Kimmo Vättö: The trends of smart change measurement

This blog post introduces four trends that are driven by modern leadership and affect to measuring change. The trends are based on two global consultancy company’s Human Capital Management trend analysis and experience fro a hundred real-life projects.

Trend 1: An increasing appreciation of employees’ thoughts

Modern leaders want to get out of the management bubble since the pace of change is increasing, and understanding personnel’s thoughts and ideas have become invaluable. For organisations there lies an opportunity for better competitiveness.

Most organisations acknowledge that the old measurement solutions are not serving new needs. For this reason, a large number of new measurement solutions, tools and services have entered the markets and organisations are ready to invest in them. Companies are building processes for measuring and collecting tacit data to ensure access to business-critical human insight.

Armed with such insights, organizations can detect early signs of disengagement, identify influencers and detractors of engagement, or uncover emerging risks and opportunities resulting from changes in employee attitudes and actions. Gartner Group 2019

Trend 2: Fever surveys – more benefits

Organisation research, surveys and reports are not supporting modern leadership. They are not highlighting the most critical things early enough, and they are often utilising non-relevant benchmark data. The concept of survey overload is a well-recognised in majority of the organisations.

Many organisations are giving up massive surveys and are introducing measurement processes that are closer to everyday life and has few high-quality indicators to support modern leadership.

Formal surveys are far from extinct, but they are clearly on the decline. Gartner expects 59% of organizations to use engagement data from sources other than formal surveys in 2019, up from just 30% in 2015. Gartner Group 2018. 

Trend 3: Faster and more agile measurement

When the pace of changes is speeding up (often hierarchal), the measurement processes have proven to be useless for modern leadership’s needs. They are not adjusting to continually changing needs, and because of the time-consuming analysis phase, the data is often outdated once it is available.

Measuring is an on-going and agile process that is supporting modern leadership, change situations and customer co-operation. Measurement processes are built based on operational organisation, and indicators are updated when needed. Many organisations are trying out new technologies (including AI and NLP) and building processes to support modern leadership better.

The increased use of real-time analytics has raised concern that feedback gathered from traditional engagement surveys every two years (or even yearly) is not frequent enough to provide a complete and current perspective. Gartner Group 2019

Trend 4: More high-quality interaction and trust

Modern leaders are striving to get out of the management bubble and seeking genuine conversation with people from different roles about the essential things in the organisation. In static and hierarchical measurement approach, there is always a risk of misinterpretations and broken communication, and the results are often sugar-coated.

Light-weigh and high-quality measurement process and effective information sharing enable increasing reflection and interaction between all participants. The more people are putting thought on the results of the measurement data, the more ideas and actions are executed to make change happen. The role of open and meaningful interaction in building transparency and trust is better understood in organisations.

In today’s world of the social enterprise, transparency is the most valuable organizational currency. It helps engender trust and respect in a world where many may question an organization’s true intent. Deloitte 2019

Successful measurement process supports modern leadership and change implementation seamlessly. Technology alone is not solving challenges. To succeed, organisations must improve the ability for high-quality interaction.