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HR struggling to act on employee feedback

By Emma Musgrave | |5 minute read

There is a significant disconnect between HR leaders and other employees when it comes to how they view the effectiveness of providing feedback.

Qualtrics XM Institute recently conducted two separate surveys — one for HR professionals and one for other employees.

The former study found the majority of HR leaders (95 per cent) surveyed believe their organisation effectively uses insights from employee feedback to improve experiences. However, the latter study of employees found just 43 per cent of workers say they’ve seen positive change as a result of employee surveys.


“Employee experience management has become an integral part of the operating rhythm for countless organisations across Australia, with employee insights becoming some of the most valuable business intelligence assets leaders can access — especially as workplaces become more purpose-driven,” said Dr Cecelia Herbert, principal catalyst at Qualtrics XM Institute.

“HR teams that enable people across the organisation to continuously learn, rapidly adapt, and take meaningful action are the driving force behind the transformations required to meet the complex challenges we are facing today.”

Some of the most common challenges HR listed when it comes to improving the employee experience is lack of clear strategy, cited by 44 per cent of respondents.

This was closely followed by lack of funding (42 per cent) and lack of critical skills (also 42 per cent).

An unclear return on investment (36 per cent) and misaligned incentives and rewards (36 per cent) were also cited as key challenges to overcome.

“For HR leaders, demonstrating the business impact of employee experience management by linking HR operations to business outcomes (70 per cent) and attracting talent (70 per cent) are currently their top priorities,” the research noted.

“Employee training and development (65 per cent), employee onboarding (62 per cent), and progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (59 per cent) are also near the top of HR leaders’ priorities lists. Manager enablement is the lowest-rated priority (30 per cent).

Qualtrics has outlined three areas for HR leaders to explore in driving effective change.

  1. Converting employee insights into action

With an expected increase in employee listening and a gap between the experiences employees say they are getting compared to what their leaders think they’re delivering, finding ways to take quick, meaningful action on feedback is key to employee experience success,” Qualtrics said.

  1. Being prepared for change

“Having been forced to adapt to the pandemic, organisations are now navigating a challenging macroeconomic climate. Having in place agile people systems, processes and technology will enable HR leaders and teams to efficiently adapt to any future changes.

  1. Providing managers with effective support

“Managers are the frontline when it comes to keeping employees engaged and focused, and their importance should not be overlooked in employee experience conversations. Additionally, managers and leaders may be missing important feedback on their leadership skills as 360 developmental feedback (49 per cent) is one of the least common tools for employee feedback.



An employee is a person who has signed a contract with a company to provide services in exchange for pay or benefits. Employees vary from other employees like contractors in that their employer has the legal authority to set their working conditions, hours, and working practises.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is the level of commitment people have to the company, how enthusiastic they are about their work, and how much free time they devote to it.