People walking into X4™, the Qualtrics-hosted experience management summit, are greeted with the chatter of enthusiastic attendees blending into an anticipatory hum. They look forward to soaking up information from talks and seminars, and this March, one of their keynote speakers is part-time actor and full-time Mint Mobile owner Ryan Reynolds. Previous summits featured other notable celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey.
Before starting at Qualtrics, Olivia Benson had been one of those eager X4 attendees.
“It felt like Qualtrics had a cool, Google-type place to work in Utah,” she said. “It seemed like they really cared about the experience people had at X4, and the way they talked about their employees made me feel like this was the kind of place I wanted to work.”
Qualtrics is in the business of experience management, so it makes sense that Benson — now an associate manager of research services — was attracted to Qualtrics through an experience. In addition to learning opportunities, X4 strives to provide a chance for others to meet new people and make memories with friends and colleagues with events like parties, concerts and a “5 For The Fight Night” dance to raise money to fight cancer.
When Benson did get the chance to apply for a position at Qualtrics, she jumped at it — and found the company’s rhetoric to be reflective of its actions. Most notably, Qualtrics has some truly impressive workplace benefits.
Each benefit resonates strongly with different people, but they all have one thing in common: a dedication to experiences. Technology Consultant Aaron Alexander can appreciate his experience as an army reservist without worrying about complicated payment documentation, Olivia Benson can care for her mental and physical health through twice-weekly yoga classes, and Partner Delivery Consultant Kaitlin Fox can share the experience of conquering her fear of heights in Portugal with her boyfriend — all through benefits Qualtrics provides.
What They Do:
Technology Consultant Aaron Alexander
The benefit: While Qualtrics previously offered 10 days of paid time off for military reservists, the company recently extended that benefit to 30 days. This time is used to fulfill military reserve obligations, including two weeks of annual training.
How he used it, in his own words: “I’m currently in the army reserve, and I have two years left of my mandatory service obligation. Most companies will honor that you have to go on leave, but won’t pay any sort of coverage — so people might have to take a pay cut or have a gap in their benefits — or they’ll pay a differential. This benefit provides peace of mind, knowing that all I have to do is let the lead provider know I’m going on leave and provide my orders. As long as it’s under the 30-day window, I don’t need to worry about putting together tons of documentation or differences in paychecks.
“Thirty days is significant. 10 days is great, but the typical expectation for any military reserve obligation is that you spend two weeks a year doing annual training, and then there’s other stuff you have to do. I had to go to technical schools for my job and into my unit on extra days to get ahead of some training events, and a lot of that time just went unpaid before. I don’t have to worry about that now.”
Why it matters: The extension from 10 to 30 days is a prime example of Qualtrics listening to the needs of its employees. This move was made at the request of the company’s reservist members, including Alexander.
“We met last year to propose a benefits plan that was kind of an ideal state for us — what we wanted, if we could have it,” he said. “We all wrote in a document and brought it as a proposal, and it was very well received, and then I found out they were expanding this benefit. It felt like a weight off my shoulders.”
Associate Manager of Research Services Olivia Benson
The benefit: As of January 2022, Qualtrics employees get $300 to spend on wellness every quarter, adding up to $1,200 a year. This benefit covers a broad range of wellness-related purchases, from the obvious — gym memberships and classes — to the less obvious, like workout clothing and massages.
How she used it, in her own words: “I had my first child last year in August, so I had a five-month-old when the benefit took effect. There’s this whole shift my body did, and I’ve been trying to figure out who I am after having this child and coming back to work. The wellness benefit was really helpful — it almost gave me permission to prioritize myself and my health, since I had this money I had to use.
“I’ve always really loved calming exercise like yoga, but could never justify the cost of a yoga membership. With this benefit, I found a yoga studio that I really liked, that was really inclusive and fit what I needed, so I’ve tried to do that at least twice a week. I’ve gotten stronger, and it’s really fun to see what my body can do. Not only that: Because it’s a smaller local studio, I’ve connected with people and made some friends. It’s been a way for me to take time for myself and not only focus on health, but also social relationships. It’s been a really positive and important thing in my life.”
Why it matters: With the deluge of personal and work responsibilities that come with adult life, it can be difficult to prioritize personal health and wellness — and the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout made it equal parts harder and more important. Qualtrics’ wellness benefit provides resources and encouragement to take care of your physical and mental health.
“Qualtrics is really good at monitoring experiences — not just for our customers, but internally for our employees,” said Benson. “We take into account what our employees need, what their experiences are like and what’s going to make their work experience better.”
Other Benefits They Love:
- Four weeks of half-time work upon return from maternity leave, with full pay.
- A Qualtrics daycare across the street from the office.
- An individual career action plan to track metrics for career advancement.
Partner Delivery Consultant Kaitlin Fox
The benefit: After a year with the company, Qualtrics provides a yearly $1,800 experience stipend. This stipend can go toward learning a new skill, going somewhere or doing something you’ve always wanted — without tying it to your work at all. Employees are encouraged to write about their experiences on Qualtrics’ blog to share them with the world.
How she used it, in her own words: “I hit my year anniversary in July. I had just moved from Dublin to London and I didn’t know what my plans were for the rest of the year, but I’ve always wanted to dedicate a bit of time to exploring a new place and having an activity centered around that. I was lucky enough to choose Madeira, which is an island off the coast of Portugal, to go hiking. That experience bonus meant that renting a car to reach those higher peaks and getting those good destinations I really wanted to go to was made possible. My boyfriend went with me, and we did three hikes — one that was peak-to-peak, one that was a loop and one that was centered around a waterfall. There were really phenomenal views I never would have seen in London. Given my fear of heights, it was a growth opportunity as well.
“Without the experience bonus, I wouldn’t have been motivated to book the trip and explore as much as we did. I got to share that experience with a loved one and test myself. It was a phenomenal reset to be out in the fresh air.”
Why it matters: Qualtrics, as a company, places a great deal of value on experiences — and this benefit is reflective of that value. It shows that the company recognizes that people need to have a meaningful life outside of work to thrive as individuals and as employees.
“You’re taking time away from your job, and probably coming back as a better person — by taking annual leave, learning about another culture or having an incredible experience,” Fox said. “You come back having had a reset and realizing how lucky you are.”