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Experience Management

10 things we learned from the XM Innovation Event

Couldn’t attend our XM Innovation Event? From innovations to ideas and insights, here are 10 key takeaways you should know about.

From the way we interact with the companies we buy from to the ways we work, our world has fundamentally changed. And as a result, every organization in the world is going through an experience transformation.

During our recent XM Innovation Event, we heard from two very special guests, Adam Grant and Venus Williams, about the work they’ve done to innovate, rethink, and break through.

We also showcased our newest innovations, now available using the XM operating system, to help you rethink the experiences you deliver to your customers and employees.

Getting the experience right matters now, more than ever. Here are the 10 key things we learned from the event.

1. Companies that operate from the outside-in will be the ones that succeed moving forward

In the past, companies operated from the inside out. As such, decisions that were made internally were often disconnected from what customers and employees wanted.

But in today’s world, that just doesn’t work. Now, the products, services, and experiences that drive growth will be sourced from the outside-in.

One of our newest innovations, Experience ID, takes experience data – i.e., all the things customers and employees are telling you about what they need and how they’re experiencing your products and services – and breaks it down at an individual level. You can see a personalized view of customers and employees – and their emotions and feelings – as they interact with your company.

That means you can see individual journeys from start to finish, see what’s going well and what isn’t, and identify the precise moments to step in and fix the experience – from the outside-in.

2. Design your future workplace based on work interdependence

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author. During our Innovation Event, we asked him how embracing what you don't know drives innovation – and how it can benefit organizations designing the future of work.

In his research, Adam says there are three types of work interdependence:

  • Individual > Most of the work you’re doing is independent, and therefore you don’t require much synchronous communication. (Remote-first workplaces thrive here.)
  • Relay > If your work is structured like a relay race, you have to ensure the person handing off the baton is in synchronous communication with the person receiving it. (Hybrid environments support this type of work.)
  • Team > If you need to be in the same room (or the same Zoom) and every team member is constantly involved (e.g., at multiple phases of a project), your work is structured like a team sport. In this case, you need both shared meeting time and shared work time. (Office-first environments work best here.)

In the future of work, companies must ask, ‘what kind of culture are we?’ And then align their answer with the work environment that serves them best.

3. HR, IT, and facility teams can work together to drive everyday workplace experiences

As you work through the answer to the above question – and reimagine the future workplace – you might also need to answer questions like...

  • “Do we need to require vaccinations for employees returning to office?”
  • “What kind of flexibility do our employees value the most?”
  • “How should we design the physical space differently so that people want to come to the office?”
  • “What kind of technologies do employees need to collaborate in a hybrid setting?”

With our Employee XM for IT solutions, we give you the insights to inform your decisions and help you take the right actions, and make sure that every team has what they need to be successful.

Read more: How IT and HR can work together to deliver a world-class employee experience

4. There’s an even easier, anonymous way to action feedback from your people

Employee insights are just the start. You also need the right tools to help your managers know exactly what actions to take that will have the greatest impact.

That's why we created Action Idea Boards. It flips action planning on its head and makes the process social and collaborative.

When employee feedback results come in, managers can pick the key areas to focus on, and invite their team to share ideas anonymously, as well as upvote on others' ideas.

For team members, it creates psychological safety to share suggestions to the manager and the team. And for managers, it takes out the guesswork and gives them a prioritized list of actions that are valued by the team. It’s a win-win scenario – employees are more engaged in the process and managers are more committed to these actions.

5. You can turn problems into innovations by rethinking the old-fashioned suggestion box

Some of the most innovative ideas happen when employees spot problems in the wild, have a place to bring them to light – i.e., a problem box – and teams are empowered to solve them.

“The canaries in the coal mine who are good at detecting bugs in the system are not always the people with the authority and the expertise to do something about them.” - Adam Grant

Why does the problem box work? “The canaries in the coal mine who are good at detecting bugs in the system are not always the people with the authority and the expertise to do something about them,” says Adam.

By allocating resources to solving these problems – whether it’s a tech bug, management bug, leadership bug, or culture bug – you might be on the path to your company’s next big innovation.

6. Every organization will need a unique approach to the future of work

As you think about designing a winning employee experience for your people, you must consider how to not only retain and engage your current talent but attract your future employees.

Our new Candidate Experience solution is designed to help talent and people leaders to understand and improve the candidates’ journey, every step of the way.

From application to interview to offer, you will be able to see where candidates are having a great experience, and where the experience falls short. Not only can you see the challenges, but you can also take action. With automated workflows, your recruiting team can get instant notifications when a candidate is having a bad experience, and can quickly take action to intervene in real-time.

Supplemental reading: How to identify and close candidate-experience gaps at your organization

That’s how organizations will differentiate themselves in the future of work – by winning the hearts and minds of candidates as everyone fights for great talent.

7. Innovation drives success – on and off the court

Speaking of winning, many of us know Venus Williams as one of the world’s top tennis players. But Venus is also a successful and innovative entrepreneur, with ventures in activewear, interior design, and most recently, a new plant-based protein company.

During our event, Venus named these as the top skills she learned from her tennis career:

  • How to fail
  • How to work on a team
  • How to reach your goals
  • How to re-evaluate
  • How to self-reflect
  • How to continue to build new skills

Of course, these same skills have helped her find success as an entrepreneur.

In tennis and business, you have to continue to iterate, grow, and innovate – or you’re out of the game. And as for how you know you’re doing something right?

“You know you’re changing the game when you see other people copying your moves,” says Venus.

8. Advocating for equity starts with education

In addition to her professional endeavors, Venus also fights for women’s pay equity in sports.

To get started promoting equity at your organization, she says to:

  • Educate people about the gender pay gap. Women are paid between 81 and 83 cents of every dollar that men are paid. Some people don’t know that; equity starts with education.
  • Be transparent about pay in your organization.
  • Advocate for what’s right. Don’t be afraid to talk about it even when no one else is.

“When I was growing up, I watched Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and I wanted to be there. But when I got there, I realized – wow, I’m not being treated equally. It was a shock and slap in the face. So when I had an opportunity to be a proponent for equal prize money for women in the majors, it was a no brainer. You find yourself in moments in life when you have to stand up for what’s right.” - Venus Williams

Standing up for what’s right is just one part of Venus’s leadership style. She also considers herself to be a coach; one who acknowledges that each member of her team is an individual with unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses. And that leaning into her leadership style, and not trying to emulate anyone else, has served her best.

9. DEI requires taking an innovative approach

Tackling today’s most pressing issues – mitigating employee attrition, keeping your people engaged, and attracting great talent for the future – means taking a multi-pronged approach. One is led by people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

But how do you ensure your employees feel welcome to contribute their ideas and like their voices matter? Unlike so many other diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) solutions, Qualtrics helps you understand not only the overall sense of belonging across your organization, but also how it differs across different diversity groups.

So whether you want to understand the experiences of underrepresented groups, or drill down into intersectional data like race and gender, our solution will tell you the focus areas for DEI improvement so you can create a culture that works for everyone.

10. Uncovering micro-insights takes just minutes

Creating a culture that works for everyone means listening to every voice.

Maybe your female engineers are feeling underrepresented in leadership roles. Maybe your sales team in Europe is feeling disconnected from headquarters.

Now, there’s a new way to find all of these "needle-in-a-haystack" insights – our new Spotlight Insights innovation. It's a powerful tool that pores over mountains of employee experience data and puts a spotlight on micro-segments that have significant experience gaps.

It cuts out weeks, or even months of work, and surfaces hundreds of these insights in minutes.

With Spotlight Insights, you can instantly see which segments of your employee population are engaged and which are struggling.

And more importantly, you can see why.

Get more actionable insights from our Innovation Event

Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics is the technology platform that organizations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform.

Over 12,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands.

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