Society is changing at break-neck speed, and lots of that change is driven by technology. Most organisations I speak to are going through some type of transformation. And this generally needs a degree of cultural change in order to succeed. So why not harness the power of technology to help you manage this change?

Yes, I’m talking about the exciting new developments in sentiment monitoring and analysis. In a world where we crave immediate feedback, the days of annual employee surveys are over. As leaders, we want to take our people with us. We want to understand how they’re feeling as we lead them through change programmes. As human beings, we all want our voices to be heard. And we want our concerns and suggestions to be acted upon quickly if we’re to truly engage.

What’s out there?

It’s an area of HR tech I’d been interested in for a while. This was only heightened as I focused more on employee engagement and internal communications after launching BrandPointZero. So, when I read this great article by Lucy Adams towards the end of last year, I was inspired to take a closer look into what’s out there. I started with the ones Lucy mentioned: OfficeVibe, CultureAmp and Glint (recently acquired by LinkedIn). But my research led me to a couple of other gems too, namely PeakOn and IntrinsicX (but more about that in a sec). I was bowled over – implementing any one of these platforms could be game-changing for most organisations. But which one do you go for? How do you choose which is right for you?

Horses for courses

I don’t profess to be an expert, but in my opinion it’s very much a case of ‘horses for courses’.

  • They’re all clever tech platforms that use algorithms to ask questions and gather opinion from your people – in a variety of randomised, anonymised, frequent and light-touch ways.
  • All present data in user-friendly dashboards, usually in real time.
  • Generally all offer services that show engagement generally (including at key moments in employee experience).
  • They can help you monitor and improve effectiveness (feedback mechanisms between managers and their teams, replacing outdated performance management systems).
  • And they can all be used to shed light on how your organisation’s faring in its diversity and inclusion objectives – a particularly useful application in today’s world of work.

If you’re scrapping your annual survey, I’d recommend getting them all in and comparing what they offer directly against what you need in your organisation. What exactly do you want to measure and monitor, and why? Who do you want to ask? How will they access this? How frequently? Where are they based? Who’s going to action what comes in? How do you want to segment the data? Whatever your brief, they will all be able to meet it in slightly different ways, and for slightly different costs, so it’s really down to what suits your organisation best.

Bespoke v. benchmarking

So, here’s the thing I found as a point of difference that I thought was really interesting. The big players offer many different types of questions and surveys (all pre-designed by clever psychologists). That means a lot of the content preparation has been done, and you can benchmark your data against all of the other organisations also asking the same questions of their people. Great…Or is it? I asked myself, why is it so important to know whether the people in your organisation are more or less ‘engaged’ in some way than in another company?

Surely, the most important thing is to make sure you are being the best you can be as an employer. Surely, it’s your organisation you want to change, monitor, improve – for the benefit of your own people and performance. And it might only be in something quite specific – a particular initiative or project. That’s where IntrinsicX excited me. With these guys you design your own questions. Ones that are relevant and right for you. And ones you can evolve over time to nudge behaviours and embed lasting change.

At BrandPointZero, we develop creative communications programmes to support cultural change. So this level of adaptability allows us to specifically measure their effectiveness. Once we have your questions designed, implementation is so quick and easy, and you find yourself with a completely bespoke and relevant solution.  Truly intelligent engagement. I love the idea of that.