IFI Techsolutions, a global Microsoft Gold Partner providing cloud solutions and managed services, has grown aggressively in the last seven years. “With more than 125 full-time employees, we’ve expanded quickly providing services across the globe,” says Ankur Garg, founder and partner. But extraordinary growth can often come at a price. Conscious that the constant evolutionary pace of technology and meteoric growth can strain staff, Garg wanted a way to measure what was going on with employees during key periods.
Operating in a market where it loses its talent to companies like Accenture and Deloitte, IFI Tech considers culture as its competitive advantage to attract and retain talent. Before Covid-19 pandemic, the company used its physical environment and management practices of mentorship and empowerment to build a collegiate environment for its largely fresh engineering graduate workforce.
“Keeping our talent engaged and productive is crucial to our growth as a company. People really are our most important asset, and we work hard to ensure our employees are supported. But even with our best efforts, work-life balance can be an issue, especially since the pandemic began.” Covid-19 and remote work eliminated the physical environment where they nurtured employees. At the same time, the company was adapting to the new way of working and delivering services to its customers. The leadership team was concerned about how employees were doing besides their performance on the job and productivity.
IFI Techsolutions's expectations
IFI Techsolutions needed a technology platform that enabled a repeatable, fast-response to subtle shifts in employee sentiment. “We wanted to build our people practices in a way that is responsive to employee needs, and we want this approach to be foundational for our culture instead of something added retroactively,” says Garg. “I knew from my prior experience working at Microsoft that employee surveys can be extremely valuable and offer a snapshot of what’s going on internally,” says Garg. “But we’ve learned the hard way that while collecting information is easy it’s difficult to interpret it quickly or get actionable insights from it. Our first attempts at conducting our own employee surveys were a bit of a disaster. It just took too long to tease out the right kinds of insights or to make sense of the data. Even then, our insights were limited.”
IFI Techsolutions looked for a people analytics platform that allows organizations to analyze employee feedback in real time. When Garg saw the Culturebie demo, he knew he has found the right solution. Through text analysis, Culturebie interprets feedback from employees and creates a more intuitive narrative of results as the data comes in. Culturebie’s analysis relies on psychology, statistical analysis, artificial intelligence, and neurolinguistic programming to provide insights quickly. “It really attracted me a lot,” he says, “to get real-time analysis. I thought it was an outstanding process where you get insights as soon as you have the data. You aren’t staring at dashboards and clicking on filters – the analysis was there in easy-to-read statements.”
Culturebie allowed IFI Techsolutions to collect employee feedback through its online survey platform and provided access to the results as soon as the survey closed. “The whole look and feel of the product was really impressive,” says Garg. “I really look for good graphics and a solid user interface in the products we use. I think the data visualizations really make it easy for people to understand the insights and to communicate those insights to others.” Intuitive data visualizations not only simplify interpreting data, they lead to more nimble and responsive problem-solving. “The graphs and charts also helped me convey the main messages and takeaways to our leaders,” says Handoo. “This made addressing employee concerns easier. After all, what good are insights if you can’t communicate them to the people on staff who can influence and motivate employees.
“I wanted a way to do a pulse-check on how things are – to set up listening processes that help us manage our employees in a scalable way while making sure our people are truly heard and properly taken care of.”
“The graphs and charts also helped me convey the main messages and takeaways to our leaders,” says Handoo. “This made addressing employee concerns easier. After all, what good are insights if you can’t communicate them to the people on staff who can influence and motivate employees.
“Last year when we did this exercise, we were only really able to drill down into the results to look at it through a manager's lens,” says Garg. “But this year, I could play around with the data to get more relevant insights. We could look at responses by gender. We could see insights based on the number of years that they have spent in the company.” These additional dimensions allowed IFI Techsolutions to uncover issues that were not immediately obvious. “Take work-life balance,” says Garg. “Last year, we might have seen work-life balance only from the lens of a manager. Perhaps this manager has an issue with work-life, or the team reporting to that manager has work-life balance issues. This may or may not have given us the right picture.” Being able to slice the data by additional demographics and dimensions revealed that work-life balance was more influenced by seniority than by who their manager was.
Garg explains it this way: “We realized that top performers who have been with the company the longest were experiencing a higher rate of burnout. People who are relatively new in the organization seemed to show less signs of burnout. This led to a much richer conversation around our culture and management decisions.” “When we got into details,” continues Garg, “we found managers were finding it a lot easier to trust longstanding employees who have demonstrated they were reliable. These employees were getting overloaded, whereas the newer employees got less projects or less demanding customers.”
This was no small insight
In 2021, employees are quitting their jobs in record numbers due to burnout and worklife balance issues. Overloading employees is a fast way to burn out your best employees and lose good talent. Through this insight IFI Techsolutions was able to identify employees most at risk for burnout, and talk with managers about assigning work more equitably. They also received critical information on how to communicate best with employees.