Peoplewave: Re-inventing HRM through Data-driven Transparency
It’s one of the biggest mistakes in business. The bedrock of any organization is, and the secret to its prosperity lies within its employees. Companies spend significant dollars in many other places but often neglects spending on tools to support their staff. Having spent two long decades managing employees in senior management roles, Damien Cummings recognizes the very root of this problem—managers themselves lack the necessary training and tools to be able to manage their subordinates effectively. “I realized that the HR space needs to be re-invented from the ground up. Both managers and employees need a new way of working together. HR tools should bring fairness to the workplace and provide transparency to employees, HR managers, and executives alike. This is what inspired me to start Peoplewave,” Cummings, CEO of Peoplewave, explains. The Singapore-based company provides cloud-based HR tools to efficiently onboard new employees, as well as a new data-driven way of conducting performance reviews—called ‘First 100 Days’ and ‘Performance Wave’.
Every employee goes through an onboarding process when they start at a new company. A critical aspect of this is their probation period (usually 3 or 6 months). Most enterprises falter in this very first step. The lack of necessary tools to accurately assess these probationary employees means that often managers are too polite to really give direct and honest feedback to new staff. This can lead to two poor outcomes – low performers are not challenged, meaning that they pass probation and drag down efficiency levels. High performers have greater expectations and if they are not given a structured and clear approach to their onboarding, this can quickly lead to disillusionment. This leads to high employee turnover, extra costs, and down gradation of overall organizational productivity. This is where First 100 Days shines. Right at the start of the probation period, the solution’s unique checklist feature simplifies the complicated onboarding processes of new employees, with the information shared with both line managers and HR managers seamlessly.
Organizations availing our products have shown greater overall productivity through steep turnover decreases while successfully retaining their best performing employees
The new hire’s manager assigns three tasks (“quick wins”), which gives the new employee a clear sense of priorities and purpose. As the new hire completes their checklist and quick wins, a two-way feedback loop is triggered. The platform asks for the employee’s feedback regarding the employment process, their relationships and view of the company, achieving a two-way loop that addresses both the employee and the employer. Of course, it’s not all tasks and checklists – the most important part of onboarding is the network of internal stakeholders, which the tool identifies for the new employee. Finally, at the end of probation (100 days), the software assesses an employee’s performance data and presents a score that allows managers to determine whether or not a candidate is fit for the company (either passing probation or not).
The heart of employee management is the annual performance review. The traditional appraisal is almost universally hated, so Peoplewave is making a bold move to reinvent the processes. Peoplewave’s Performance Wave solution essentially re-invents the traditional annual performance review using a unique algorithm that asks customers, your team and your internal stakeholders to assess your relationships, skills and competencies, and your on-the-job delivery. The algorithm generates a performance score that is shared with the manager (the “Peoplewave” – hence the name of the company). Moreover, taking cues from Cummings’ principle of complete transparency, the solution presents a company-wide overview of employee scores and ranks the employee accordingly. This allows managers to define the standards of employee performances for an entire organization based on the highest ranking personals, helping employees to understand their current status, become more competitive and work better.
With offices already in Singapore and the Philippines— and about to expand in 2018 to Australia, Indonesia and North America, Peoplewave’s unique management values shape much of the company’s success. Apart from being transparent and data-driven at all levels, the company emphasizes on fair treatment of employees, employee empowerment, and creativity. “Organizations which have embraced our values in people management and our products have shown greater overall productivity through steep turnover decreases while successfully retaining their best-performing employees,” Cummings adds. However, this is not the end. Focussing more on further developing its two software in terms of flexibility, data analysis, performance evaluation, and user experience, Peoplewave is also about to unveil a third product—HR Command Centre. This predictive analytical tool will leverage AI and machine learning to offer deeper and broader insights than the previous two solutions.