What’s Your X-Data Strategy?
Ready or not — the Employee Experience Management revolution has begun
For many years, human resources (HR) applications have been largely focused on capturing transactional data across an employment life cycle. This data — often referred to as operational data, or O-data — is used to measure the effectiveness of HR business processes, track compliance, and demonstrate HR’s value to the organisation. As valuable as O-data is, it typically does not capture the sentiment information that is needed to accurately measure, act on, and improve the employee experience. This data is called experience data, or X-data, and is often captured in surveys that record how employees feel about their jobs, the company, and the career opportunities they are offered. More importantly, X-data can be used by HR organisations to better engage employees to increase satisfaction, improve retention rates, and reduce costly turnover.
How important is employee experience to HR organisations? In a recent SAPinsider survey of 278 individuals across 129 SAP customers, 43% of respondents said that their HR strategies are driven most by higher expectations for improved employee experience. This trend has not gone unnoticed by SAP. Since announcing its acquisition of Qualtrics for $8 billion in late 2018, SAP has been moving rapidly to leverage the SAP Qualtrics Employee Engagement solution to transform employee experience through the measurement and analysis of X-data.
Expert Advice: Start Small
Over the last several months, the blogosphere has been filled with content explaining the SAP Qualtrics Employee Engagement solution and offering tutorials on X-data and O-data. To go beyond product roadmaps and to understand how customers should proceed, SAPinsider interviewed Sven Ringling, Director at Adessa Group and head of the firm’s SAP Qualtrics practice. Ringling ’s first piece of advice for customers looking to enter the world of employee experience management is simple: Start small and expand over time.
For customers to be successful, they need to first develop a roadmap that ties their employee experience management plans with their planned use of the SAP Qualtrics solution. Most importantly, Ringling says, surveys should never be launched without first having a plan for assessing results and taking appropriate action after the survey concludes. The ongoing effectiveness of surveys — and their related results — will quickly diminish if employees feel no action is planned, or eventually taken, from the results.