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Digital Transformation - HR Tech

EQ & AI in Team Performance Software — Key Takeaways from Our HR Tech Event in Berlin

The end of June was a special time for Monterail as it marked the inaugural event of our Digital Transformation Through Meaningful Software series (any associations with our mission fully justified!). The whole idea for such a series has been stuck in our heads for quite a long time and it was high time to kick it into gear.

So, on June 24, we met in Berlin to discuss the role of Emotional and Artificial Intelligence in Team Performance Software. At the event, we wanted to address the two prominent objectives in management guidelines that seem to be mutually exclusive, namely how to introduce more human-centric management on the one hand, and automated scalability offered by modern software and AI on the other?

Finding a good balance of these two aspects is never easy, but it would seem we managed to at least partially address this issue, as you will hopefully see later on. I’m excited to finally share with you a summary and key takeaways from this meaningful event. Enjoy!

Key speakers at our AIxEQ in HRTech event

Our key speakers: Sohraab Joshi—Founder & CEO at MindMatch, Anthony Reo—Co-founder & Product at Bunch.ai, Charles Ahmadzadeh—Co-founder & Engineering At Bunch.ai, Julian Tesche—Head of Market Development at Peakon and Christian Vetter—Founder and CEO at HRForecast.

Why HR Tech? Why Team Performance Software?

Since its launch nine years ago, Monterail has been involved in building several HR tech products, including an HR administration suite and a recruitment platform. Our priority is to deliver meaningful software, and the only way to do it is by thoroughly understanding the business needs of both users and providers of such solutions.

With this event, we wanted to give a better platform to the conversation between providers and consumers of HR tech services, in order to discover needs that HR tech can solve and learn more about the latest solutions and industry standards through specific use cases. Living in the era of Management 3.0, which focuses on empowering employees and respecting their autonomy, it’s easy to take the aspect of Emotional Intelligence in management for granted.

But once we dig deeper into its impact on employee turnover, we’ll get a better view the potentially staggering cost of neglecting this particular aspect of management. As Kununu’s research shows, as many as 12 out of 16 reasons for quitting are rooted in EQ-related shortages. Compounded by the expected skilled worker shortage in Germany, the issue of EQ become serious.

In October 2018, companies there were unable to fill 337,900 STEM vacancies. By 2020, the workforce might be even 1.8 million workers short, missing as many as 1.2 million vocational workers and over 500,000 university graduates. In 2040— the overall shortage could reach 3.3 million workers.

Hence, we believe HR tech is an unexplored niche whose impact will continue to grow in the near future, as ultimately it’s designed to boost our productivity and well-being. Actually, as a software development consultancy, team performance is key to everything we do and we believe in doing stuff together.

Nowadays, team performance software is much more than just a common chat thread or a task management suite —we are currently witnessing the rise of a new generation of software that integrates readings of soft and interpersonal dynamics of teams to improve their performance.

In order to stay on track, companies need to catch up with technology. As Anthony Reo from Bunch.ai succinctly put it:

If you can’t adapt to change, change will eventually defeat you.

Networking session during the EQxAI in HR Tech event
 
Networking session during the EQxAI in HR Tech event

Networking session during the event. 

Key Takeaways

During the discussion, there was plenty of interesting insights on churn strategies, data protection, and sustainable culture management, among other subjects. Listening to our key speakers was a great learning experience for us as well. Below, we compiled some of the most insightful remarks into a couple of relevant sections.

Data and Metrics

  • We all measure something. The challenge is, however, that we’re not dealing with absolute values, metrics only become meaningful in relative to something else. Seems trivial but helps unlock thinking about tools.
  • Companies measure everything, especially fiscal or marketing data. When it comes to people, the effort is much more disorganized and random.
  • You often may need a Product Manager to understand part of your data sets and not everyone can afford one.
  • Data-inspired is better than data-consumed.

Culture

  • We moved from cultural fit to achieving diversity in organizations, which might eventually lead to misfits. It’s crucial to think about culture when creating even the most diverse teams.
  • Measuring culture on a scale from 1 to 5 and telling where you are is a Holy Grail of HR tech.

If you want to change culture at your company, hire for where you wanna be, not where you are. - Anthony Reo from Bunch.ai.

One of the questions from the audience was: “How do we measure culture in the organization?” It was addressed by Charles Ahmadzadeh from Bunch.ai:

Quantifying culture can only be relative. It’s all about putting one value before another on your cultural priority scale.

  • One of the hardest jobs that HR teams have to deal with is using tools to measure the actual behavior of a person rather than personality. Bias is almost impossible to eliminate.
  • Although AI tools may seem, at first glance, an excellent solution to the problem of bias, it’s impossible to replace real human contact in the recruitment process.

Humans are intrinsically biased. If we could come up with a tool for eliminating bias, we would be millionaires by now. - Sohraab Joshi from MindMatch

A discussion panel at the EQxAI in HR Tech meeting

A heated discussion led by our Head of Design, Paweł Hawrylak, and Business Developer, Aga Brzycka.

Performance

  • Psychological safety of an employee is something you can impact and improve at all stages of the performance curve. However, you cannot measure performance during forming-storming-norming phase. It’s supposed to be a trial-and-error period.
A typical performance curve in organizations

A typical performance curve in organizations. Source: Event Presentation

Companies want to become more agile but at the same time they don’t trust this methodology or its practitioners. When you have trust, that is when you reach performance. - Julian Tesche from Peakon.

What increases team performance to a huge extent is not software itself but combined with smooth communication and transparency in the company. - Christian Vetter from HRForecast.

Filled with meaningful conversations and inspiring thoughts about HR tech, it was a beautiful evening.

If you missed our EQ x AI in Team Performance Software event or would like to get a second look at the presented content, here’s the presentation.

Emotional and Artificial Intelligence in Team Performance Software, Monterail
AI in HR tech-1 How AI Is Transforming Human Resources
8 HR tech trends to follow in 2019 8 HR Tech Trends That Will Influence Your Business in 2020
technology stack Choosing a Technology Stack for Your Web Application Development