How customization unlocks high-performing teams

Liz Fosslien

There’s one thing that companies of all sizes and sectors can agree on: the future of work is flexible. A recent Humu survey of HR leaders found that 100% of companies are planning to adopt some form of hybrid work model in 2021, with some employees working remotely some of the time.

But that change comes with challenges, especially when it comes to company culture. How can leaders give their teams the exact support they need to thrive, especially when they’re not in the same office every day?

Humu CEO Laszlo Bock joined VP of Product Will Doolittle and Head of Engineering Sophie Alpert on a recent webinar to discuss a solution: customized learning experiences that set teams up for hybrid success. 

Laszlo Bock: In our current world, everyone's making decisions with imperfect information, including leaders who are being asked to design hybrid policies and employees who are being asked to state their work preferences. How can leaders think about supporting their people in a hybrid world?

Will Doolittle, VP of Product:  A one size fits all mindset doesn’t work. People need personalized support at scale. That’s why we’re excited to offer new customization options via the Nudge Control Panel and Personal Coach. 

With the Nudge Control Panel, leaders can instantly send people the nudges they need to navigate pressing challenges. If leaders notice an issue on their team, like low morale or troubles with hybrid work, they can select that specific focus area — and start sending helpful, related nudges right away.

HR administrators get more control over their people’s experience, which makes it easy to adapt Humu to changing business situations. They also get detailed insights by location, job level, tenure, and more, which empowers admins to make changes on their own.

Sophie Alpert, Head of Engineering: With Personal Coach, individuals can customize their own nudge experience by answering a few welcome questions and telling us what they want to focus on. The more we know about someone, the more tailored their nudges can be. 

LB: Can you tell us how we thought about building customization into the Humu product? 

We wanted to build a product that works for everyone, not just companies that look like Humu. We had many conversations with customers, and one common theme was the ability to configure nudges to solve their unique needs. All the nudges are crafted using the behavioral science that’s been into Humu’s DNA from day one. We’re combining companies’ expertise in what their people need with our experience in knowing what drives people to action. 

At Humu, we’ve always operated under the assumption that different people are different. What motivates one person won’t necessarily work for someone else, especially when it comes to learning. We need to give a wide range of people useful, timely support.

LB: Until now, there have been two main forms of HR data: people surveys, and uploads from HR systems. This is the first time we’re getting real-time intelligence from teams on the ground, and actually asking individuals what they want to focus on. 

WD: The more we integrate autonomy and choice, the more we see results. We see 10% higher engagement from employees who choose what they want to be nudged on compared to those who didn’t choose.  

"What motivates one person won’t necessarily work for someone else, especially when it comes to learning. We need to give a wide range of people useful, timely support." - Sophie Alpert, Head of Engineering

LB: Another theme we’re hearing is that manager training needs an overhaul. Just like people don’t want to go back to business as usual in the office all the time, they don’t want to go back to traditional manager training.

Instead, they need a versatile toolbox to learn to manage and improve their emotional intelligence, in the flow of their daily work. That’s where customization can help: by aligning nudges and content with companies’ existing priorities and development programs. Leaders can configure the Humu platform and Nudge Engine to meet their priorities and take action on the behaviors that help meet their goals. 

LB: How is personalization already helping people who use Humu?

WB: One of our clients, a top three auto manufacturer, noticed that their managers were hit especially hard by pandemic pressure. We took two of their top goals —improving mentoring and providing more structure— and sent nudges proven to drive those behaviors to a group of 3,000 managers.

In just a few weeks, a staggering 90% of nudged managers’ teams noticed their managers improving. Managers who were struggling beforehand were even more likely to improve. Nudged managers were less likely to micromanage, more likely to set clear expectations and goals, and more likely to make sure everyone’s views were heard. 

With our new customization options, leaders can send ultra-relevant, ultra-timely nudges —in the flow of people’s work, centered on the issues and themes they care about most— to drive action in a fast-paced hybrid world. 

Want to offer your teams the exact support they need to thrive, every single week? Request a demo today. 

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