Future of Work: Designing Award-Winning Tech Innovations
Technology is an enabler. Technology is a disruptor. Technology is a game-changer. Technology is the pivot around which the future of work will revolve. These are not just statements. The success stories that I get to see at the Brandon Hall Technology Excellence Awards each year, will tell you why I am such a big believer in all these assertions.
This year, Harbinger won four awards, three gold and one silver, at the Brandon Hall Annual Awards contest, establishing the definite advances we are making in the HR and learning technology space. Obviously, these wins would not have been possible without our customers reposing their faith in us. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our customers for their innovative ideas and for giving us the opportunity to partner in technology implementations.
My post here is driven by two objectives. The first, to express my excitement at the potential of technology, and second, to give you a quick snapshot of how our winning entries demonstrate the captivating way in which organizations can adopt technologies, to get ready for the future of work.
Year of Change
The year 2020 will go down in history as a changemaker. It began with a global pandemic COVID-19 that suddenly hit a totally unprepared world. Nobody – neither the people, governments, nor the businesses – were prepared for anything like this. Starting from the first quarter of the year, the pandemic brought a spate of government restrictions and periodic shutdown of non-essential services across the world. A significant business impact of this disruption was a forced shift towards remote working. Collaboration and productivity technologies became mainstream with a definitive thrust on the acceleration of digital transformation (WorkTech) initiatives.
In the above context, nominations at Brandon awards are a good showcase of how organizations can adapt technologies to prepare for the future of work. The winning entries in each category of the award convincingly demonstrate tech innovation, business disruption, measurable results, and real-time impact. In short, they reveal how technology can help professionals transcend physical/geographical limitations, thus making remote operations not only viable but also effective.
Transforming Through Technology
All our four wins reveal interesting facets of technology-enabled transformations.
The first one, a Gold for Best Advance in Emerging Learning Technology won jointly with TrainUp, came to us for a system designed for innovative collaborative learning. This revolutionized the outreach, impact, and experience for both the trainers and the trainees.
A lot was at stake for this training provider when COVID-19 hit the scene, threatening to impact a primary stream of their operations which was ‘live instructor-led’ training. Travel restrictions also meant a hit on their outreach and the number of customers they could address. Quick thinking, swift realignment, and a futuristic strategy not only helped them bounce back but also opened unimaginable new horizons. Team Harbinger provided a solution that facilitated ongoing learner engagement (pre, during, and post-training) along with a dynamic collaborative ecosystem that helped transform the training experience from a traditional static, siloed process to a vibrant real-time learning environment.
The second Gold was bagged for Best Advance in Assessment and Survey Technology won jointly with SkillSurvey.
In the wake of Coronavirus, recruiting leaders and their teams are grappling with a host of unforeseen challenges, a major one being moving from a ‘high-touch human process’ to a virtual one. Countless job applications, under-qualified candidates, and blanket applications are just the tip of the iceberg. Added to this, the risk of making hiring decisions on a candidate without ever having met him/her makes things even more chaotic for the poor recruiter. In such an uncertain world, a thorough background check comes as a much-needed anchor. The automated reference check platform built by Harbinger took a lot of time-consuming task load away from the recruiters’ shoulders by helping them make better hiring decisions with faster and effective background checks. Apart from the substantial saving of recruiter hours, increased references per finalized candidate, and quick compliance with various regulations, the chances of any hidden biases were eliminated through the automated platform.
The third Gold was awarded for Best Advance in Assessment and Survey Technology won jointly with Macorva.
Ongoing connect with employees and engaging with them on a regular basis with positive and constructive feedback mechanisms has become critical to hiring, managing, and grooming top talent in any organization. The engagement strategies of yore have today become irrelevant as the needs, wants, and expectations of the new generation of employees is different. Organizations must cater to an employee group that is tech-savvy, has a relatively lesser attention span, and prefer a work-anywhere environment. Marcova stepped up to meet this challenge by making it quick and easy for an employee to give and receive feedback in a very simple, seamless way. The solution was an all-in-one technology-enabled mobile-first platform, that combines employee surveys with first-of-its-kind comprehensive 360-degree feedback. With a few taps on their smartphone, employees can now complete company surveys, give freeform feedback, and rate and describe their experiences with any of their co-workers. The result – a phenomenal increase in response rates, greater insights, multilingual support capabilities, and greater participation in surveys.
The fourth, a Silver, came for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology (LMT). This was an acknowledgment of Harbinger’s pioneering work with a local coaching academy whereby we helped the customer transition their classroom-based teaching facility to a virtual global academy.
A dedicated, committed, and popular teacher, driven by the zeal of generating interest of students in subjects like physics and mathematics, was struggling to expand his reach. He was keen that students from other parts of the country and world could enjoy the benefits of his popular teaching methods and frameworks. The learning academy’s aspiration was to extend its outreach to a curious young mind, irrespective of where the student lived in the world. Our 30 years of experience in assisting training institutions, universities, and eLearning companies helped us devise an interactive, scalable, and cost-effective learning platform, that helped the learning academy transcend geographical boundaries.
To me, the Brandon Hall Awards are special because the recognition comes for technology interventions that are not only innovative but are effective, business transforming, and demonstrate measurable impact.
Technology not for its own sake but as a facilitator of dynamic transformation and future-ready work operations is the way to go. While a lot of how this will span out continues to evolve, what we know with certainty is that at Harbinger, we enjoy partnering with our customers through their digital transformation journeys, particularly when it comes to the tech-enabled future of work.