A rise in hybrid work models globally will also lead to an immense demand in productivity and collaboration tools. But business leaders will also face the need to invest in better employee communication and team building initiatives and efforts to account for hybrid workforce needs. Pierre Lindmark, Founder & CEO at Winningtemp discusses more in this chat with TecHRseries:
Tell us a little about yourself Pierre…we’d love to hear about the Winningtemp story and platform?
I have always been intrigued by the relationship between technology, human cognition and science, and this is where it all really started for me. Back in 2004, having completed my Master of Science in Intelligent Systems Design, I started work at a company that was involved in a national initiative to reduce sick leave across Sweden. This project consisted of over 20 experts and researchers from Karolinska Institute all working together to utilize their various areas of expertise in order to inform and, ultimately, execute real change. It was through my involvement with this project that I first realized the value of applying scientific rigor when looking to implement HR initiatives.
After spending four years on the project, I realized that my passion lay in examining the way in which both empirical and people-led data can work together, and using this to develop projects that make a real-world difference. Given this, the original plan for Winningtemp was to enable businesses to improve the employee experience through the harnessing of science and data. We quickly realized the benefit of transforming our offering to combine these two disciplines, making use of AI in order to provide predictions and recommendations which help to strengthen engagement and allow measurable gains in performance to be made….for example, to help minimize sick leave or staff turnover.
What are some of the ways in which you’ve seen businesses’ needs for HR Tech change over the years – what are some of the ways in which you feel HR tech innovators can enhance their offerings to suit these changing needs in 2021 and beyond (how /why?).
The most important change we have observed is that HR matters have finally become a top priority for C-suite figures, and this has brought with it a willingness to do better. The real challenge now lies in ensuring morale is maintained and employees remain happy, engaged, and productive as employers continue to navigate the new normal.
Whether adapting to a hybrid working model or going fully remote, the need for productivity and collaboration will increase, and we will need to move beyond the need to simply boost engagement, and begin to focus more on supporting performance. With advances in AI, and the ability to link tangible data to profitability, it is now possible to better understand behaviors in an organization, automate workflows, and generate insights into what needs to be improved. This amalgamation of data is where I believe we can expect to see a great deal of growth and success when it comes to HR tech.
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While HR Tech innovators have responded to the 2020 global pandemic crisis in different ways – there’ve still been a lot of lags that businesses have had to deal with when it comes to navigating a changing tech landscape and addressing dynamic challenges during this time. Can you share your thoughts on some interesting ways in which businesses have used their HR tech stack to create better employee wellness practices during this time?
Every company is, of course, different and therefore the solutions that have been implemented will be specific for each organization, and sector. Despite this, however, there is one overarching factor that is essential to consider and that is a tool’s real-time capabilities. Platforms such as Winningtemp allow businesses to closely follow their workforce’s wellbeing in real-time and, in turn, predict and mitigate against negative consequences before reaching a point of no return. We can see from the data, as well as conversations with our clients, that in even these challenging times, driving positive wellbeing, reducing stress and fostering a sense of engagement has remained as important as ever, perhaps even more so.
As HR leaders respond to the business needs of the new normal; what are some of the top thoughts you’d share with them when it comes to implementing HR Tech to drive business goals and strengthen employee practices and policies?
The single most important thing to do when implementing new HR technology is to secure full commitment to the solution from everyone within the organization at the very beginning – from top leaders to junior staff. Given how incredibly advanced many of these solutions and the incredible impact that can be had – after using Winningtemp for just one year, our customers, on average, have reported: a 30% reduction in staff turnover; 26% fewer reports of stress in the workplace; and a 21% increase in employee satisfaction – the only way to really fail is by missing out on internal commitment.
What are some of the top tech trends and in-demand skills you feel will dominate HR and HR Tech in the near-future?
I think there will be a shift away from the deployment of individual solutions that are great at addressing specific parts of the HR process and a move towards a more holistic approach, whereby one tool can be used by businesses to support its staff throughout the entirety of their employment. In the early days, when my team and I would talk about Winningtemp working as a complete employee lifecycle solution in this way, many thought we were getting ahead of ourselves, but the tide is turning rapidly in our favor. Particularly given the commitment that is needed from all levels of an organization to successfully utilize HR tech to the best of its ability.
It goes without saying that we will also see major changes in AI, automation and workflow simplification too.
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Before we wrap up, we’d love to hear a little about some of your highlights from 2020 (employee culture initiatives taken during Covid-19, special initiatives for partners and customers, etc)!
I am delighted that we were able to complete a series B investment round amid the pandemic, and this is something we could have never achieved without the continued delivery of excellent service to our customers. To me, 2020 has both demonstrated, and truly pushed the boundaries of, what can be achieved with a dedicated and engaged workforce. I am so proud of my team at Winningtemp, they have consistently succeeded in outperforming themselves, going above and beyond at times when it was most needed.
A few of your biggest takeaways and tips on working effectively from anywhere….and adjusting to the new normal…
Don’t get obsessed with trying to monitor and check that people are really working when they are remote. Instead, focus on keeping people engaged and on what can be improved in order to do this, and involve your employees in the process. With the right tools, leaders can be alerted when engagement starts to drop, and given actionable suggestions on how to restore it to normal levels. People working remotely don’t need more stick to stay committed, but rather more attention and concern.
And lastly….can you also tell us a little about Winningtemp’s core company and employee culture?
I think what defines us is our team spirit. We are bold, we are focused, we are humble, and we are curious; but more than anything else, we are always there for each other and prepared to go to great lengths to help our customers to achieve their goals.
Winningtemp was founded in 2014 and currently has 60 employees across four offices in Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo and London. Winningtemp is derived from ‘winning temperature’, which means a company having the optimal temperature for success.
Pierre Lindmark is the CEO & co-founder of Winningtemp. Based in Gothenburg, Pierre is an entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in computer science as well as artificial intelligence, and boasting over 11 years of practical experience working with HR solutions. Following time spent with CEOs and company leaders, he began to realise the need for a tool that could capture employees’ feelings and reactions effectively. Combining his expertise in cloud services and software for learning management systems, he founded Winningtemp with Mathias Hansson.
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