engaged employees

How Talent Teams Empower Employees Through Digital Experiences

As we approach 2020, technology now plays a greater role across all departments -- from marketing to customer success to Talent organizations. While an exceptional employee experience still requires strong relationships and face to face conversations, employees expect world-class self-service tools and resources at their fingertips. People and tech are complexly intertwined and need to seamlessly work together to reach success. In a previous blog post, Acquia’s Head of IT Michael Ehrich looked at how today’s IT departments are having greater influence over the employee experience and becoming the catalyst for business operations. In that post, Michael talked about how the IT and Talent functions are evolving from reactive to proactive. Now, Talent is pivoting and extending our reach to make resources readily available and make recommendations more proactively to employees. In many ways, this evolution mirrors the same trends occurring in the digital marketing space, with employees in the role of the  “consumer” who expects their work environment to anticipate needs, personalize their experience and offer real-time, valuable support throughout their journey from recruitment to onboarding to career development. 

Evolving the Approach to the Employee Experience 

At Acquia, gamification and company-wide recognition programs are some of the consumer approaches we’ve embraced within our own workforce. Acquia uses a peer recognition platform that allows team members to celebrate each other’s accomplishments globally through a social feed and reward each other with points that employees can convert to gift cards, cash or charitable donations.  This has promoted greater teamwork, collaboration and goodwill. 

We also utilize an internal platform where employees can access information and resources, which includes cross-departmental information for our internal team. These include FAQs, management resources, new hire tool kits and other content that helps demonstrate our company vision and values. Based on employee survey feedback, we are actively refining how we deliver this content in partnership with IT to create a newly enhanced intranet platform with intuitive search, a stronger tagging system and an overall robust approach to data governance. It’s a lofty undertaking, but it will ensure that employees have the latest and greatest information at their fingertips in all areas from Products to Sales to Talent. 

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Transparent, Continuous Feedback

Employees want to engage with the Talent team through multiple channels, whether it’s through our chat tool, email, text, cellular, survey tool, workshops, virtual meetings or face to face. Multiple forums to communicate and access information allow for more frequent engagement with the team provides faster answers to questions and ultimately greater satisfaction. Digital transformation has broken down the typical 9-to-5 world of business. Today’s workforce is globalized and relies on tools like video conferencing and instant messaging to be able to communicate with their team members and executive leadership.

Instead of defaulting to traditional annual reviews, we’re constantly learning about the challenges our employees are facing and offer them strategic solutions right away. Our team, including executive leadership, uses a goal-setting and feedback platform that allows employees visibility to each other’s goals and progress throughout every level and department. It also gives employees the ability to request and receive “continuous” feedback and understand their performance at any time, not just during a pre-scheduled one-on-one. This agile approach to feedback and goal setting creates an atmosphere of transparency mutual accountability between employees, their managers and the organization as a whole. With this approach, the feedback process is transformed from a retrospective look at “what we could’ve done better” into a motivational tool that encourages employees to keep getting better and focus more on looking forward. 

Technology has broken down strict timelines for where and when we are able to deliver results and blurred distinctions between traditional work and personal life expectations. Today the employee experience is just a larger facet in the greater human experience, and it’s the goal of our Talent Team to support a holistic and integrated culture for our employees. 

Anne McDonough, vice president of global human resources & total rewards, Acquia

Anne McDonough

VP, Global Human Resources and Total Rewards Acquia

As vice president of human resources and total rewards, Anne McDonough leads the global team that oversees Acquia's Human Resource Business Partnership, Benefits and Compensation, HR Operations and Analytics. Her team works from our offices in Boston, Reading, England, and New Delhi, India.

Before joining Acquia in 2015, Anne spent years working in human resources and sales roles. Most recently she was director of human resources at Rue La La in Boston, and before that numerous roles at Brookstone, including director of HR operations and insurance, regional vice president, west sales. 

Anne is originally from Michigan, and currently lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts. For her undergraduate education, she attended Oakland University in Michigan and has earned compensation and benefits certifications from Wharton School of Business.