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Employee Listening, hear your organization’s heartbeat

today2022.03.07. 2365 1

Background

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Employee Listening is becoming a pivotal part of understanding your organization, just like any other “living organism”. The dynamics of work as we know it is shifting dramatically due to a number of rapid changes like Remote Work, COVID, and the War in Eastern Europe. HR leaders will need to arm themselves with the right tools to “hear” their organisations heartbeat.


The year is 2022 – People have weekend BBQ conversations about the possibility of interstellar travel and an automated AI and IoT world that eliminates the need for work altogether. All signs point to the fact that we are ready for the next phase in our evolution. We are lightyears away from where we were seventy years ago – we could not comprehend the challenges of our grandfathers or even fathers who were dealing with conflicts such as World War II and the constant threat of nuclear war during the Cold War. Finally, we were set free to focus on building humanity and achieving extraordinary things.

But now, we are waking up to the grim reality that we are still struggling with the same old challenges as a human race. Humanity time and time again has to turn around from its goals of progress and face a tyrant or bully who appears to spoil it all. We are just about to get out of a global pandemic and as the real threat of climate change is starting to sink in, we now are forced to stretch our resources and address an even bigger threat to humanity. A very real possibility of a new “cold” war and again polarised world, or worst…   

The internet has brought humanity so close together that we take our breath as a collective, as well as feel each other’s pain and happiness. The Global Consciousness Project, otherwise known as MoodViews, is measuring the global mood of the internet through the real-time data analysis of bloggers. Humanity is in pain, we are hurting, and I and many around me feel not just an emotional but somewhat physical pain from the events unfolding.

Organizations, a living organism

“How does this relate to Human Resources?” you might ask. The dynamics and challenges of an organization are not that different from the “feelings” of the global community. A matrix organization is much like a global community of countries. Indeed, it is better than a top-down hierarchical structure, but what if some of the individuals or even teams are narcissists, bullies, or simply the wrong fit for the job? Toxic relationships leading to toxic cultures, be it in the workplace or at home, are not just emotionally but physically damaging, and for organizations, it is ultimately their bottom line that will suffer from a toxic culture.

Dr. Masaru Emotion’s experiments with water particles are explained in his book The Hidden Messages in Water, which explores how words and ultimately emotions have lasting effects on the physical wellbeing of any living organism. We can call an organization a “living” organism – applying general systems theory, viewing it as a complex adaptive system, and examining complexity theory for organizational leadership. As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The quicker we can respond to challenges, like having to deal with toxic people or a toxic culture in the organization, the fewer opportunities we give for such behavior to thrive in our companies.

Measure the organization’s heartbeat

Employee Listening solutions are going to be key components of building future organizations, where the “mood” of an organization impacts the interconnectedness of all employees. This is intensified as “remote work” becomes the norm, and much like the internet brings the news and sets the global mood, intranet communications will set the mood of an organization much quicker than before.

“Remote work” speeds up everything – we are now truly online since our systems, communication, and every aspect of our work life are online and instantaneous. Things will speed up, change will be faster and faster, and business, in general, will be faster and faster. This is not just because we are now all online and eliminated a key “time-waster,” physical interaction and movement, but also because automation is rapidly advancing and eliminating the need for physical “work.” Leaders will need to invest in employing the right tools to have real-time data analytics on their organization to know how to react in time to challenges arising. This is for both the human side and the tools employed in this more-and-more-automated world of work.

Listening tools

Tools developed by providers like Culture Amp, Peakon (Now Workday), VibeCatch, Effectory (join our forum organized together with Effectory on Listen@Work on the 10th of March), Willis Towers Watson, Medallia, Qualtrics, UKG, Gallup, Quantum, StandOut by ADP, Questback, momentive, Perceptyx, Glint and many other providers are extremely important to help leaders “hear” their organization’s “heartbeat”. Visier, OneModel, and solutions like Keencorp and StatusToday (now Glickon) are getting close to real-time listening – they all measure email traffic to get an idea of the “temperature and the risks in an organization.”  

https://joshbersin.com/2021/09/ten-new-truths-about-the-hr-technology-market

As Josh Bersin explains in his publication A New Model for Employee Experience, the key is to shorten the distance between signal and action. So, the closer we get to real-time actuate data or even an AI-enabled predictive employee listening/experience will be fundamental.

It’s worth watching this space very closely as EX Management Platforms, in general, will be even more important in the new world of (remote) work. These include Qualtrics, Confirmit, Medalia, MaritzCX & InMoment, Glint, Peakon (now Workday), Ultimate Software, Limeade, CultureIQ, QuestionPro named in the Foresters New Wave on EX Management Platforms for Large Enterprises, and many others.

Just imagine how we could better “feel” humanity’s upcoming problems with AI-enabled predictive analytics solutions deployed on all data available in the world. WOW!

References:

https://phys.org/news/2006-04-mood-internet.html

https://time.com/5274206/toxic-relationship-signs-help/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jls.21414

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984306000373

https://www.tietoevry.com/en/blog/2019/10/organization-as-living-organism-and-complex-adaptive-system/#:~:text=In%20Complex%20Adaptive%20System%20theory,the%20environment%20we%20live%20in.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/organizations-living-systems-ren%C3%A9-van-westen/

https://joshbersin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/EX-20_11-Continuous-Response_Employee-Experience-4.0-From-Signal-to-Action.pdf

https://www.forrester.com/report/the-forrester-new-wave-ex-management-platforms-for-large-enterprises-q1-2020/res146678?objectid=res146678


Written by: Thomas Papp

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Post comments (1)

  1. the best herbal remedies here on 2022.11.02.

    Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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