The Digital HR Program is a unique platform for HR leaders to learn about HR innovation driving the employee experience (EX) and to co-create solutions for common digital HR pain points. We once more brought together our innovative members of the Digital HR Program to actively work together on challenging HR topics.  The spring edition of the Digital HR Peer Meeting was kindly hosted by Cisco at their Innovation Center in Krakow, one of Europe’s most exciting and promising start-up hubs. Our host is recognized for being a global leader in employee experience, in particular known for the Cisco People Deal.
While intensively working on Digital HR innovations, we increasingly see tensions and question marks in regards to the benefits of technology on the one side and a growing desire for the meaning of work on the other side. Technology refers to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes (Collins Dict.) and in addition it boosts innovation and productivity, which enables wealth and happiness BUT at the same time, more employees are frightened that automation is reducing their value and thereby effects their personal meaning of work such as making a contribution and having a purpose. So, consequently this question set the tone for our meeting: How to align technology to the meaning of work for all employees? This theme led us to our three core topics that gave our members the opportunity to soak up new information, create new ideas and exchange thoughts, philosophies and insights with other peers around (1) ‘Digital EX Listening as the gold standard for measuring EX’, (2) ‘Moments of Truth* to finally be able to create disproportionate impact on engagement’ and (3) ‘From Skill Management to Skill Platform’. Please find some ‘video’ impressions here. * Emotionally loaded touchpoint during a journey with disproportionate impact on employee engagement

3 Key Take-Aways

1. Digital EX Listening

Actively managing the employee experience has a huge impact on engagement and performance. Measuring the employee experience at touchpoint level is the game-changer: With a rich set of EX data, the employee experience at touchpoint level will become visible to HR, enabling HR to manage its improvement actively. One way of analyzing employees’ opinions is to listen to what they say, identify inconsistencies and then act in order to make improvements. ‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning’ (Bill Gates). An increasingly popular tool is ‘Digital Listening’, which is an advanced, effortless way to collect EX data from existing data sources, like HR IT systems, Office 365, Glassdoor, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. The pioneers of Digital Listening in HR are without a doubt IBM, who started many years ago to use it strategically. Jonathan Ferrar CEO of Insight22 and former Vice President in the field of Smarter Workforce at IBM presented how he successfully implemented Digital Listening as a tool at IBM and used Social Analytics (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, internal platform) to: 1. Understand their employees 2. Provide personalized improvements and thereby 3. Create a value exchange One powerful and famous example shown by Jonathan is How a 26-year-old caused IBM to abolish its ban on Uber. However, and to be fair – Digital Listening is purposeless as such and it does need ‘use cases’ to create value. FilmklappeOur upcoming co-creation “Digital EX Listening” which will kick-off on the 15th and 16th of May in London (members only) is the first initiative ever to develop a concept for digital listening in order to measure employee experience. Together with our technology partner SmartBotHub and our most progressive members we will deep dive on the core question: ‘How might we understand employee experience (EX) at its most critical touchpoints by analyzing data from existing sources (like social media, existing surveys, HR systems, employee profiles, office systems) to trigger EX improvements?’ Contact us here for more information and the detailed co-creation plan.

2. Finally, disproportionate impact on employee engagement: Moments of Truth (MoT)

The 2nd day started off with a recap of the new Journey Networks that have been kicked-off late February 2019. These global communities are formed by journey owners with the aim to continuously improve journeys and explore improvements at touchpoints that matter. These ‘special’ touchpoints are called Moments of Truth (MoT). MoT’s are characterized by a high emotional load and their disproportionate impact on engagement. Drew Dudley’s impressive Ted Talk ‘Leading with Lollipops’ is a great showcase as to how leaders can actually use these MoT to have a tremendous impact on others: ‘[…] if you change [..] one person’s understanding of what they’re capable of, one person’s understanding of how much people care about them, one person’s understanding of how powerful an agent for change they can be in this world, you change the whole thing.’ In different workshops, our members worked on diverse MoT‘. For instance, ‘I consider my future employability’, was perceived as important since technologies are at disposal and furthermore, in a VUCA world, re-skilling is a hot topic for all employees at all levels. And again, leaders play a critical role in the context of MoT’. For instance: ‘I prepare a non-expected negative performance feedback for a team member’ was perceives as highly important for managers and our HR role is two-fold: we need to provide a great experience for leaders, but also help them to deliver a great experience to their team members. FilmklappeIf you want to learn how to bring the EX concept to life and work on MoTs with peers of the most progressive companies, join our up-coming Journey Networks, starting with a kick-off on 25th and 26th of June 2019 in London: – Effortless HR Journey: I request info, approval, advice / I inform / I change my data – Talent Journeys: I define my objectives / I review my performance / I plan my next step / I change locations / I change roles Contact us here for more information and the detailed Journey networks plan.

3. From Skill Management to Skill Platform

The 4th industrial revolution requires the re- and upskilling of the workforce at a level unheard of before: The World Economic Forum found that ‘by 2022, 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling, most of them of >1 month’. In fact, the no. 1 ‘digital’ challenge of Global 2,000 companies is to build the skills needed for the digital transformation. There is a very limited number of companies who started to successfully tackle this challenge, but we were fortunate to listen to an impressive presentation & use case by Cisco and the amazing team of Mairead CravenAlistair Antoine and Piotr Stojek. The team gave extensive insights into key technologies to support their talent strategy and their key customers, e.g. their role- and skill builder which helps people to build strength-based careers. Besides an impressive technology landscape all focused on the needs of the customers, Cisco explains their agile way of working and implementing new tools, always focusing on what works/what doesn’t work while keeping in mind the larger programs running in parallel. During our Skill Management work in 2018, we clearly identified a need to help companies to find a more effective way to re-and upskill their workforce. The co-creation group from last year in fact identified 4 digital practices that, if combined, will have an impressive impact on business value (see below).
Skill Management
FilmklappeIn our new co-creation “Skill Platform” which will kick-off on the 14th & 15th of May London  (members only), we will work with our technology partner Adepto and our most progressive members on the following core question: ‘How might we identify skill gaps of individuals from critical talent groups and provide them with on-the-job learning opportunities to acquire relevant new skills’ Contact us here for more information and the detailed co-creation plan.

What’s next?

There are many ways to get involved with us and the most innovative Digital HR topics. Please find an overview of the upcoming initiatives & get in touch! – Join the co-creations ‘Skill Platform’ & ‘Digital EX Listening’ (May 15 & 16, London) – Join the next Digital HR Program Peer Meeting Summer Edition US (June 10 & 11, San Francisco) – Join the Journey Networks Kick-off ‘Talent Journeys’ and ‘Effortless HR Journey’ (June 25 & 26, London) – Join the Digital HR Program Peer Meeting autumn edition (November 5 & 6, London)   You can read more about our research reports here.