Two-Way Communication- Bridging Gaps Between Employers and Employees

Bridging Gaps Between Employers and Employees with Josh Bersin

Melissa Arronte, Ph.D., Solution Principal, Employee Experience at Medallia and Josh Bersin, HR Industry Analyst and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte @ Experience ’20

I’m excited to share that as part of our virtual Medallia Experience ’20 event, I had the opportunity to host Josh Bersin, an HR industry analyst, leader, educator, and founder, about the trends and changes the HR industry is facing as a result of COVID-19. I found this conversation to be an excellent representation of the current state of our industry, along with what we can expect in the future. You can watch the Medallia Talks session here.

I was really interested in understanding Josh’s perspective on what HR leaders have been experiencing now – during a pandemic. Josh explained that leaders were transitioning through three distinct phases at their own pace:

  1.   React: Leaders and HR teams question what happened and what to do.
  2.   Respond: A series of HR and IT policies, along with many others, are implemented across the organization.
  3.   Return: Organizations begin to invent and transform into new environments and processes designed for low-touch business models, accommodating employees and customers alike.

Josh then mentioned how the Medallia Employee Experience bridges the gap between employers and employees through two-way communication during such an uncertain time as it drives positive change. This is not the time for an annual survey, but for quick check-ins to ask employees “are you OK?” Giving them the ability to answer that question builds trust. Taking a quick employee pulse is a great way to accomplish this. 

I went on to inquire about what Josh had heard from HR leaders regarding their COVID-19 experiences and challenges. Josh’s response was one that I, like many, have heard throughout this difficult time:

The biggest shock to HR has been the fact that the HR organization now has to be the crisis response — resilient operating response of the company — coupled with finance, IT, facility, and safety organizations.

Josh continued by emphasizing that continuous communications, listening, and employee feedback are the driving force for current HR efforts. Josh referenced an example of a large insurance corporation that had been trying to develop a transparent company culture for over 20 years. “In a matter of two weeks, we did it,” he stated.

Throughout the conversation, Josh explained the value of People Analytics versus the traditional HR Analytics approach. With the high levels of anxiety around workplaces right now, HR departments must focus on creating trust and bonding with their employees more than ever before and using the proper data to help do so.

He continued by discussing how Human Resources departments are playing “catch up” compared to marketing and customer organizations who have been on top of listening functions for years. Josh challenged viewers to think about, “How do we take all this experiential people data and add that to the HR data we already have?”

This led our conversation to the topic of “Employee Action Platforms.” Josh explains that in the past, HR only collected data about employees through annual surveys and then translated that into information for the company.

Josh concluded the conversation by highlighting how the future of HR relies on the need for technology such as Medallia’s to provide managers, leaders, and HR departments with real-time information, which enables them to make actionable decisions.

I couldn’t agree more.