allows Culture Amp to offer employees and                responsibility; trust and accessibility is
                               managers information that is actionable, in              paramount; research and science guide
                               addition to providing HR and leaders with                us forward)
                               powerful insights. The vendor has been              •    Passive data collection for network
                               expanding to diverse industries, including               analysis
                               technology, construction, and engineering.
                               Customer NPS: 89

     © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   32
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Company’s Name                             Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                            One of the only 2 vendors in our study              •    Focused on helping customers hire
                            that’s founded and led by a woman, Fortay                talent that’s a “culture add” instead of a
                            is different from the other employee                     “culture fit”
                            experience platforms with its focus on              •    Strong focus on belonging in the
                            diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging              platform, from creating belonging at
                            (DEIB). The company was a grant recipient of             hiring to measuring it as a key business
                            Women Entrepreneur Fund awarded by the                   metric during the employee experience
                            Government of Canada in 2018.
                            Customer NPS: 40                                    •    Offers intersectionality enhancements to
                                                                                     provide more nuanced insights relative
                                                                                     to demographic segments

                            Acquired by LinkedIn in 2018, Glint has             •    Its upcoming solution for individual
                            grown over the years from a solely employee              contributors – allowing employees to
                            engagement solution to connecting                        seek feedback, set goals, check-in on
                            development and learning to improve the                  progress, and learn new skills
                            overall employee experience. Much of the            •    NLP for feedback
                            leadership from before the acquisition
                            remains in place, allowing Glint to continue        •    One thing that stood out to us when we
                            to benefit from its start-up roots while taking          tested the vendor’s demo environment
                            advantage of the scale offered by LinkedIn               was the simple dashboard design and
                            and Microsoft.                                           the seamless manner by which managers
                            Customer NPS: 57                                         can view and set their goals, enable
                                                                                     actions, tag other team members, search
                                                                                     for goals set by others, and track their
                                                                                     progress against key results
                                                                                •    We also really like Glint’s overall focus
                                                                                     on driving actions; for example, the
                                                                                     ability to share goals with anyone in
                                                                                     the organization (not just managers),
                                                                                     to enable cross-functional teams, and
                                                                                     the integration with learning content
                                                                                     within user dashboards, as well as the
                                                                                     provision of Glint-suggested actions to
                                                                                     help users make progress on their goals

                            A new addition to this year’s study, Peakon         •    Offers True Benchmark® capability,
                            is an employee engagement / experience                   which adjusts for biases in how different
                            vendor founded in 2015 in Denmark.                       employee demographics respond to
                            Given its relatively younger age, the                    surveys and builds custom benchmarks
                            vendor has built into its system from the                based on the composition of teams
                            beginning some of the newer engagement              •    Simple manager dashboards
                            / experience capabilities we see, such as
                            integration of employee NPS scores, D&I             •    Generally transparent about NPS and
                            analytics, and action-focused manager and                customer satisfaction scores
                            employee portals.                                   •    Our testing of the demo environment
                            Customer NPS: 67                                         showed the platform can quickly surface
                                                                                     and highlight drivers of engagement
                                                                                     that the company is performing well on,
                                                                                     and the areas it needs to prioritize by
                                                                                     benchmarking them against the industry
                                                                                     or the rest of the company

  © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   33
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Company’s Name                             Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                            Perceptyx has invested significantly in             •    Manager dashboards that quickly
                            thought leadership on how the people                     highlight areas which need focus,
                            analytics community can adjust to the                    suggested actions, and learning
                            challenges of 2020. For example, once the                resources to help enable those actions
                            pandemic hit, Perceptyx launched a series           •    Communities that provide access to
                            of weekly roundtable discussions during                  “best-practice experts”
                            which leaders shared actions, approaches,
                            and insights on how their organizations             •    Integration of data from LMS and CRM
                            were responding to the crisis. As 2020 has               systems
                            worn on, the vendor shifted its focus to            •    Offering complimentary pulse surveys,
                            conversations on ongoing challenges, like                as well as industry specific surveys,
                            understanding civil unrest, addressing stress            to clients and nonclients during the
                            and burnout, and retaining women during                  pandemic
                            the pandemic.
                                                                                •    Strong customer NPS score
                                                                                •    Strong connection between vendor’s
                                                                                     values and the products it delivers

                            Qlearsite provides a predictive HR analytics        •    Did not participate in the 2020 briefing
                            platform.

                            A performance management-focused                    •    Ability for users to build action plans in
                            solution, Reflektive recently went through               the future
                            a leadership change and will be making              •    Advanced sentiment analyses
                            significant updates to the product, as well as           capabilities in the future
                            its UI / UX in the coming year.

                            A new addition to our technology study              •    A ready-to-use Inclusion and Diversity
                            this year, Willis Towers Watson has more                 survey template, along with several
                            than 100 years of experience in offering                 others, such as Corporate Function
                            insurance, advisory, and consulting services             Effectiveness, Onboarding, Performance
                            across the globe, and launched its SaaS                  Management, Cyber Risk Culture,
                            employee engagement solution in 2017. The                COVID-19, and Leading Through Crisis,
                            company also recently announced a merger                 among others
                            with Aon.                                           •    Ability to conduct correlations between
                                                                                     results from different surveys within the
                                                                                     advanced analytics tool
                                                                                •    An upcoming new look and feel for the
                                                                                     manager dashboard that easily surfaces
                                                                                     insights crucial for them

  © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   34
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Company’s Name                             Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                            One of the older vendors, Confirmit is a new        •    Manager dashboard that allows users to
                            addition to this year’s study and joins the              quickly see insights that matter to them
                            category of EX vendors that also offers CX               and take action on them
                            capabilities.                                       •    Built a “Ask me @ Home” app to allow
                            Customer NPS: 67                                         employees to give feedback any
                                                                                     time they want; launched during the
                                                                                     pandemic
                                                                                •    A notable list of global Fortune 100 and
                                                                                     500 enterprises with strong customer
                                                                                     success examples

                            Ennova takes a thoughtful approach to               •    Offers the ability to download a
                            sharing the necessary data and insights with             PowerPoint presentation directly from
                            the user, based on their roles and areas of              the tool that contains the results, along
                            concerns. Shared in a clear and quick-to-                with suggestions on how to proceed in
                            understand manner via the dashboards,                    sharing them at a team meeting
                            users are able to identify areas that need          •    Provides a one-point access to its full
                            focus and do a deeper dive on them if                    EX product portfolio that includes
                            needed.                                                  engagement, Pulse, 360, Journey, self-
                            Customer NPS: 83                                         service team tool, and wellbeing tools
                                                                                •    Works with customers to promote data
                                                                                     transparency, while designing policies to
                                                                                     restrict access to private data

                            Based on briefing conducted in 2019: Humu           •    Did not participate in the 2020 briefing
                            combines behavioral science and machine
                            learning to nudge managers and employees
                            toward behavior change with time-based
                            alerts.

                            Established in 2018, Macrova is a relatively        •        Provides the ability for users to
                            new entry into the employee engagement                   export their recommended actions to
                            and experience market as well as our study.              tools where people work, such as Asana,
                            The company was founded by partners                      Slack, Teams etc.
                            that are focused on streamlining the user           •        Manager specific recommendations,
                            experience and interface to identify gaps in             in addition to individual actions, to help
                            employee and customer experience.                        them better support their team

  © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   35
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

 Company’s Name                              Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                              2019-20 was a busy year for Medallia as not         •    Athena, an AI product, that automatically
                              only did the vendor go public on the New                 discovers suggestions and ideas within
                              York Stock Exchange in July 2019, raising                employee feedback comments and
                              $326 million at a $2.5 billion valuation,                identifies employee actions most likely
                              but it also completed 7 acquisitions with                to impact customer satisfaction
                              2 additional acquisitions announced and             •    Employee dashboards that allow
                              pending completion. The vendor also                      individuals to access metrics on how the
                              launched some “freemium” offerings during                company and their team are performing
                              the COVID-19 pandemic along with an                      over time, and feedback given by them
                              EX Micropulse, a 3-question survey with                  to the company, as well as track their
                              integrated text analytics tuned to COVID                 own sentiments and experience over
                              topics.                                                  time
                              Customer NPS: 40
                                                                                  •    Deeper integrations with new tools, such
                                                                                       as Crowdicity, Living Lens, VOCI, and
                                                                                       Zingle, for a more seamless data flow
                                                                                  •    New investments in EX thought
                                                                                       leadership, such as a center of
                                                                                       excellence, new research, and an EX
                                                                                       community
                                                                                  •    Users can subscribe to personalized
                                                                                       alerts and notifications for metrics and
                                                                                       events that matter to them
                                                                                  •    Our testing of the demo environment in
                                                                                       a manager role showed that the solution
                                                                                       can surface to the top key insights
                                                                                       relevant to the manager, broken up into
                                                                                       sections that cover insights on how the
                                                                                       manager’s department is doing, feeling,
                                                                                       and saying

Microsoft Viva                Did not participate in the briefing                 •    Did not participate in the briefing

                              Having acquired Strategic Management                •    Offers a holistic and data-integrated
                              Decisions (SMD) in 2019, a participant in our            solution for understanding all aspects of
                              previous study, Press Ganey is, thus, kind of            healthcare employees’ experiences and
                              a new addition to our study this year. With              impact on critical patient outcomes
                              the combination of SMD and other recent             •    High-quality data science embedded
                              acquisitions, such as Avatar Solutions (a                throughout the solution
                              patient and workforce solution), NarrativeDx
                              (an NLP technology) and Doctor.com (a               •    Cleaner, easier-to-consume UI as a
                              consumerism technology), Press Ganey has                 result of the acquisition
                              created a robust offering to help healthcare        •    Expansion of the workforce comment
                              customers manage employee engagement                     analytics (NLP) to integrate patient
                              effectively.                                             experience sentiment that includes
                              Customer NPS: 67                                         analytics from social sites, such as Yelp,
                                                                                       Indeed, and Glassdoor

    © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   36
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Company’s Name                             Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                            Qualtrics continues its extremely strong            •    Launch of the Diversity, Equity, and
                            growth, partly due to the expanded need for              Inclusion methodology and index
                            employee listening and actioning resulting          •    Focus on quick starts for customers and
                            from the COVID-19 pandemic (it launched                  the ability to have service thresholds
                            10 new COVID-19 solutions – 6 free and 4                 customized to customers’ needs (i.e.,
                            paid). Qualtrics designed its Employee XM                ranging from truly self-service to high-
                            (EXM) platform to build a no. of targeted                touch custom solutions)
                            solutions on top of it (engagement, lifecycle,
                            continuous, etc.), which enables it to flexibly     •    Greater focus on managers and
                            develop and deploy new offerings quickly.                teams via manager and team action
                            With a recent announcement of an IPO                     collaboration
                            in August, Qualtrics will be going public 2         •    Integrations with Slack, SMS, and
                            years after its acquisition by SAP (https://             web intercepts for a more continuous
                            redthreadresearch.com/2020/07/27/                        employee listening approach
                            why-is-sap-selling-qualtrics/), though SAP
                                                                                •    Advanced NLP capabilities through
                            will maintain a majority ownership stake. It
                                                                                     semantic text analysis that allow users
                            collects perception as well as passive data.
                                                                                     to understand the wider context of the
                            Customer NPS: 40
                                                                                     comments and feedback both at the end
                                                                                     of survey administration in dashboards,
                                                                                     as well as during the surveying process
                                                                                     to solicit deeper responses

                            Questback, similar to some of its                   •    Greater investments in the ability to pull
                            competitors in the EX space, offers a                    any type of existing active or passive
                            combination of employee experience,                      data from different sources, including
                            customer experience, and market research                 other existing survey platforms with
                            to customers. The vendor launched                        organizations, and data management
                            “Freemium” offerings during the COIVD-19                 capabilities
                            pandemic to help organizations manage               •    Upcoming investments in capabilities
                            their employee experience. Based in                      for users to automate workflows to
                            Norway, the vendor currently has offices in 9            help manage employee experience
                            countries.                                               through their lifecycle journeys,
                            Customer NPS: 57                                         including launching surveys at specific
                                                                                     points of the employee lifecycle, inviting
                                                                                     employees to specific portals, or inviting
                                                                                     them for onboarding feedback
                                                                                •    Flexibility in pricing, ranging from
                                                                                     freemium to DIY surveys to full
                                                                                     enterprise pricing; also has additional
                                                                                     pricing models based on business need,
                                                                                     volume, and value

  © 2021 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved.        People Analytics Tech: Deep Diving Into Employee Engagement & Experience   |   37
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Company’s Name                             Summary Thoughts                                      What Excites Us

                            Focused on employee experience, SMG –               •    Provides users with a “period end”
                            while a comparatively older XM (experience               report that includes areas of focus using
                            management) vendor – is a new addition to                algorithms customizable by clients which
                            our study this year. The vendor offered free,            recommend areas of focus to improve
                            limited-time offerings during COVID-19 that              engagement for each unit: The areas are
                            included pulse surveys to focus on COVID                 different for each unit or team, based on
                            preparedness and return to work initiatives,             the survey responses
                            and an always-on Voice of Employee offering         •    Action planning tool within the solution
                            available to clients as well nonclients.                 that is prepopulated with areas of focus
                            Customer NPS: 60                                         specific to the team or unit manager,
                                                                                     allowing them to assign actions against
                                                                                     them, and track and measure progress
                                                                                     over time
                                                                                •    Allows users to integrate content from
                                                                                     their LMS directly into their action
                                                                                     planning tool

                            Worklytics recently expanded its strategy           •    Began providing a “WFH Readiness
                            from just focusing on providing insights on              Score” to companies during the crisis,
                            employee experience via dashboards to                    along with a benchmark score based
                            different users, to helping people analytics             on ~20 companies as comparison, to
                            teams aggregate and manage their                         help them understand what’s working
                            passive employee data. People analytics                  well and what needs to be improved for
                            practitioners can import that data and                   remote work
                            metrics into their existing data warehouses         •    The insights and recommendations from
                            or data lakes, as appropriate.                           WFH reports can help organizations plan
                            Customer NPS: 60                                         around questions, such as what’s next,
                                                                                     which employees to bring back to the
                                                                                     office, and what’ll be the impact of going
                                                                                     fully remote
                                                                                •    Value for mature people analytics
                                                                                     practitioners looking for raw data
                                                                                     with metrics to plug into their existing
                                                                                     systems and run their own analyses

                            Yva is a spinoff from ABBYY, an AI company          •    The increased focus on data
                            that helps customers with their digital                  anonymization, employee privacy, and
                            transformation. The latest upgrades                      security by aggregating data, allowing
                            and changes in the solution include a                    employees to opt-in and opt-out of data
                            shift to helping customers understand                    collection when they want, and ensuring
                            employee experience by analyzing (passive)               customers either self-host their data on
                            collaboration data and (active) employee                 the cloud or on-premise
                            surveys. Compared with the last time we saw         •    4 very clear user roles (CEO, HR,
                            this solution, Yva has increased its focus on            manager, employee) with different types
                            employee privacy, choice, and security.                  of insights provided for each
                                                                                •    Recent addition of ability to measure
                                                                                     5 styles of informal / influencing
                                                                                     leadership

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