n these turbulent times, many firms are viewing the period of disruption as an opportunity to reassess and improve how they care for and develop employees – and ultimately build better organisations.
Irish talent tech firms are supporting HR and organisational development departments at global firms as they examine how a push for employee development, behavioural change and organisational transformation can help businesses build strong capability for the future, whatever it may bring.
While companies have had many organisational challenges in adjusting to the ‘new normal’, the human side of remote working has been the most critical.
“We are all social beings,” says Jim O’Brien, one of the co-founders of Our Tandem, a performance management technology company based in Ireland with offices in London, New York and Toronto. “We have lost that time we used to have to interact with colleagues and build trust in the workplace, so organisations are looking for ways to replace it.”
Our Tandem re-imagines the world of work to provide a digital employee experience and engagement solution, designed to ignite and sustain a workplace culture that inspires all employees.
Initially, Our Tandem was more focused on being a feedback channel, but it has evolved, says O’Brien. “It is now a culture-change tool, helping you to shift the culture from one of low feedback or judgemental feedback, to one where the entire employee experience – from feedback, to goals, check-ins and surveys – is an everyday experience, with no surprise or fear involved.”
Founded in 2016, Our Tandem has built a large client base across Europe, these include financial firms such as Swiss Re, Abn Amro, Axa, and Société Générale.
In these changed times, it’s vital for employers to have a culture of safety and care, says Pa Fealy, CEO of PulseLearning, an award-winning, global learning company founded in 1999.
“People often have a deep desire to help each other but they’re not sure what to do. On the flip-side, we all need help sometimes, but we are not sure how to ask for it. PulseLearning bridges the gap between someone who has a willingness to help and someone who needs help.”
PulseLearning created the ‘I Am Here’ employee mental health and wellbeing programme with clinical experts to facilitate cultural change within organisations. It promotes an environment where asking for help is encouraged and facilitated.
Clients using I Am Here see an increase in the use of employee assistance programmes and a significant, sustained reduction in sick days and workers’ compensation claims for clients.
“I Am Here creates a behavioural and cultural change in an organisation. Mental health and wellbeing supports are not just a nice-to-have, they are a need-to-have. Loss of time in the business by a team member has a business impact as well as a human impact.”
Upskilling is a real concern for any company engaged in digital transformation, especially as it can leave experienced employees doing their best with outmoded skills.
Time and again, however, Code Institute has seen large firms being able to take their seasoned employees and help them adapt, thereby benefiting both the workers and their employers.
Code Institute’s core product is a university-accredited diploma in full stack web development.
Its content is reviewed quarterly under the auspices of an industry council, which includes representatives from Accenture, Intercom, Microsoft and PayPal, among others.
While individuals can sign up to study, Code Institute also works closely with HR and learning and development teams within corporate clients.
Jane Gormley, director of employer engagement at Code Institute, says: “Giving existing staff new skills is vital to successful digital transformation and also supports internal mobility for employees. We all know there is a massive digital skills shortage, but it is really positive to be able to retain your existing experienced staff. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
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