Why Holistic?

Today, we launched Holistic, a new technology consultancy designed to improve the entirety of the employee experience, by using data to identify and solve problems being faced by modern employees in the modern workplace.

This is a huge challenge, and while there are many people and companies out there who are seeking to address these challenges, there is a lot of opportunity in this space. We are in the early days of truly understanding what makes employees tick, what makes companies successful, all of that. And the world of work is changing so rapidly that the “solutions” we thought we had don’t work anymore, or won’t work for very long.

Okay. But, again, why Holistic?

Work is important

First off, work is super important. This is not a pastime, this is what virtually everybody in the world spends a third of their lives doing, and every second of every one of our days affected more broadly by the concept of work. Every person in the country, in the world, every kid, every retiree, everyone (!) is affected by work, constantly. And yet we are just at the infancy of really understanding what it means to work, what makes companies run, what makes employees tick, what is a good decision and what is a bad decision when it comes to business. If you put it on the spectrum and try to calculate the percentage of understanding that we have about work, it’s basically negligible. So there is a real opportunity to look at data and improve this essential part of the human experience, and it’s necessary.

Work should be fun

Work is hard enough already. We don’t need anything else out there helping us understand just how hard work is, just how many sacrifices we have to make for our jobs, just how much pain and suffering can come through the process. Everybody knows. Jobs are hard. Work is hard. There’s a reason why it’s called work. 

But it should also be fun. It should be interesting. It should be challenging. Companies should take it upon themselves to create environments that are stimulating and welcoming, open and thoughtful and dynamic and diverse. Too many people are going to work every morning with a pit in their stomach and life is too short for that. Happy workers are productive workers, and those workers build productive companies. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and it can be a cycle of virtue, of it’s organized correctly.

There’s more than enough data

Your company has an amazing amount of data about you. They know your age, where you live, and who interviewed you for the job; they know (to the cent!) exactly what they’ve paid you, how you did on your last review, and if you met your goals in Q4. They know your birthday, they know how many vacation days you took last year, and (probably) where you went to college or if you have kids. If we stopped collecting data today, we probably already have more than can we ever process. And yet, we’re not really using it. There is very little effort to mine data on the part of corporations to improve the employee experience, and when data is used, it is almost always employed out of context or haphazardly. And this is just the data that we have already organized and collected.

We aim to stitch together all this data and mine it, while at the same time exploring new ways to collect data within companies and new areas to measure.

Companies need to tell their story

Unfortunately, the dynamic in all too many companies is that the company is seen as big brother, as “ the man,” or the oppressor, and the employees are the victims. The vast majority of what you read about the employee experience at any company comes from websites that are basically chock full of complaints from disgruntled former employees. There is little to no mechanism for a company to tell its own story, and the use of data to understand if what people think is actually true is basically non-existent. 

These are two issues that we want to address. We want to give companies a voice in an opportunity not only to tell their story but to have a conversation with employees. Consider briefly the nature of the interaction — companies and employees working together, cooperation and inclusivity, a mutual desire be on the same page about what’s happening at the company. Even more importantly, a collective effort to constantly be improving, looking for opportunities to do better, having a better experience. This is what we’re after.

 

What’s a company without employees?

Employees are more important than ever

Finally, when a company thinks about its competition, as much as our companies compete with one another for customers, we are also all in an all-out battle for talent, all day, every day. With an unemployment rate that is basically non-existent, with the power of technology helping people find and change jobs, and with the outsized expectations of the modern employee, the competitiveness is outrageously high, and the exposure on the part of companies to their employees is huge. If companies do not actively seek to inspire, protect, motivate, reward and grow their employees, they will lose them. It’s that simple.

And what’s a company without employees?

So how does it work?

Our process is straightforward. We’ll start with an extensive data collection effort — performance, payroll, and demographic data, along with an analysis of your company DNA, will be married with extensive survey data to help us paint a real landscape of your company. We’ll analyze this data extensively, and give you a score — a Holistic Index rating — that will function as a credit score for the employee experience at your business: a window into where you are right now, and where we think you’re going. Next, we’ll offer you a suite of recommendations as to how we think you can prioritize, attack, and solve the major challenges facing your business and the employee experience you offer. We have a network of technologies and software products — some our own, some who are partners — that we will deploy directly into your business to improve your experience directly. And we will continue the process, constantly adjusting the recipe, working to make sure we have the right balance, that we are adapting to changes in the marketplace, changes in technology, changes in your business. We want to stay with you as you grow, evolve, and scale.

Data is everything. Data helps us ask the right questions and find the right answers. Let’s explore it, together.

Tom Alexander