3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks

“The annual performance review process is pretty broken,” says Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks and our latest guest on the 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat video podcast. “It was created seventy years ago for hierarchical organizations,” which means it’s mismatched to manager-employee dynamics at most organizations today, according to Doug. His credentials and past experience leading well-known vendors in our space are formidable and lent gravitas to our discussion. And I happen to agree with him wholeheartedly.

Years ago, in a previous professional life, I wrote about “a coming mass extinction in human capital management.” A result of advances in technology spurring an evolution in attitudes around how best to get the most out of employees, chief among the coming casualties would be the conventional, traditional annual performance review, in my opinion.

It was nothing particularly revelatory on my part. For a long time, plenty others had been saying similar things. The idea to say it was a “coming mass extinction” gave the idea some bite and sounded cool, I rationalized. Fast forward to today. The bite of the past two years accelerated the aforementioned evolution in those attitudes to the point where, here we are, fixated on how to create the conditions for an optimal employee experience at all times. Clunky, yearly performance reviews don’t fit into this equation. We may still need them for compliance, sure. Factor machine learning and social media-grade functionality into continuous performance enablement, however, and a clear, auditable trail of information further supporting any action with an employee is possible and defensible from a regulatory standpoint.

Enablement is the new word, by the way. Doug doesn’t like the word “management” in performance management, and neither do I — not one bit. It’s just as bad as the “management” in human capital management or talent management. The idea that we’re enabling performance is a better, more accurate reflection of the purpose of evaluating employees, and we end up doing much more than merely evaluating them. This is a good thing.

Think of all the advantages modern technology for the employee experience affords us when compared to the old approaches. All you have to do is read Betterworks’ tagline: “Betterworks closes the loop between people, strategy and results, enabling organizations to align even the most sprawling teams.” There’s no practical way to form a virtuous loop of people, strategy and results with only a conventional performance management system. Add work from home to the mix, and a renaissance, an expansion in our thinking in our approach to figuring out how employees are performing, is in order.

The frustrating and stilted thing about the way old-style performance management has developed, is that it occurs in a vacuum. It doesn’t really drive strategy. It purports to help drive results, but barely does so. Mostly, staff loathe the tedious annual review process and anything to do with performance management. So do their managers. Underperforming or struggling employees fear the process. There’s little room for positive engagement wherein they might feel good about the opportunity to get better at their jobs. It’s all top-down evaluation, all the time, and, often, the process isn’t even very efficient or effective in producing accurate, usable evaluations.

Roll the Great Resignation into this calculus, and no company wants to approach the performance of its people in a way that dissuades them from staying. It’s individuals’ work that actually helps the organization succeed, after all, and conventional performance management alone isn’t up to the task of tapping into and harnessing this. Research from “Deloitte would tell you that, that annual performance reviews don’t change performance,” says Doug. “People hate the process, people hate getting it, people ‘ain’t getting it,’ and it doesn’t work.” He’s right, and I very much enjoyed my conversation with Doug on this episode of the podcast. We later got into subjects such as AI and its potential near- and distant-future impacts on the prospect of enabling people, as well as where exactly HR sits in performance enablement. Your time would be well-spent to check out the full episode.

Our #HRTechChat Series is also available as a podcast on the following platforms:

See a service missing that you use? Let our team know by emailing research@3SixtyInsights.com.


Brent Skinner 00:00
Hello, my name is Brent Skinner and I am co-founder of 3Sixty Insights where I lead the HCM practice area, as its principal analyst. And today, we have as our guest on the latest episode of our video podcast, HRTechChat, Doug Dennerline, who is CEO of better works, and better works is a company whose tagline is closing the loop between people strategy and results. Very much looking forward to my conversation with Doug whose pedigree and credentials are very formidable. And he has a lot of insight and wisdom to share around people enablement, performance management, goal setting, and all the rest. Welcome, Doug,

Doug Dennerline 00:45
you know, as people are returning to work, and this new work environment that we’re all sitting inside of people realize probably now more than ever, even though they probably realized that for the last 10 years that the annual performance review process is pretty broken. You know, it was created seven, literally seven years ago for hierarchical organizations. You know, there’s not that much hierarchy and organizations say the person you work, probably the least with is your manager, you know, it’s within people in the organization. It’s all, you know, outside interactions that with your manager. And so we’ve been talking about moving this process to something that is not so HR driven, and more compliance driven, because, you know, Deloitte would tell you that, that the research around performance doesn’t change performance, people hate the process, people hate getting it, people hate giving it and it doesn’t work. And so we need to find something that actually helps people. And we think that’s more around the enablement side, which is making it something that the individual contributor actually she’s valuing, versus what they used to do before.

Brent Skinner 01:52
You got my spidey sense, going here. You mentioned Deloitte. And you said that there’s some research, there’s research out there that says, you know, that performance, like performance review does not improve performance. And so yeah, well, yeah. And what are we trying to do? We’re trying to optimize performance. We’re trying to help employees be better at their jobs. So it’s, yeah, yeah. So what do you think we’re just going away from, performance assessments like, official assessments? Are we just moving away from that completely? Like, how is it? How’s that going to work?

Doug Dennerline 02:35
Well, a little background on me. And I’m also the ex president of SuccessFactors. And we were really at that point in time, the company that was the first to build HR performance products and put them into the cloud. And maybe based on the annual performance review, yeah, I think what I’m trying to do here with along with my, my fellow employees and other people inside of betterworks, is build something that actually changes the outcomes. So we center our conversations, these lightweight conversations, quarterly conversations between manager employee based on a methodology called OKRs objectives and key results. And, you know, one of our key investors is John Doerr, and he’s literally the son of the OKR methodology is basically tied to every portfolio company ever invested in, and so that the conversation is what are your goals this quarter? Not only what are you doing for the company? So you’re aligned to the company’s top goals? But what are what are you want to accomplish in the company and as your manager, how can I help you achieve those goals. And so the employee actually sees a benefit while my manager is talking to me about me helping me grow inside the organization. And I also know that my work is actually tied to the company achieving its goals. And one of the stats Brent I love is 70% of people in companies really don’t understand how their work actually helps a company achieve anything, you know, so you get a big increase in engagement when you come to work everyday, and you naturally know that your work X helping the company achieve what it’s trying to accomplish.

Brent Skinner 04:04
Yeah, you know, what’s interesting about that, too, is, to my mind also increases. Well, how to put this. So there’s the, if you look at the employee experience, right? There’s a lot of employee engagement, it seems that a lot of companies where there’s low pull engagement, I might just be sort of hypothesizing here. But I’d be surprised if I were wrong. If this were incorrect or inaccurate. Seems like a lot of companies where there’s low employee engagement, there just is really not much appreciation on the employee’s part for their contribution to the organization and there’s not enough attention paid by the organization to help employees feel good about are sort of positive, informing to them of what their contribution is. There’s so the OKR methodology, which I’m familiar with, it just on dawned on me now, though, that, that that’s that sort of a built in almost default employee engagement and improvement approach.

Doug Dennerline 05:15
No question. And we see that in our customers, they see a pretty good increase in employee engagement, confidence in leadership, understanding and strategy. And when they do surveys now, I would tell you, it’d be interesting brand to see what the correlation would be to engagement score and great resignation, you know, especially what’s happening in all these hire hiring that we’ve done. Imagine being hired in the middle of COVID and haven’t physically never met your manager. I think a good portion of the resignations, we’re seeing from people that have never met, the company formally went over

Brent Skinner 05:51
that I wouldn’t be surprised one bit. Where do you find is there any particular industry or type of size company where we’re where your approach is? Especially, you know, especially effective? Or is it run the gamut? I mean, does it work? I mean, I’m sure it works everywhere, but you find places with areas where it’s particularly effective.

Doug Dennerline 06:17
I think it happens everywhere, in all sized companies, if you look at the growth that my company and some of our competitors, you know, you see growth at the low end you but where we’re kind of focused on is we’re going after companies that have these old, antiquated, 25 year old, you know, software applications that do old performance reviews, and wanting to move them to something that’s more lightweight, more continuous, again, more advantageous to the individual seeing benefit from it. You know, we you know, any HR process is kind of what we consider a tax on the employee. And we have a thing internally that we want to make the value of the process greater than the tax of it, so that they’re willing to go in and do it. And they go, Well, my manager, I’m having meaningful conversations, my manager, mid quarter and a quarter, not once a year, not twice a year, where it’s been difficult for HR people, though, Brent is, there’s so many downstream processes tied to that annual review, or the rating, we used to, you know, that many companies still do, unfortunately, I’m a big believer in not rating people. Because I think in most cases, you might have more performers in the top 10% or 15%, and not telling the middle 75%, you’re just mediocre, and we’re not going to invest in you and the way we are to the people behind them. And so it’s finding those progressive HR people with a progressive CEO that says, you know, I know, my most important asset is my people, and finding an HR person that says, you know, what I’m going to give, I’m going to move away from those processes of the past, and be more invested in what’s the company trying to accomplish? And let me help the company achieve its goals with helping people perform better.

Brent Skinner 08:01
What kind of pushback do you encounter to this type of approach? So let me play devil’s advocate for a moment here. Let me preface this by saying this is not my opinion at all. But if you run into somebody who says we’re not gonna evaluate people anymore, we’re not going to rate them. And how do I know? I mean, some of my people are just they’re terrible performers, I need to be able to, to fire people, I need some sort of an audit, I people should be evaluated. This is all you know, everybody gets a trophy. What’s this all about? Now the

Doug Dennerline 08:35
participation, culture? Know, you still have to come up with ways to evaluate your where your best performers are and your weakest performers are, I don’t know that it has to be a number one to a number five rating or a one to four rating. I think there’s other ways that you can evaluate through assessments that you can do we happen to believe in I’m kind of reinventing this thing called a nine block process with calibration. In the past, it’s been very much you know, the notion is one of the axis is your ability to perform. And the other axis is, you know, how much scale do you have as an individual inside the organization. So the nine block would be high performer ready to get a promotion of one block would be non performing, we should put them on a list, you know, to make sure that they either help them get to perform, or they need to go find something else to do where they can perform better than they are here. And we used to do that based upon people coming into a room the managers debating on who’s better than their you, my employees are better than your employees. And we’re using all the data inside of our application around feedback recognition, your goal attainment, all these different assets. It’s inside of our product today, to actually take that data and put you into the appropriate box in the nine block and then calibrate against that but do it on based on somebody’s performance. It’s their body of work, not what you know, the term industry calls, you know, this whole biased situation, it’s, you know, who’s can debate the best about who’s gonna do well in the organization as an employee? Right. He bias to call it

Brent Skinner 10:15
he, you walked right into, I’m glad you did something I wanted to, to just brush right here is that, you know, in the pet, it seems, you know, with performance reviews and, and assessments, a lot of it feels political to employees. Right. And, and it seems to me that the nine block assessment that you mentioned, that can that can take a lot of that out of it, right, you know, and so it seems more, less confrontational, less of an attack, and more of a, of a even, you know, an opportunity, even for employees.

Doug Dennerline 10:55
It also depends on the company. You know, I’ve also been at Cisco Systems as an executive there, where I had 6000 employees. And some companies want to be fully transparent and show people where they land on a nine block. And other people and companies don’t want to, you know, because you can get a negative effect from this kind of effort as well. But I think it’s important, you need to identify where your top performers are, and who’s got mobility, who needs to be your nest next, executives who are your are the people you’re betting on, in five years and 10 years from today, making sure that you’re enabling them to become the executives that they need to be, you know, so so it’s done so many different ways, Brent, but, you know, strong leadership teams are more bent on transparency than not. And so, you know, being honest with people and, you know, giving feedback to peoples a very difficult thing to do. And we try to create those conversations, and also coach people on you know, we have a coaching capability in our company, that you can take classes on how to be a good coach, and how to give candid feedback to people about their performance. You know, so that’s important. And I think in terms of companies that work on a culture of transparency, do better than those that don’t.

Brent Skinner 12:17
Yeah, you mentioned, you know, essentially grooming the company’s ex leaders. I mean, this obviously, is a succession planning exercise as well. And it’s when you can, when you can bake that into another process, all the better. A couple things that made me think of this just now is it you know, some of the knocking down of silos in HCM? Right in talent, hate the term talent management, just between you and me and all the podcast viewers hear the term talent management, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s kind of going away, right. And there’s a lot of silo thinking where we have these, these sort of, I would say preconceived, or seeming artificial partitions between activities, and it’s more of just a way to talk about it. Right? Or a way to, to think about okay, I need to have some software for this or for that, I need software for succession planning or software for, you know, compensation, management or whatever. But what are we talking about is, you know, what you’re talking about is where I think it’s going HCM, all they seem is going where’s it kind of blends? Right? There’s a big blending.

Doug Dennerline 13:36
Again, given my background, I think there’s, you know, a few very successful large HCM platform providers where it’s, you know, cradle to grave, it’s an ATS all the way to offboarding. Somebody, you know, it’s a core hrs application, a bunch of other applications. Well, yeah, I’m kind of a believer that, that building software is a cyclical thing. You know, there’s a time for best of breed. And then there’s a time for a platform where best of breed gets more difficult than there’s too many applications that are going on out there. But the other thing about building software, is your core DNA. Are you are you a systems of record builder? Are you a systems of engagement builder? You’ve built things that people and it deal with? Or do you build things that people in the company everyone in the company has to deal with. And I think many of those successful companies out there today are more around the back end, not the front end. And so our success really is coming at some of those large HCM providers, where people aren’t enjoying the annual performance review process that exists in there and they want HR goes, I’m going to put another best of breed application and so we’re aimed at that sweet around performance. And we want to call it performance, you know, enablement, not management.

Brent Skinner 14:56
Yeah, there’s that that word management again, we want to get away from that. Whether it’s magic moments, right, you’re going to get, and then I like the Terminator. But you know, what’s interesting there, which you mentioned is you think about points and best of breed point solutions, right? I think a lot of folks, there’s sort of just an assumption or reflexive, you no idea that, okay, there’s going to be the next breed of performance management point solutions or success in planning point solutions, or, to a lesser extent, you know, maybe scheduling point solutions, I think that’s a different animal WFM. But at the same time, no, the new the new best of breed point solutions are kind of doing away with the old siloed thinking, which is just really interesting. It’s almost an over it’s even though it’s called a point solution, it’s actually an overlay.

Doug Dennerline 15:47
You, as a, as the provider of a platform with the kid cradle to grave stuff, you can’t be great at everything, right i in the amount of venture capital that’s going into companies like my own, that are trying to take a specific process inside of HR and make it substantially better for meeting the needs of today’s workforce is a significant amount of money. And I think what might happen a little different than the past to Brent is, you know, in the day, we built software that was just monolithic. It was a giant code base, and it was all mangled together. And every time you change one thing, you have to test that across a platform that you building software and micro services, now we can, you can take these best of breed platforms in the future and go, Well, they’re the best, they’re the best, they’re the best, the best. And you can put those together quite easily in today’s environment around building software, because they’re all micro services. And you could just intertwine them together quite easily, very different than the past where you kind of have to build everything. You

Brent Skinner 16:48
know, what’s interesting, there is it, you know, and there’s a place, there’s a place for everyone. There’s a there’s a place for both approaches. But what you’re describing is, and I know we’re getting a little bit off the beaten path here, but it’s super interesting is that that’s an argument for, for the sort of, well, there’s the argument for sort of cradle to grave end to end HCM suite, but then there’s, you know, some of the emerging realities, I think it’s that you’re describing there, or pointing toward a, you know, the other direction, where maybe we’re going to move away from these suites. Who knows? I mean, if you’re, if you’re if, if your platform system of record, excuse me, right, then then you’re kind of, you’re really, like, embedded into that. Employers, you know, ecosystem, and yeah, you’re gonna need that. But yeah, I think there’s some of that going on. In this actually, this is a little bit of a little bit of a leap, but I want to go back to something. We’ve talked about HR and, and performance, or your people enablement, or however we want to call it right. What is hrs role in the performance? In Performance enable, what does HR shorten role in performance enablement? Put it that way?

Doug Dennerline 18:11
I think it’s, I think it’s dramatically different. You know, I’ve been selling to people in HR for years now. And, and it’s very clear to me when, when some companies and I just did it, we, by the way, we just had a webinar on one of our keynote speakers was Indra noi, this the CEO, past CEO of PepsiCo. And she said, You know what I did, I brought one of my best operators in that off my board of directors and I met him I made in my head of HR. And by the way, I put my best operator in my company and made her the head of HR, because it’s, it’s moving, it’s finding HR people that are really focused on the results that companies trying to accomplish, and then enabling the processes internally to engage the employees to help them achieve those goals. It’s not just that they let me help you hire and fire and not get sued. It’s about really being at the table and understanding what’s going on in the business and helping them get there.

Brent Skinner 19:13
This, this fits in with a woman with one of our themes for 2022 and is bringing HR out of the back office and to the front lines. Right. And, and you mentioned operations, we were speaking with vendors that a lot of vendors where, where they’re where their technology, their solution, you know, where it sits is, is precisely where the employee interacts with their manager or where the employee needs to be armed with information or capability, as they you know, interact with the customers on the front lines and right that’s, if you think of if you think of it spatially as HR being sort of this, you know, central function, right, and typically as it doesn’t mean that It has to act centrally all the time. But it’s think about spatially that’s far away, just spatially from over here, right? Where that actual employee experience is taking place. And so it seems to me that, that HCM technology, we might not even call it HCM. near future, I’m trying, I’m trying to use some terms that people will understand. But it’s a term so excited about how these terms are changing, but seems to me the HCM is for it’s for everybody. It’s not just for HR.

Doug Dennerline 20:35
Again, that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to move that process into the hands as a benefit to the employee and making them controlling, it’s like, you know, in our software, you go in, in the beginning of each quarter, and you sit with your manager, write your goals, put in the application, and then middle accordingly, do a check in and you do that through going in and answering a couple questions saying, you know, are you achieving your goals? What roadblocks Have you had? How can I help you remove those roadblocks? Are your goals Correct? You know, maybe we maybe we focused on the wrong things this quarter, we need to redirect in the middle of the quarter. And again, that’s a benefit the employee, I’m having meaningful conversations with my manager about my work not getting surprised if you hear that I got rated low in the company, because my manager didn’t have a clue what I do for work every day. Yeah. So again, it’s moving the process into the hands, and especially in a big company, where they have HR business partners, who are really are trying to help a function in the organization achieve its goals, and are much closer to the business because they said even though they’re line reporting HR, they sit in the business next to their next to their client. Yeah, and we’re given tools to help them be do that successfully. Yeah. And, and

Brent Skinner 21:49
where, what, how does the HR person sort of sit in that in that scenario, that that interaction with between the, the manager and the play that you just described, like, what’s the evolving role of the HR person, because it’s, it’s always been that sort of that audit, while not an audit trail, but that sort of that, how you say, the Enforcer or the, you know, when things get super bad, for instance, right between given in play and, and, and it’s his or her supervisor, right, that’s when it kind of goes to HR gets escalated. So that when it’s when the interaction is super bad, all of a sudden, HR comes in, right? In HR doesn’t want to be just that a lot of HR aspires to be sort of the inverse of the head, the other side of the coin on that, that the positivity and all of that. And when we think about how this stuff is moving farther, farther away spatially from HR, if we’re going to, if we’re going to accept that premise, and I don’t even know if we’re going to go with that, right, then how does, how does HR sit in that?

Doug Dennerline 23:01
I mean, again, that’s the goal here is to get them out of being the enforcer of these processes, which is what they’ve done in the past. You know, they’re bugging people to get it their you know, the reviews done, and we’re coming up against the deadline or forcing people to get into a nine block, you know, room to have this conversation, it’s if they feel terrible. With us, HR is not involved in that conversation. But at the backside of those quarterly conversations, we actually have these confidential questions that are between HR and the manager on things like, what’s the risk of loss of this person, what’s the what’s the opportunity for this person to be promoted in the organization. So not things the employee sees, but it’s getting HR involved, the things that matter. There’s also again, what we’re trying to do here Brent to is use as much data science as we can, and finally giving HR data to do their job. So as the intelligence inside of artificial intelligence gets better in the HR space thing with things like natural language processing, we can actually do sentiment analysis based upon the conversational data manager and a player having in our application, and we can serve as hotspots to the HR teams to say, hey, there’s a really negative conversation happening with this manager and these five employees, you might want to get involved with that manager. And again, giving that something they never had before now, it’s not where it needs to be yet because of the natural language processing capabilities, but we’re working hard on it.

Brent Skinner 24:34
Yeah, that that’s, that’s key, right. So, so if I were to sort of characterize this, right, so, HR has become sort of a coach, if you will, for managers in their performance, in their in their efforts in managers efforts to enable their people to enable the performance of their people right And, and now we’re back to that, that sort of perennial, very important and, you know, obviously very applicable narrative that you know that the HR department needs, you know, applicable data needs, you know, actionable data data that’s accurate. And that’s not only predictive, but maybe even prescriptive analytics associated with that, so that it can be as useful to the management function or the leadership, the leadership function of the organization.

Doug Dennerline 25:35
And that’s true, but we also need to do things like, you know, build software that large organizations can do for auditability, that can look back and say, did the performance of this person and the firing this person match, you know, those kinds of things that are super important, or accessibility, you know, or permissions, there’s a lot of sophistication in that software as well. But in the interaction between manager employee, that’s what we’re trying to move away from HR. And through the application. As an example, when you have this conversation in our application. At the end of it, you basically check a box as the employee, and as the manager saying, this actually occurred, I’ve had a conversation we face to face, even in the application, you click a box that says it’s actually occurred. And so we HR knows where those hotspots are, where these conversations aren’t happening and are happening, and it’s through the technology that gives them that information.

Brent Skinner 26:31
Honestly, that’s super important to, to be able to, to step in, and, and stop some of these festering potentially bad situations from really being at being dealt deleterious to the employer culture. Yeah, yeah. Oh, absolutely. Future of Work. Let’s talk about that a little bit, because I’d like to hear a little bit about a little bit of your vision dug around, where you think this stuff is going in the neck. Yeah. I like to say the near future of work, and in the distant future of work, where do you think things are going in the next few years, and, and maybe 1010 years from now,

Doug Dennerline 27:16
it’s, it’s super interesting. For me, Brent. And again, having worked in a really large organization, and you know, now better works, you know, it’s probably one of the smaller organizations I’ve ever been a part of as, as a leader, is, is the insights I picked up when I went through the total hole pandemic. You know, I used to be one of those people that said, hey, I want my leadership team, you know, near me and around me, and, you know, in an office environment, and so that restricted me that have people that were willing to drive however long they want to drive, but to show up to work every day, to being something where our culture is going to be remote person, you know, we spent the last two years finding the most amazing people we can find no matter where you work, and hiring them. Now, you know, a little bit again, my background, too, is I was the CEO of WebEx for three years. And that was in the early it was in 90, it was 97. And I thought, boy, why would anybody get in an airplane ever again, when they can do all this screen sharing and video sharing over WebEx? Well, it took a pandemic to teach the world that this capability, you know, an Iraqi one, and zoom is built and brought to the world fantastically enough in the applications that support that, you know, other business applications, that you can be incredibly productive and effective in this environment. And I think, well, you have to find this balance of coming to the office on occasion, meeting with team members meeting with leadership, but not every day. And leading this way a bit. And you’ll find great talent, I think some of those companies, I’ve seen this, that are kind of forcing people back to the office, people are saying, You know what I want to I don’t want to live in that environment anymore. I’m going to choose to do something differently. And people are gonna go in the future work is I want to go to a company where they have a great culture, they’re invested in me as a person, they’re working on things that with purpose and matter in the world. It’s not just all about just making money and supplying the experiences that you get when you come to a company that enable them to have that. And I think there’s a lot of great things in software development today that are taking people there.

Brent Skinner 29:28
Yeah, I, you know, you mentioned, you know, remote first and it reminded me of a stat I saw and I’m rounding the percentage because I don’t remember the exact percentage, but something like only 20% of employees in New York City are at the office. I think it’s more than three days a week right now or even one day a week, I think. Yeah. See, fewer than 20% Are there five days a week and the rest are doing hybrid or, or work from home completely, just that data is amazing.

Doug Dennerline 30:06
I think post I think that’s partly due to the pandemic. And you know, now we have only Cron. And you know, it’s frightened people again, but I think post pandemic, it’s never going to change back. I think people are now seeing that, you know, and I can spend more quality time with my family. I call it work life integration, be at work, we need to work and be with a family when you need to be with the family. I’m about accomplishment of work, not time doing your job. Right. And that’s an important quality for me as a leader as well, I want people to be you know, deliver the goods and, and you can you can do whatever you need to do but deliver the goods and other time you spend, you can pick how you want to do that.

Brent Skinner 30:48
Yeah, yeah. What role do you if you were to look away out into the future, and the great thing about way out in the future, there’s no right or wrong, because by the time it happens, no one will remember this conversation. But if you were to think about AI’s role, artificial intelligence is role and in assuming, you know, the apparent rapid pace, or maybe not so rapid pace, if it’s, you know, it’s sort of its evolution, right? What role is AI going to play in employee enablement, in the future? Or is it is it going to go back to? Is it going to go back to performance, management or assessment, if you were thinking dystopian, just to be just to be fun with this little bit,

Doug Dennerline 31:42
it’s going to be it’s going to be incredible. Actually, AI is going to play a very important part. We just wrote an application that helps people author, good OKRs. Right, as you’re writing your OKR, if it’s not worded correctly, we’ll come in and say, hey, you need to have an active verb in an OKR. Or you KR really should be more measurable than the one that you just wrote, we’re going to be able to do coaching from when the application so we’re going to know, based upon the last performance conversation, you had that you’re going to have a difficult one now, we can deliver in in product content, you saying, here’s how you begin a difficult conversation with an employee, and have a 92nd video of in yet educating the manager on how to have that conversation, we’re going to use AI to determine your performance based upon your body of work, I mean, the amount of things that we’re going to be able to do in the future is going to be I mean, we have three data scientists on board. And all they do is come up with creative ways. We can tell you, we did a we did a hackathon about six months ago, in a couple engineers went and wrote an application based upon your interaction with our OKR application, it made a determination what who’s most likely to leave the company next. And it had like 97% accuracy of saying, This person is not interacting with this product very much. And they ended up being the people leaving the company. So the amount of intelligence rent that’s going to come out in what we do in the world of talent is going to be significant.

Brent Skinner 33:10
That’s, that’s really exciting. And one of the examples you shared was that, you know, something that we did not cover too much, but I wish we had or I’m glad you reminded me is, you know, that the whole tie in with learning, right, just in time learning delivering that learning object to that person just at the right time. So that’s most effective that has the most potential impact with that, that difficult conversation. Soft skills.

Doug Dennerline 33:35
Yeah. I mean, Brent, we have a, we have an integration with Udemy. Today, you can and they’re also a customer. So you can be having a development conversation and look at me recommend a couple of classes and an automatically develop an OKR and you link it to the Udemy you know, Library of classes. And so now you’re okay, all right, go take that course, which is going to help you round out your skills to significant tie ins to things around development in learning.

Brent Skinner 34:03
That that’s really interesting, the way that’s all holistic and it kind of just, I look if I can’t find a word, it’s it’s an actually an easy word. I can’t find it. But it’s this this, this interrelatedness of all this probably what I was looking for in terms of all those functions to to deliver a new kind of experience. That’s fantastic stuff. Doug, this has been a fantastic conversation.

Doug Dennerline 34:32
Thank you, Brent. I enjoyed I enjoy talking with you.

Brent Skinner 34:36
Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. I can’t wait for this one to go live. This has been a fantastic conversation.

Doug Dennerline 34:43
Oh good. Take care. All the best to you.

Brent Skinner 34:45
Thank you, you too. Bye

Share your comments: