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Unlock People Power: 8 Things We Learnt from Transform 2023

Transform 2023 was definitely one for the books. Held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 27-29, the three-day conference was packed with informative sessions with insights on how technology is helping shape the future of HR and best practices from industry leaders. This year’s conference focused on people-driven leadership and how it can influence strategy, ignite innovation, and define what’s next in the world of work.

The event was attended by several companies, including big names in HR Tech and recruiting, and over 250 innovative thought leaders. Multiplier was one of the sponsors, and the team had a fantastic time interacting with leading pioneers and enterprise attendees. It was a truly memorable experience.

Here are some major takeaways from this year’s event:

Bring a data-driven lens to compensation planning

Compensation planning needs to be approached from a data-driven perspective. HR professionals must  look at data analytics as an essential tool to make equitable and consistent compensation decisions. With the rise of pay transparency laws and regulations, organizations must be responsible for empowering employees with compensation education. It’s critical to have a well-defined compensation philosophy grounded in data to meet these expectations.

Attract top candidates by focusing on pre-onboarding and onboarding

Prioritizing pre-onboarding and onboarding can make a significant impact on employee retention. Maisha Gray-Diggs, the Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Eventbrite, highlighted that the first 90 days of a new employee’s job are the most crucial. To attract and retain top-tier candidates, engaging and nurturing employees are essential even before their first day. Hiring managers should communicate their 30-60-90 day plans before the employee’s start date, which can significantly improve retention rates. This is because the more engaged employees are from the beginning, the more likely they are to stay with the organization.

Adopting a DE&I approach starts at the top of the hiring funnel

DE&I is no longer an option, it is now a necessity. People-first organizations understand that DE&I cannot be pushed to the wayside if they want their businesses to thrive. The first step in prioritizing DE&I is to educate and raise awareness at the top of the hiring funnel. By doing so, organizations can create an informed inclusive ecosystem that leads to closer job-to-individual matches, better online career exploration resources, clearer job postings, and improved de-biasing of application screening.

Think beyond the confines of traditional sources of talent

Talent-as-a-Service (TaaS) is gaining popularity in the fiercely competitive labor market. By leveraging TaaS, businesses can tap into a diverse range of global freelancers and contractors to achieve their hiring goals quickly. To succeed, focusing on the bigger picture of your intentions and outcomes is essential rather than specialized skills, degrees, or experience. Doing so lets you discover untapped potential and game-changing candidates with innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. This approach can help your organization become more agile, cost-effective, and flexible.

Tech that boosts flexible work will gain maximum traction‍

Besides the emergence of remote teams, the change in employee expectations concerning flexibility has made investors favor technologies that improve the aspect. Moreover, technological advancements which help workers do what they actually enjoy will see a boost in investments. This is evident from the fact that many talent markets globally are tilted towards employee demands. Companies are expected to purchase HRtech that helps employees be more productive and automate mundane tasks.‍

DE&I budgets, Chat GPT, VR: Fad or Future?‍

The panelists in the “Funding the Future of Work: The Venture Capital Perspective” session believe that unless companies culturalize DE&I and have clear goals, DE&I budgets may become more of a PR hype. They also believe ChatGPT, cryptocurrency and virtual reality to be fads. While the panelists believe VR to be a fad because it is hardly ready for mass-consumption, charging Chatgpt as a fad came as a surprise. The panelists cleared the air by clarifying that they find huge use cases for generative AI. However, Chat GPT currently having the first mover advantage feels like a passing fad. As the days go by, many new players in Generative AI will emerge. Chat GPT will face stiff competition and this may slowdown the fad and its adoption.

Creating psychological safety in distributed teams ‍

Psychological safety at the workplace is a shared belief among employees that allows them to feel safe, appreciated and fulfilled when they voice ideas, questions, concerns, and mistakes.

At Transform, HR leaders shared how managers need to adapt to ensure psychological safety remains unperturbed at the workplace. When employees are in-house, any hostility, or microaggressions can be identified without any second-guesses. As teams become distributed, managers are left guessing for context.

To ensure this is addressed, HR leaders are asking managers to create a culture around sharing and trust. According to a study by WorkHuman, when employees feel psychologically safe at work, there’s a 27% reduction in turnover, 12% increase in productivity, and 40% reduction in safety incidents. Tactics like reverse mentoring, employee mobility, and 1-1 meetings can help employees feel psychologically safe.

Building social connections needs to be more strategic‍

Despite a myriad of virtual employee engagement programs, managers are missing the mark in enhancing social connections at work. When talking about employee engagement for distributed teams, the panelists opined that creating social connections at the workplace requires more strategic thought.

As with any strategy, HR leaders need to start with their employees. Kaleem Clarkso, COO of Blendme, said, “Creating social connections needs to be a bottom-up approach. Leaders need to be involved in these efforts as a student and not as a teacher.”

What type of social connection do employees want? What connections do they crave for at work? Is there any relation between attrition rates and workplace connections? What does data from stay interviews and exit interviews say about this? Conducting pulse surveys and establishing committees such as employee resource groups to understand what employees want is the right way to kick-off.

It’s been three years since we’ve got an unprecedented taste of doing things distributed. Speakers of Transform 2023 teach us everything – funding, talent acquisition, employee experiences – must be seen from the lens of flexibility. HR leaders must adapt to embrace these changes.

Supriya VS
Supriya VS

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Supriya believes in doing > thinking. She is a product marketer with a decade of experience across e-comm, ed-tech and SaaS industries, including over 500 customer conversations that have been instrumental in charting consumer personas and understanding customer pain points, buying patterns, and concerns at various levels of the decision-making funnel. Her mantra is “Done is better than perfect!”

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