With so much going on in the world—whether it’s the pandemic, politics, or social issues—employee engagement is top of mind for business leaders. What are some of the ways they can best engage their employees during such a dynamic time?
In truth, it’s going to differ from team to team, company to company; that’s where Peakon comes in. We talk a lot about the execution gap: the gap between a change initiative and the capability of an organization to achieve that change. Engagement is the way to close that gap. But who’s best placed to increase engagement? We believe that’s the direct manager of a team. Their capabilities and management style have the biggest impact on their team’s engagement, so it’s critical they have real-time insight on what their team is concerned about.
In the broadest sense, a management approach that’s going to encourage engagement at a time like this is one that’s open, understanding, communicative, reassuring, and able to simplify situations in order to drive focus.
Your team has analyzed a lot of data with regards to employee sentiment over the past year. What have you observed and any surprise findings?
This is one of the things I love most about Peakon: Our Heartbeat website, where we look at the macro-trends in our data. So far we’ve accumulated 153 million survey responses.
In 2020, the focus was on how companies and employees were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. A surprise finding: We saw that from the start of 2020 through July, employee engagement actually increased 2% globally for Peakon customers.
The industry with the biggest uplift was financial services, which had to undergo rapid changes to stay productive during lockdowns. Our data points to a positive response to working from home, perhaps avoiding some stressful office environments as a result. We also observed a 5% increase in employees feeling their mental well-being was a priority for their employers. That was great to read, and hopefully a trend that continues in the post-pandemic world.
Where employees did miss out in 2020 was on career growth. While many of us have learned a lot—perhaps more than during a regular year—our data shows that the formal recognition of that learning through growth and career progression has slowed slightly.
Now that Peakon is set to become part of Workday, how do you anticipate we’ll be changing the world of work together and what are you most excited about?
My background is in product and engineering, so naturally my mind jumps to the product opportunities. The combined technologies of both businesses could yield insights that may have a truly transformative effect on how people manage organizations. That’s got to be the ambition.
Workday excels at helping enable customers to leverage their data. Together, we’ll be able to help drive greater productivity, talent development, and employee retention for our customers—and unify how employees interact with their organizations. I can’t wait to get started on this, and I know the Peakon team feels the same.
**Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Workday will acquire Peakon for consideration of approximately $700 million in cash, subject to adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Workday's fiscal year 2022, ending April 30, 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals.