Using Analytics to Strengthen The Way We Work: Our Principles
by Min Park, VP of People Insights & Analytics
In a funk
I’m exhausted. I’m tired. Living and working through a Global pandemic takes its toll. It’s really easy to think about all that we’ve lost and how things are just not the way they used to be.
In the blink of an eye, we’ve lost entire swathes of relationships from our daily lives — ‘weak ties’ — that many of us took for granted but were an essential part of our everyday social fabric and source of recovery throughout a long work day. These are the co-workers you run into at the kitchen to chat about life between meetings or your work “spouse” who consoles you after a tough meeting.
Now we’re left to deal with me, myself and I in between Zoom meetings — instead of the luxurious social fabric that once wrapped around and comforted us whole — unsure when this pandemic will come to an end so we can get out of our own heads.
As an organization, our culture very much came alive in an in-person environment (see for yourself, or visit our homepage) and we had yet to learn how to translate that culture into a remote working environment. Whether we realized it or not, all of us were grieving this temporary yet prolonged loss.
In-spite of this “gut punch” to our organizational fabric, our people persevered with unwavering grit to continue to deliver industry disrupting results by helping our clients win. But at VideoAmp, we’re truly a people-first company and we needed to find a better way for our people to thrive.
Humanizing data to create a more optimal work experience
We’re a data-driven measurement company. It’s what we do best. One of several tactics we’re using to figure out how to optimally and effectively meet our employees’ needs throughout such a difficult time is just that: we’re looking at the data and humanizing it. I joined VideoAmp in April 2020, soon after the pandemic hit the U.S. to spin up VideoAmp’s People Insights & Analytics function, to use data and measurement as our new cultural “eyes and ears” when we were no longer able to sense it as effectively in person. While I didn’t join because of the pandemic, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Join us on this journey
We’re creating a blog series to share this process with our community and colleagues. We wanted to make this open source in hopes that we create a larger conversation on how an employer and employees can continue thriving, in a pandemic or not. We’re still early on our path of using analytics to serve our people. This series will share our work-in-progress along the way, how we’re using People Analytics to strengthen the experience of all of our people, preparing for the future and ultimately in pursuit of driving results beyond our wildest dreams through our people and how we work.
To be clear, people are messy. We have more questions than we have answers. How will we know if what we’re doing is effective? How do we avoid becoming “big brother”? How can we most efficiently harness the great bodies of knowledge that’s already out there so that we’re not reinventing-the-wheel? What will keep us accountable to using data & analytics to drive resourceful outcomes for all of our employees? How will we create and sustain trust?
We want to share the success and lessons learned with all of you. A former colleague and long time friend of mine Karyn Marciniak, Ph.D. put it eloquently on a panel at SIOP a few years ago: “It can be challenging for organizations to share, but people analytics & the rich insights it produces should be talked about more. It will broaden the world’s understanding of human behavior.” (Tweet) I couldn’t agree with her more. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share what we’re doing and learning at VideoAmp.
Our tenets and stories
This series will be structured around our tenets — guiding principles to achieve our functional mission and vision. Each article will explore a tenet, our hypotheses, tests, and how we’re applying each context to strengthen our culture and employee experience — our stories.
Our functional mission is to apply theory, analytics and insight to measure what matters and inspire smart actions across all of our employees. Our vision is to become a legend in scaling organizational culture and climate as a way of transforming the industry beyond our wildest imaginations, through our people and how we work.
People Insights & Analytics Tenets at VideoAmp:
- Transparency & Trust: Earn and maintain the trust of our employees; use data exclusively and consistently for the benefit of both the individual and our company. Fiercely protect the privacy of individual employees, while demonstrating transparency around our methods & actions.
- Effectiveness: Having the right facts is a necessary but insufficient condition for success. We also have to be effective at using the right facts to drive impact towards our vision. Diagnose, act, evaluate, monitor, refine, and iterate.
- Interdisciplinary & Scientific: Harness theory & academic research from multiple disciplines, and prioritize critical thinking. Have an open mind and do whatever it takes to accelerate our understanding of reality.
- Systems Thinking: Understand the systems that govern us, as a way to identify and manage root causes instead of their symptoms. Use it to anticipate consequence & impact.
- Beauty, Enjoyment, & Enablement: Delight our employees with beautiful & useful insights that engage, inspire and enable all of us — at scale — to work at achieving beyond what we thought possible. Draw leaders in to spark curiosity that leads them to take full responsibility and ownership of affecting team results consistently over time. MAKE IT FUN.
Any work that is done under the People Analytics umbrella at VideoAmp is committed to aspiring towards these tenets, and internally, I ask that we’re held accountable to these. If we’re not hitting the mark, we invite our employees to openly share constructive input on where we’re falling short, so that we can learn and continue to grow. (Also, hat tip to Neil deGrasse Tyson who I’m a big fan of and had a key influence on a couple of our tenets here.)
Even though this series will be VideoAmp’s unique story, we hope that you’ll gain from it what may be insightful and for you no matter what position you’re in. We’re writing this for anyone who works in a professional setting, and I suspect it may be particularly interesting to anyone who’s interested in learning about an earlier stage company that’s scaling up, interested in applied analytics within an organizational setting, building culture & managing organizational climate, or anyone who’s curious about the inner workings of VideoAmp.
Getting out of the funk, embracing the future
What I’m really hopeful about, if we get this right, is that we’re building options for our future and massively leveling up our organizational strength. It’s hard to imagine that a culture like ours will ever be fully remote. Right now it’s been hard to imagine we’d even go hybrid, partially remote and partially in person. But imagine a future where we have the option and choice to do both flawlessly to meet the varying needs of the high caliber talent we need to succeed.
We plan to release a new article in this series every six weeks, so please check back in the future. We’ll share our next post in this series in early April. Looking forward to sharing with you and will welcome any and all perspectives you’re willing to share with us — drop us a line!