PwC Bets $2.4B on Employee Experience, LumApps Makes Good on HeyAxel Buy, More News
The importance of employee experience was recognized long before the pandemic, but the past two years of remote working heightened awareness of its critical role. As employees continue to leave jobs in record numbers, businesses are doubling down on the employee experience to compete in a tight labor market.
Professional services firm PwC is among those betting big on employee experience. The company announced earlier today a $2.4 billion investment into its people experience. Saying "our people are our business," the company will roll out its My+ people experience over the next three years, focusing on four key areas:
- Employee Wellbeing
- Total Rewards
- 'Always a PwCer'
In an email interview with Reworked, PwC Deputy People Leader Yolanda Seals-Coffield explained the decision process behind the investment: "With My+, we are fundamentally rethinking the way people operate within our profession. The future requires flexibility, choice and a willingness for organizations to continuously innovate and evolve, so that’s what we’re doing in order to bring the right people to our firm to serve our clients and fuel our growth."
The company had already announced in October 2021 that all of its 44,000 client service professionals could work remotely permanently. As a result, 78% of the workforce now work in a hybrid mode, and 22% opted to work fully virtually. Today's announcement builds on that foundation under the "Employee wellbeing" umbrella. My+ adds two week-long company-wide shutdowns in July and December, the option to work a reduced schedule, flex time, job sharing, paid leave of absence and the opportunity to work internationally.
Two defining characteristics of My+ are flexibility and customizability. Rather than providing set packages and solutions, the company is attempting to give employees a voice in what their day-to-day work looks like. "While specific aspects such as our new benefits platform will be implemented by those particular teams, reimagining what it means to build a career at PwC is something every single one of our people will be a part of moving forward," said Seals-Coffield.
The total rewards reflects this move to a more personalized experience with a new platform for benefits, a new cadence for salary review and compensation adjustments, increased parental leave and mental health support. The company is launching a new learning platform to support development, something we'll follow up on in a separate article.
Always a PwCer taps into a growing awareness that the employee journey doesn't end when an employee moves to another organization. The company is committing to helping employees pursue fulfilling professional paths, even when those paths take them outside the firm. Seals-Coffield described it this way: "We are a community of problem-solvers, and those connections and relationships are what makes PwC such an amazing firm to be a part of. To help our people stay connected, we plan to launch a tech-enabled community to connect alumni to opportunities, events and each other, and we’ll also scale our career placement services."
The company's strategy will evolve based on employee feedback, but at its heart Seals-Coffield said the company believes: "When we prioritize our people and support their development, wellbeing, sense of purpose and ambitions, we all benefit."
LumApps Debuts Personalized Employee Journey Solution
Employee experience platform provider LumApps announced earlier this week the release of its personalized employee journey solution, LumApps Journeys. The release makes good on a comment LumApps CEO Sébastien Ricard made when the company acquired no-code HR tool provider HeyAxel this February: "The acquisition of HeyAxel will allow us to take an innovative step forward in our product development by adding an easy-to-use journey engine that makes it simple to create personalized, smart and integrated journeys," he said.
LumApps Journeys brings the onboarding, communication and HR automation capabilities of HeyAxel with additional functionality in "training and development, event planning and tailored communication campaigns." The solution includes:
- Improved employee profiles, pulled in from multiple data sources to inform more targeted employee communications.
- Multi-channel, multi-device content delivery, building on the promise of "personalized journeys," to allow employees to access communications and information across devices.
- Customized goal tracking, providing leaders insights into the success of HR initiatives across a number of variables.
LumApps Journeys is the latest in the company's growing employee-experience offering. The company, best known for its award-winning intranet, has been fleshing out its offerings to encompass the full employee experience in recent years through a series of integrations with popular digital workplace tools, driven by a number of fundraising rounds. The company has raised $102 million to date and expanded its reach from its 2012 origins outside of Lyon, France, to its current offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, New York City, San Francisco and Austin, Texas.
Lynk Circle Wants You to Tap Your Network's Knowledge
Knowledge management has seen a resurgence in the past two years, as companies recognized the need to manage, organize and simplify access to organizational knowledge in a remote-work environment. While a wide variety of estimates speculate on the time lost searching for information, the broader point remains true: Employees need easy access to information and knowledge to get work done. While knowledge management remains more of a practice than a technology vertical, tools continue to emerge to support these efforts.
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One of the latest launches is Hong Kong-based "knowledge-as-a-service" platform provider Lynk's Lynk Circle. The company describes Lynk Circle as a "modern Rolodex," so people can readily identify who in their network could answer specific questions. The AI-based solution is customizable according to a business's needs and is ISO 27001-certified to ensure security. People can look for answers through a number of methods: Q&A, one-on-one calls, project work, document sharing and more. Advanced search helps locate the right person to direct questions.
In a statement included in the announcement, Lynk CEO Peggy Choi said, "By expanding our offering with an innovative, flexible and highly configurable solution like Lynk Circle, we're creating a platform of knowledge networks for organizations to work more efficiently, easily find out 'who knows what,' get smarter and focus on what is important."
The company was last in the news in September 2021, following a successful $5 million Series B funding round, led by UBS's Investment Bank. Lynk has raised $35 million in funding to date.
Lynk's announcement coincided with other activity in the knowledge management space this week, as newcomer Logseq announced it had raised $4.1 million in initial capital. The company, founded in October 2021, provides an open-source knowledge management app, which Google, Meta and MIT use. The tool's foundation resembles that of other note-taking apps, but it takes the premise farther, with a graph database lying at its core to build semantic relationships between documents.
Salesforce Deepens Slack Integration
Salesforce deepened the integration between Slack and the Salesforce platform last week at its TrailblazerDX 2022 event with the announcement of a new developer toolkit and the introduction of Flow in Slack. With Salesforce Platform for Slack, developers can build apps in Slack and pull in functionality from Salesforce directly where collaboration is taking place.
In the announcement, Slack SVP of Product Rob Seaman said, "By making it easier than ever for Salesforce developers to bring their unique apps, data and automations built on Customer 360 to Slack, where collaboration is already happening, Salesforce Platform for Slack helps make every conversation more insightful, customer-centric and action-oriented.”
The company also expanded its Flow automation offerings, including the new Flow in Slack. Flow allows Salesforce users to automate processes across apps, experiences and portals through a low-code interface. Flow in Slack brings the automation capability natively into the Slack platform, so developers can automate previously manual efforts. The automations can transfer from Slack across to Salesforce. Flow in Slack is expected in June 2022.
The announcements are the latest move toward integrating the collaborative capabilities of Slack with the business insights and data found within Salesforce, which acquired Slack in December 2020 in a $27.7 billion deal. CEO Marc Benioff said of the deal, “We share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility."