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Appirio rounded out the spring leg of the Worker Experience Tour at Manhattan’s delightfully boudoir-esque Redbury Hotel. The speaker lineup was padded with top industry execs and thought leaders, including John Davisi, Senior Director of People Operations at Buzzfeed, and best-selling author and “futurist”, Jacob Morgan.

Nonprofit worker insights

The first of two customer panels featured two nonprofit industry veterans: Brad Dudding, COO of Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), and Claude Edkins, founder of Yellow Lab Consulting and former CIO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Edkins touched on the importance of investing in your people: “You don’t go work for a nonprofit for the money; you do it because you’re passionate and want to make a difference.” Supporting these passionate workers is vital to growing the organization and achieving its mission.

Dudding’s organization, CEO, helps veterans find jobs when they return home from tours of duty. He described how using outdated technologies can limit the organization and make it more difficult for workers to do their jobs. “We don’t want to put a bunch of rocks in people’s backpacks,” he said. CEO uses Salesforce and a custom participant app (developed with the help of Appirio) to enable workers. The app allows participants to get regular feedback from their supervisors, while simultaneously allowing CEO to better support the veterans, and monitor and report on key data.

Build a people-first culture

The second customer panel featured John Davisi, Senior Director of People Operations at Buzzfeed, and Jim Topor, Executive Director of Global Talent Sourcing and Recruiting at Celgene. The men discussed culture at their respective companies, and talked about the “three legs of the stool” — people, process, and technology.

Davisi described how Buzzfeed puts culture and technology first: “Everything we do, we do from a people perspective. It needs to be easy, agile, and intuitive.” He explained the importance of customizing the experience for individuals. “Coming up with one solution to meet everyone’s needs is not going to work. See what works for different groups,” he said. Topor echoed that sentiment when he talked about the importance of getting workers involved in change processes. He said getting users more involved (earlier) in technology transformations was one of their biggest lessons learned at Celgene.

“We watch the movie Office Space like it’s a documentary.” — Jacob Morgan

Future of Work expert, Jacob Morgan, gave an energetic and enlightening presentation on what the Worker Experience looks like for many (most) companies, and what it could be if organizations focused on the right things. According to Morgan, only 6 percent of companies are succeeding at what he calls the employee experience equation:

Corporate culture x technology x physical space = employee experience

Although Morgan’s research suggests that a large majority of people aren’t fulfilled in their jobs, he has found that some change is starting to happen. “When you invest in your people, they deliver better Customer Experiences … and they crush the competition.” He said organizations must know what their employees care about and value. Successful companies don’t worry about what Google or Facebook is doing, they have their own data from their own workforce. They do things because it makes sense for them. If companies treat the Worker Experience less like a factory and more like a laboratory — where they’re doing experiments and trying out different formulas — they can find what works best for their workers.

See you in September!

Just like school or your favorite crime drama, the Worker Experience Tour is taking the summer off. But fret not! WXT17 returns this fall with stops in Sydney, Paris, Stockholm, London, and San Francisco. Register now!

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