We need tech solutions that value human interaction more than ever

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: So-Young Kang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gnowbe


  • In a new “low touch”, remote working economy, companies must reevaluate how they manage employee and company performance.
  • The need for human connection is greater than ever – we need solutions that both protect mental wellbeing andfocus on company growth and performance.
  • In the new “low touch” economy, where businesses have been forced to operate remotely due to COVID-19, the shifts in how we work are unlikely to be reversed. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2020 Report and article on the future of jobs, more than 80% of employers expect to use remote work and digitize processes. Remote work is here to stay. The realities of remote work, digitization and rapid shifts in human capital require massive transformation in how we approach growth and performance.

    With the displacement of 85 million jobs by 2025 according to the Forum, what does all of this mean for how we grow our businesses? Here some things to consider:

    ● How does this impact how we sell and acquire new customers?

    ● How do we rethink our customer experiences?

    ● How do we evolve our onboarding processes when there is no human to physically greet our new staff? Do we just give them a check list of online tasks to complete?

    ● How do we reskill and upskill for the new jobs being created when 50% of employees need to reskilled according to the Forum?

    ● How do we do team building and build strong cultures by going beyond a webinar with breakouts?

    ● How do we harness tech to bring out the creativity and innovation in our staff so that 1+1=3?

    ● How does this impact the technologies we invest in and digital solutions we use?

    We understand the pressures to continue to grow our businesses by innovating on our products, services and how we go to market. Many business leaders have been quick to invest in new technologies to automate processes. While all of this is happening, we are seeing alarming increases in mental health issues at work – isolation, loneliness, overworking, Zoom fatigue – and the list will continue to grow. It’s critical for us to stop and reflect on how we provide both, including solutions.

    We all know about the need for digital transformation which has accelerated in the past year. The question we must critically ask ourselves is: how do we invest in digital solutions that are both human and effective, not just efficient? It’s time to move beyond “check-the-box” technologies – where we track the tasks being completed without a true understanding of the human experience of completing the tasks.

    We need to humanize tech

    While it is important to track the tasks being completed, we need humanizing technologies that go beyond to also measure effectiveness and the human experience. For example, we need sales tools that not only track activities but also encourage best practice sharing within teams, opportunities to be recognized and mentored, and onboarding tools that empower new hires to build authentic relationships while completing the documents and learning tools to demonstrate necessary skills for the “reskilling revolution”. We need technologies that encourage employees to get to know each other better and make it easy to connect across borders and time zones in more personalized ways.

    We need technologies that encourage employees to get to know each other better and make it easy to connect across borders and time zones in more personalized ways.—So-Young Kang.

    As teams evaluate the various technologies being used, here are five questions to consider when evaluating what’s needed to maximize performance of our teams and our businesses:

    1. What does the tech optimize for: efficiency, effectiveness, engagement? It’s critical to go beyond the “what” (features) and get to the “why” (design intention) and “so what’s” the (implications) of the technology?

    2. Does the technology enable more authentic human interactions?

    3. Do you have easy access to data and analytics that enable constant refinement of critical business and human processes?

    4. How do your people (employees/customers/partners) feel after using the technology? Do they feel more engaged and connected?

    5. Is the tech an inherently empowering and uplifting human experience?

    At Gnowbe, our vision is to humanize the digital world, which is an intentional desire to encourage authentic human connections while leveraging technology to improve sales performance, onboarding processes, and learning – fundamental human experiences between employees, customers and partners. A critical component of maximizing performance of teams starts with enabling teams with digital tools to create, engage and measure critical information in the work flow.

    We often start with the question “what to do?”. Now it’s about reflecting on the why (what are the desired outcomes?) so that we do the howin the most human way possible. It’s time for humanizing tech to redefine performance enablement.

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