Experience Our Harvest Bounty

Thank you to everyone who joined our Harvest Leader Retreat! We missed those who couldn’t attend and are delighted to share key highlights here. These include industry analyst Josh Bersin stating that “Waggl has built an action platform unlike one I’ve ever seen.” Here Bersin refers to the authentic dialogue that is a key outcome of Employee Voice. He notes that “the most in-demand skills are uniquely human skills: empathy, listening and effective oral communication.”

Bersin states that Waggl’s platform activates the right conversations to advance any organizational initiative. Speakers demonstrated this throughout Harvest, including customer speakers from PepsiCo, Heineken, 3M and Freddie Mac.

Bersin, J., “Employee Voice: Engagement Grown Up,” presented at Waggl Harvest, Napa Valley, CA, Sep 17-19, 2019. 

Shaping the Future

Freddie Mac began our Harvest program by sharing its Employee Voice journey. This journey started with activating Employee Voice to gauge the impact and progress of key initiatives, and then to prioritize initiative design. Freddie Mac’s transformation truly began by applying Employee Voice towards “shaping the future,” and shifting from assessing engagement to having direct conversations at scale about what is wrong and how to fix it. 

Fearing, D., “The Freddie Mac Story: Inspiring Talent in the Age of Agility,” presented at Waggl Harvest, Napa Valley, CA, Sep 17-19, 2019. 

With this overarching focus on co-defining the best forward action, our Harvest speakers shared three profound outcomes they’re gaining along their Employee Voice journey. 

1. Developing Leaders to Navigate Change

Several speakers addressed the challenge leaders may experience when shifting from providing all of the answers, to embracing the broader knowledge of their teams. Parsons Corporation shared Waggl pulse results indicating that “Managers don’t need to engage their teams with answers to everything. They just need to engage in a conversation. Employee Voice provides the context and reasons to have these conversations.” UCHealth presented Waggl data evidencing that leaders who engage in meaningful, transparent conversations have a more highly engaged team. Conversely, those who don’t, see decreased engagement scores. Bersin credits Waggl’s voting function in building alignment and shared ownership through these conversations. He stated “If you let your employees vote, the CEO can’t ignore the vote, the vote is the vote, and you have to act on the vote.” 

2. Creating and Sustaining a Speak Up Culture

Gilead Sciences, Texas Children’s Hospital, Boeing and VA North Texas explored the psychological safety individuals need to share their voice. They emphasized how Waggl generates a transparent conversation, while simultaneously fostering the trust to participate in this conversation. In Thaler Pekar’s storytelling session, we experienced firsthand how sharing our stories generates trust. Bersin cited a study indicating that “the ability to listen, adapt and behave in a way that is trusted by your people is the most important thing to your employees and their lives.” Given this, he stated “Waggl is not just an engagement and productivity tool, it’s almost an existential tool to running a great organization.”

3. Transforming Culture at Scale

Heineken, PepsiCo and 3M shared powerful stories, while in conversation with create-innovate-operate founder, about the surprising rewards they are experiencing embracing Employee Voice. They shared how seeking actionable insights that represent the diverse languages, cultures and levels across their organizations also helps accelerate their culture of belonging and participation. Denison Consulting shared how a major oil and gas company crowdsourced a plan for combating the climate crisis, while still providing energy essential to society, and renewed employees’ sense of purpose. Amplified Research & Consulting relayed how Alcoa Corporation’s CEO began tapping employees for firsthand advice on how to increase safety. This included input from frontline workers deep in the heat of aluminum smelting plants. This shift to an overarching Speak Up culture coincided directly with an increase in Alcoa’s stock price.

 

Advancing Our Collective Journey

Epidemic Leadership’s session on the biological principles of engagement demonstrated how cultivating Employee Voice can transform the culture of people at work as a positive epidemic. Waggl co-founder Michael Papay concluded Harvest by collectively discussing attendees’ Harvest Waggl pulse results. Together we defined immediate actions to continue advancing Employee Voice at our own organizations. As our Heineken speaker stated with a lovely Scottish lilt, “The moral of my story is just do it! Our super hero is Employee Voice…Our people are talking and we would do well to listen.

 

We’re extremely grateful for the commitment and contribution of every Harvest attendee, and Waggl customer and partner alongside us in amplifying this Employee Voice movement. We can’t wait to see you all at Harvest 2020. To learn more in the meantime, please get in touch!