By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

The events in 2020 shook the business world to a stage where leaders must adapt if they, their business, and their teams want to survive and flourish. As we welcome 2021, it will be a valuable idea for business leaders to hold a vision for their organization’s future. We have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, yet most leadership development has remained dormant over the past few decades. 

However, to remain relevant for the upcoming years, leaders have to incorporate transformations in every area of training and executive education. Once only talking points, let us see five key trends that hold substantial promise as they become a reality in 2021.

Prioritizing Employee Experience

The advent of COVID-19 boosted the trend of business leaders playing an extended role in the employees’ financial, physical, and mental well-being. Support consisted of improved sick leaves, financial aids, flexible working hours, and childcare provisions. Today, business leaders are mindful of the power of building employee experiences that reflect their business’s customer experience. 

Read: Employee Experience and Talent Performance Management – Two Critical Pillars of HR 3.0

There are several reasons why employee experience matters to the company more than ever now.

  • Firstly, with the work from home set up, employees work up to three hours more per day and juggle the organization and family’s rising demands. While businesses are witnessing increased productivity working from home, the gains come with a cost to employees’ mental health. 
  • Secondly, the toll that pandemic has taken on employees makes yet another reason for employers to prioritize employee experience. 
  • Thirdly, with increasing digitization and automation in the workplace, employees are looking for more ways to develop emotional connections during social distancing and isolation. 

Approaches like employee journey mapping are now often utilized to fathom employee experience. As employees choose to permanently work from home, business leaders need to plan and monitor how the employee experience is intertwined with their organizational culture. Culture is rapidly becoming the new infrastructure for organizations. 

Read: The Why and How of Coaching for your Newly-Remote Team

Designing Organizations for Resilience

In the former years, organizational redesigns were mainly focused on restructuring roles, supply chains, and workflows to build up efficiency. However, the pandemic has proved that, although this method maximized efficiencies, it was brittle, as the systems lacked the flexibility to respond to disruptions and changes. Resilient businesses are always better placed to react during significant disruptions. 

To build a more responsive business, business leaders must design roles and structures around outcomes to amplify agility, flexibility, and formalize how processes can flex. Also, consider offering employees distinct, adaptive, and flexible roles to attain cross-functional knowledge and training. Business leaders need to be involved in role designing and forming flexible workflows to make sure that employees of all backgrounds and their requirements are considered when the business is undergoing workflow redesigns.

Read: How to Invest in Your Company’s Most Important Asset – People

A Move Towards Well-being Leadership 

It takes a massive shift in perspective from seeing well-being as something on the side-line to rather being at the heart of a business’s mission and essential to keeping up the productivity. Today, business leaders worldwide are beginning to shift their views on the role of well-being in the organization. 

Well-being leadership is taken as an approach to business and society that emphasizes maximizing outcomes through eight distinct aspects: economic, material, physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental, and spiritual. This leadership approach states that financial success is no adequate measure of the quality of life and that all the factors mentioned above are interconnected to offer a sustained economic output. Business leaders must understand that: 

  • Both, purpose and profit, are critical to facilitate sustainable business outcomes
  • Well-being at work, in their business, and broader society are all interconnected
  • They must build a culture of well-being by surrounding themselves with people who have similar realizations

Becoming an Agile Leader

2020 has been a long and challenging year. for everyone. In such disrupting and continually evolving times, agile leadership is the need of the hour in our fast-paced business landscape. In times of ambiguity, business agility offers stability – a lucrative way to manage change and respond productively. 

Organizations with agile leadership have demonstrated advantages like increased revenue, rapid turnaround times, and supreme quality offerings. However, there always has been confusion and misinformation when it comes to comprehending agile leadership. Organizations often link agility with a framework like Scrum instead of a mindset. They often fail to understand how critical it is to learn the agile mindset and periodically practice that mindset and lead by example. As agile leaders, business leaders must delegate outcomes, encourage individuals, and offer them the space to do an exceptional job. 

Agile values and principles inspire business leaders to collaborate and encourage others to grow and share in decision-making. Agile leaders tend to perceive failures as opportunities to learn and nurture trust and psychological safety in their organizations.

Read: From “Remote Boss” To “Virtual Leader” – How to Make the Transition

Managing Remote Workforce

With the advent of COVID-19, several organizations provided permanent work from home opportunities to their employees. As businesses shift to more remote work operations, business leaders will be required to alter employee experience strategies and employees will be required to collaborate digitally. Business leaders will need to consider how to shift performance goal-setting and employee evaluations for a remote context. Leaders will need to establish clear business objectives, run great virtual meetings, communicate clearly, and make the most of team members’ individual and collective strengths.

Read: How Has the Role of Leadership Changed with COVID-19?

Leadership development fosters the human capital of a business. As we step into 2021, it is a thrilling time for a complete transformation of our departments. Which of these leadership trends are you going to put into practice to become an agile leader?

To transform your Work-from-Home (WFH) teams with AI, take a look at NumlyEngage(™). Get a live demo today!  

 

By Varnika Garg, Product Leader Intern

According to a research conducted by Hubspot, 69% of employees working in the US say they would work harder if they were better engaged and appreciated. That is how crucial employee engagement and retention have become in today’s time. Especially with the current pandemic and the shift to WFH, companies must invest more time and effort in acknowledging and connecting to their employees to keep them motivated and happy.

Surveys are a great tool when it comes to systemizing user input to amplify the business output. Managers are often struggling to identify the key factors behind dissatisfied employees. Here, surveys act as pulse checks to assess employee “happiness levels” and thereby increase morale by conducting fun events, understanding best practices and giving incentives to support the employees and keep them integrated. They specifically help in measuring and monitoring engagement among employees or to solve unanswered questions on employee skill gaps.

Surveys have many conventional uses, but Numly breaks the norms by using them rather differently. Numly’s AI-enabled coaching platform – ‘NumlyEngage’ uses surveys in a variety of ways to get insights on experiences, skills and to drive engagement between coaches and mentees. 

Ever thought you could be a coach to your colleague or a friend at the workplace? And how to even know about that? 

NumlyEngage utilizes various types of surveys such as pulse surveys, employee engagement surveys, surveys for programs, and many upcoming aspects like fun surveys.

How Numly uses them

NumlyEngage incorporates these surveys to quantify and measure the skill level of employees. Based on the data gathered from them, the platform’s in-built gamification model defines a healthy ratio of coaches and mentees, with a coach being a mentor who can guide another colleague who is weak a particular skill and a mentee being someone who needs guidance and mentorship to pick up that skill. The platform even lets the mentee get connected to external coaches who are very proficient in their fields.

AI-enabled technology

With the upskilling of employees becoming the need of the hour, NumlyEngage’s surveys are designed to track employees’ hard and soft skills gap. The platform uses its AI-powered algorithm to then map and recommend upskilling programs out of an extensive list to enroll and learn from. It not only recommends the programs but also provides the right analytics around them and tracks their progress as well.

These surveys include a powerful set of questions mapped to various skills, are backed by a user-friendly mechanism and can also be leveraged as ready-to-use templates for various programs. Cleverly integrated into the platform, these surveys will help establish a link to all the important elements of the product and will provide just the necessary metrics a manager needs to help his employees stay motivated and focus on their growth via learning and development.

What’s new?

People often tend to synonymize surveys to be “boring” and “time consuming”. Numly plans to launch a series of “fun surveys” which are short, light-hearted, and add just the right amount of fun to the time spent on the platform. They are designed to ensure that employees do not find their platform interactions monotonous and are motivated to continue their learning and coaching journey with their network. NumlyEngage will automatically guide the employee journey on the platform with the help of AI-generated nurture touchpoints, which are specifically designed to increase interactions and scale up the engagement levels.

Takeaways

In a nutshell, Numly has made use of surveys to extract critical information at various business process stages that clearly define the gaps in employee engagement and skill development. Regular surveys and check-ins can help organizations keep their employees engaged, stay aware of potential communication problems and gaps, and provide recommendations to enable seamless workflows. Well thought out and delivered surveys can really change the game by giving managers the necessary insights on employee data which may not be visible otherwise and can help dive deep into the employee psychology to best meet their needs and aspirations for career development.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Human Resources (HR) is at an inflection point. From an administrative and industrial relations function of the 1980s known as HR 1.0, HR has been in a state of constant evolution. In the 1990’s we witnessed organizations becoming more aware of the value of talent and the subsequent transformation of HR to the role of a business partner with a focus on analytics and reporting (HR 2.0). 

However, as the world of talent continues to become more complex, and organizational growth and profitability become directly tied to the capacity to innovate and collaborate, HR has to grow and become a strategic advisor. 

With this evolution comes the dawn of HR 3.0.

Why HR 3.0?

Compliance, administration design, programs, and jobs were the focus of HR 1.0. 

Process excellence, standardization, self-service, shared services were the focus of HR 2.0. 

Cognitive, personalized, transparent, and elevated employee experience and talent performance management are the focus areas of HR 3.0.

Given that the business environment today is enveloped in a state of constant flux and disruption, it becomes inevitable for organizations to look at a new HR model that focuses on driving value from talent. For this, HR has to become more agile and allow the voice of the employees and managers to permeate and integrate throughout HR and not remain cloistered in silos. For that, HR 3.0 demands that HR becomes an integrated business function that brings together the expertise of all other business functions.

With millennials making up 75% of the global workforce and the rise of the digital workplace, the move towards HR 3.0 is not just necessary but is inevitable. This generation at work demands HR to step up and move to the next level by becoming analytically sophisticated and with fewer swim lanes and even fewer silos that stand between providing elevated employee experiences and improved talent performance management.

The COVID 19 pandemic has further fuelled the move towards HR 3.0 by bringing in new working models, increasing disruption, and accelerating digital transformation. As employees adjust to this new normal, it is but natural for them to expect more from their organizations – especially as remote working and the subsequent burnout become more pronounced.

Employee experience and talent performance management – the two critical pillars of HR 3.0

Employee experience and talent management are central to HR 3.0 since these areas influence an organization’s overall enterprise transformation. With accelerating digital reinvention, organizations have to understand the needs of the employees better, improve talent performance management, and discover avenues to identify and address employee concerns proactively.

HR departments, therefore, need to 

  • Adopt a personalized, experience-centric design
  • Place skills, and, consequently, skills development, at the core of the enterprise
  • Enable data-driven decision-making leveraging technologies such as AI
  • Increase speed and responsiveness by adopting agile practices
  • Improve transparency to preserve trust and build loyalty 

Clearly, data lies in the heart of HR 3.0 and helps organizations measure, develop, engage, and consequently transform the workforce.

Driving employee experience and talent performance management in the age of HR 3.0

Organizations have to focus on improving employee engagement and performance by building people connections, improving internal coaching, and accelerating skills development to display their investment in their workforce. 

However, to achieve this, they need to create an experience-centric design around employee performance and the consequent organizational development plan by delivering value-added experiences that are contextual and relevant.

Creating an experience-centric design around employee performance and talent performance management involves employing experiential learning platforms that extend eLearning and Blended Learning with people coaching (both hard and soft skills), diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and core value engagement programs. 

Some of the key focus areas to enable this are:

  • Employing AI-driven HR coaching platforms to connect the right coach with the right mentee and facilitate continuous, data-driven feedback, and deliver timely and relevant nudges to facilitate learning and growth.
  • Applying in-built surveys and assessment tests to identify roles based on coaching needs and define skill-based coach-learner pairings to ensure clear and continuous coaching. This becomes essential as knowledge sharing and skill development become central to employee experience.
  • Ascertaining employee skill strengths and weaknesses with 16 Personality Factor assessment and program surveys instead of the proverbial gut-feel. Additionally, organizations have to enable administrators and program managers to create, personalize, and update surveys associated with different coaching programs.
  • Using surveys and assessment dashboards to gain comprehensive insights into high-potential employees, their strengths, and areas of improvement to develop comprehensive development plans and healthy leadership pipelines.
  • Utilizing pre-packaged, easy to set up, hybrid, customizable templates to enable skills development for the key enterprise functions. 
  • Gaining awareness and visibility to skill data to develop and customize skill development plans proactively. Organizations also have to proactively fine-tune learning and development investments based on actual skill gap measurement. This data also helps in identifying top talent and measuring bench strength across critical skill areas. 
  • Developing contextual and relevant coaching and reskilling/upskilling programs by gaining clarity on employee personality factors.

Taking a data-driven approach to improve employee experience and talent performance management makes it proactive, rather than reactive. It also allows organizations to deliver deeply personalized experiences across employee journeys and facilities better coaching conversations.

The idea that performance management = performance review no longer works. 

The shift of focus from employee engagement to employee experience has happened. 

As organizations and HR outgrow these old models because of changing work dynamics, organizations have to enable HR departments with new tools to deal with new challenges. 

With the right tools and technologies at their disposal, HR can measure and manage employee journeys and create the right experiences that drive performance and innovation, and ultimately, profitability. 

Connect with us to know how you can benefit from NumlyEngage(™) HR Coaching Programs.

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

Just over a century back, oil emerged as the most lucrative resource one could think of. 

With the dawn of the digital era, there came a new commodity that overtook oil. That commodity was data. Today, data is the currency on which the world runs since it is fact-based and unequivocal, as opposed to opinion. 

In the initial days, data analytics, the vehicle that made data invaluable, was all about discovering interesting information and flagging it off for organizational leaders. Over the years, as more organizations are becoming data-driven, data analytics is considered an essential ingredient to enable good decision-making across all departments and all levels. 

The rise of People Analytics in HR

Today data is being embedded into everyday decision-making and is used to understand every aspect of the business operations. The HR department too is not immune to the lure of data and is using people analytics heavily for managing all aspects of workforce planning, driving operational improvements, and engaging with employees. 

People analytics in HR has undergone a seismic shift. From being a technical subset that analyzed retention, it has matured and is being used to get deep insights to drive performance and employee engagement. People analytics is now being used heavily to discover, interpret, and communicate meaningful patterns hidden in workforce data to make informed decisions and consequently drive performance. Along with tracking basic HR metrics, people analytics is being increasingly used to understand every aspect of how people impact business value.

Factors such as the availability of data, the increase in the capability of organizations to process and analyze that data, and the HR’s ability to use that data have been responsible for the growing popularity of people analytics. 

The workforce analytics market is now expected to reach USD 1.87 billion by 2025 as organizations lean in towards adopting data to manage its workforce.  

So how do People Analytics help organizations and HR teams improve their workforce management?

Discover drivers of high performance

People analytics is finding firm ground across organizations since it can be a valuable resource to discover the unique factors that influence organization-wide performance. With insights gleaned from different aspects of the workforce, organization leaders and HR teams can collectively identify the drivers of high performance and then develop strategies to enable the workforce accordingly. 

 

Organizations can also apply these insights to their recruitment practices and talent management strategies and also to address performance gaps. 

Diversify hiring and eliminate bias

Diversity has become an organizational priority since it has been proved that diversity in teams impacts organizational performance positively. Diversity in workgroups drives a richer flow of ideas, aids creativity and innovation, and improves problem-solving capabilities. 

Studies show that organizations that focus on diversity are 35% more likely to financially outperform their competitors who do not emphasize diverse hiring practices. Gender diverse workforces also outperform less diverse companies by 15%.  

People analytics can play a big role in enabling diversity initiatives by helping organizations identify the characteristics associated with successful hires and apply those to processes to assess candidates with these traits. This makes the recruitment process faster and enables HR teams to make their diversity initiatives more intentional. 

Read: Mentorship Programs – The Critical Piece To Drive Successful Enterprise Diversity Initiatives

Win the talent war and manage attrition 

There was once a time when organizations won the talent war by throwing more money into the mix. Today, the story is quite different. 

With more millennials coming into the workforce and changing employee dynamics, people analytics can prove to be a valuable tool to create profiles of at-risk workers by understanding the key reasons behind the same. These insights assist organizations to make more informed and concrete efforts to convince these employees to stay on by providing directed learning and development opportunities and providing coaching to drive engagement. 

Read: Purpose-Led Engagement for Women and Millennials

Identify high-potential employees

Most organizations today also want to create a robust succession pipeline. For this, it is imperative to identify their high-potential employees who have the capacity to drive the organization’s success in the future. 

Analyzing professional and educational backgrounds and performance ratings allow people analytics to provide the right insights to identify these high-potential employees and also helps the organization identify what motivates them. Using this information, organizations can develop strategies to help these employees move further along their growth path, keep them engaged, and avoid losing them to attrition.

Read: Employee Retention Strategies for Top Talent

 

Fine-tune coaching and training strategies 

People analytics can help organizations improve and fine-tune their training and coaching initiatives. Leveraging data, HR can measure the impact of their training and leadership development programs. This becomes especially relevant when the world of work has moved to a virtual setting owing to the COVID-19 pandemic

People analytics moves beyond employee engagement data and helps organizations identify where to invest in leadership development. This becomes more relevant since most organizations co-relate specific leadership skills with employee engagement and productivity levels. People analytics ensures that these correlations do not become erroneous by accounting for the complexity of the data. 

Since people analytics leverages multiple data sets and sorts through these complexities, it provides the prioritized behaviors needed for leadership development or coaching that will contribute to specific business outcomes. This information can be then leveraged by HR teams to fine-tune and refine their coaching and training strategies. 

People analytics also helps organizations proactively identify the kinds of coaching programs they need by accurately measuring and assessing skill gaps across functions and departments. Creating the right, relevant, contextual, and structured employee development programs using personalized coaching for each employee at scale across the entire organization then becomes easier. 

Improve employee experience 

Employees are an organization’s internal customers. Just like how organizations have become hyper-focused on customer experience, they have also started to look out for their internal customers – their employees. The importance of employee experience has exploded in the enterprise since businesses are struggling to engage employees to drive business results. With the workforce moving into a more virtual setting, employee experience is proving to be an important aspect to drive retention, productivity, and ensure better talent management. 

People analytics effectively maps every touchpoint within employee experience and helps HR predict, manage, and measure the impact of their efforts and activities by linking them to business outcomes. 

In Conclusion

People analytics helps in making workforce planning and strategic business planning a parallel process and also promotes a culture of objective transparency. The insights generated from people analytics provide valuable workforce information that can then be employed to create the right people practices. This helps in ensuring and developing correct talent attraction, retention, engagement, performance management, career planning, and rewards and recognition programs. These insights can also be utilized to enhance leadership development and create strategic pathways to help employees move northwards on their career trajectories.

Connect with us to see how we use AI and people analytics to help organizations drive employee engagement and experience and develop their leaders for tomorrow.