Perceptyx Goes Big: New Platform Delivers Conversations At Scale

The employee survey, crowdsourcing, and listening market is massive: every company wants to listen to its employees. Well, it’s no longer a market for survey tools, it has now become a space for integrated listening, survey, and analytics platforms. Enter Perceptyx, one of the most trusted vendors in the market.

If you don’t know the company you should. Perceptyx was founded in 2003 and is well known in the Fortune 2000. Last week, following a major investment by TCV Ventures, the company introduced its brand new platform, The Perceptyx People Insights Platform.

Let me disclose that we use Perceptyx for our research and analysis, so we know the company well. But as an independent analyst, I want to highlight what the company has done and why they deserve a seat at the “front row” when you consider employee experience vendors.

First, Perceptyx has a history of serving many of the largest companies with its survey and analytics platform. The company’s clients include hundreds of global organizations, demonstrating Perceptyx’s focus on enterprise integration, consulting services, and real-time analytics. And these big companies are demanding, driving Perceptyx to build a highly configurable system.  (Clients include BASF, Comcast, Dell, 3M ABinBev, FedEx, M&T Bank, Citi, Sharp, Whole Foods, and many others).

In our use of Perceptyx, for example, our Global HR Capability Project lets people assess themselves against 94 different capabilities in less than 15 minutes. This is possible because Perceptyx worked with us to build one of the most easy-to-use, scalable user experiences I’ve seen.  (Read more here.)

When I talk with Perceptyx clients, I always hear two things. First, the company listens and has some of the best I/O psychologists and analytics experts in the industry. Second, the platform is almost infinitely configurable, so it can look, feel, and behave exactly like your company’s existing website. So Perceptyx-powered employee surveys are easy to use, easy to brand, and scalable to deploy.

But the new Perceptyx platform goes further.

Beyond the company’s existing offering for annual surveys, pulse surveys, and multi-rater surveys, Perceptyx’s platform includes real-time analytics, lifecycle survey management, integration into productivity tools, and crowdsourcing (through the acquisition of Waggl). I’ve been a fan of Waggl since the company was founded, and the potential for crowdsourcing feedback is enormous.

Waggl, (now named Dialogue), was the product used by PepsiCo’s famous “Process Shredder,” which I wrote about early in the Pandemic. The need to crowdsource ideas and feedback has been massive during the pandemic and Perceptyx now offers this in an integrated way. The only other major player in this category is Crowdicity from Medallia (which is also a pretty amazing system).

The new platform, positioned as “Continuous Conversations at Scale,” is designed to give companies many channels of listening, integrated into a real-time system. This lets you design a wide variety of survey and crowdsourcing options, and view all the data in real-time as it comes in. (Glint’s vision is similar, by the way.)

Some of the features include cross-program analysis, automatic segmentation and cross-tabs, natural language processing, crowdsourcing and statistical employee voting, and all sorts of highlighting to find important information.  Perceptyx is working on integrations with Teams, Slack, and other systems of productivity.

Employee Listening As A Specialty Platform

The idea of “Conversations” is important. Not only have companies been surveying employees about their wellbeing, productivity, benefits, and mental health – they’ve been asking employees for opinions on hybrid work policies, new pay models, and dozens of other ideas. Surveys are just not enough: we need continuous conversations which can be analyzed in detail and then turned into action.

And the scenarios for listening keep coming. Just as ServiceNow is now building “Listening Posts” into employee journeys, companies have dozens of scenarios for employee feedback. So a true end-to-end listening (or conversation) platform makes sense.

HCM vendors are also now getting into this space. Peakon, now part of Workday, is integrating its feedback into the Workday People Experience. UKG just acquired Great Place To Work. And vendors like CultureAmp, UKG, BetterWorks, Lattice, and others are integrating the surveys into their HCM platforms.

Despite these integrations, a standalone employee listening platform makes sense. They add a tremendous amount of value and are becoming a real “experience systems of record.” (I see the big players as Perceptyx, Glint, and Medallia – with Qualtrics moving in this direction).

Why Listening At Scale Really Matters

I recently had a webcast discussion with David Gelles, the New York Times publicist who writes The Corner Office. When he was asked “what has changed about the role of the CEO in the pandemic,” he talked about the fact that CEOs have moved out of their rarified offices to be front and center with employees. They want to know precisely what’s on people’s minds. And that means listening in every way possible.

Our new research, Employee Experience: The Definitive Guide, also discovered this same finding. Amongst all the technologies we evaluated to improve the Employee Experience, the number one driver for excellence in employee engagement and productivity is listening. Companies that know how to listen, hear, and act on what employees need are outperforming, out-hiring, and out-engaging their peers. Perceptyx’s platform is focused on this area.

From Listening To Conversations

Let me also add that Perceptyx’s concept of “Conversations” is important. As we wrote about in the report “Shortening The Signal From Signal To Action,” the big problem companies have is not just “responding” but really “talking.” In the old world leaders practiced Management By Walking Around (MBWA), and today we need to do this in our platforms.

Many companies do lots of surveys, and crowdsourcing is a big plus. But as the workplace changes dynamically, leaders really want to have ongoing conversations with employees. Perceptyx’s strategy, that of listening, analyzing, and responding at scale, is right where the market needs to go.

Additional Resources

Shortening The Distance From Signal To Action

Perceptyx Acquires Waggl: Employee Voice Jumps Forward

Is The Employee Survey Dead? No, It’s Getting Smarter Than Ever

Voice of the Employee: The Most Important Topic In Business