A proven HR technology pioneer with over 15 years of domain experience, Michael Papay is CEO and Co-founder of Waggl, a San Francisco Bay Area company that provides a simple, cloud-based solution to help organizations listen to people, distill insights and make improvements. He is a frequent author and contributor to advancing the thought leadership around organizational learning and employee engagement. Papay believes that mutual respect and active listening leads to more meaningful relationships and productive organizations.
Companies now want an engaged workforce and employees want to know that their opinions count. A dynamic pulsing platform to enable focused communication, Waggl offers a solution that fits this ever-present need. I wanted to know what Michael thought about the role of HR and how it continues to change in conjunction with today's new technologies and trends.
Q: What are some of the most pressing challenges faced by HR professionals today?
A: The workplace has become extraordinarily complex, and is only becoming more so every day. Most organizations aren’t properly organized to cope with digital transformation. Deloitte's 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report surveyed 7,000 HR and Business Leaders from 130 countries and found that 92% of HR and business leaders believe that redesigning their organization is a top priority in the coming year. All of this complexity puts HR professionals in the difficult position of having to serve as the compass for the human beings that work in these organizations as they navigate tremendous change. This requires the ability to have a real-time, two-way dialogue in which everyone has the opportunity to be heard, so that business leaders can access the intelligence of the entire organization. It also requires the ability to communicate new ideas quickly and effectively, so that the organization can achieve alignment on key initiatives as they are introduced.
Q: How can Waggl's pulse surveys change the way HR professionals approach these challenges?
A: HR technology often aims to help with efficiency and improve processes. But beyond that, pulse surveys can provide a way for HR and business leaders to really tune into the wisdom in the system. The people who are on the front lines dealing with customers every day hold a great deal of valuable knowledge, but in many cases, they don’t have a direct line of communication with executive management. The traditional means of listening and drawing insights from a large group of employees has been the annual survey, which takes months to administer and is already out of date by the time it is received. Similarly, most people want real-time feedback in order to improve their performance on a continual basis, rather than sitting down with a manager only once a year. Pulse surveys are a great way for organizations to communicate more frequently and authentically with their workers, and also enable HR and business leaders to quickly surface ideas and achieve alignment.
Q: In such a complicated business environment, does it really make more sense to add more technology and tools into the mix?
A: As we head deeper into the new era of digital disruption, HR and business leaders will need to take a more active role in encouraging technical innovation in order for the entire organization to be successful. According to a recent report from Cisco, IMD, and the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, by neglecting digital workforce transformation, companies are failing to build the capabilities that they will need to succeed in an era of digital disruption. The report describes the steps that an organization can take to digitize its people-related processes in order to build a workforce that is highly agile, innovative, and engaged – factors that will enable the organization to create value for its customers, partners, and for its own employees.
At Waggl, we believe that works needs to be more human, and that listening to people is valuable. Our utilization of technology strives to help strengthen connections, distill insights, and create a 2-way dialogue that allows people to contribute, and feel more engaged and motivated. Our aim is to make it easier for HR leaders to better manage the cultures of their organizations, and to connect and engage with their people through a common sense of purpose. We build trust within the workplace by giving employees a voice and a set at the table. The ultimate goal is to provide a better way for everyone to make a difference.
... a sponsor of HR West Seattle, July 15, 2016
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