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Illuminate by Reflektive [EVENT RECAP]
Sophia Lee
February 13, 2019

Did we see you at Illuminate? Our team at Blueboard attended the conference a few weeks ago, and we were so inspired by the sessions and speakers that we decided to share our best learnings with you here:  

Learning #1: Belonging isn’t a’s a necessity

One of the major themes that emerged at the conference is the importance of cultivating belonging in the workplace. While a sense of belonging is an emotion that all humans are wired to pursue, it’s also a driver of critical employee metrics. According to Pat Wador, CHRO of ServiceNow, a strong sense of belonging has been shown to improve a variety of factors affecting your top employees, including:

Mark Levy, Head of Employee Experience at Allbirds, explained how his team brings belonging to life for their teams: he encourages opening up two-way dialogue, information sharing, and bonding between employees across all teams as well as with their customers.

Additional tips from the speakers:

Learning #2: Better data leads to better people management

Data is becoming an increasingly popular tool in HR. According to Justin Angsuwat, VP People at Thumbtack, it’s putting managers in a better position to serve their employees. He shared a recent example where Thumbtack hosted a gender identity discussion and used Reflektive data to better understand certain trends. They found that:

While these weren’t the most optimistic findings, Thumbtack shared them broadly with the company and even developed a task force to specifically tackle the issues surfaced from the data. Justin explained that this is a great way to develop trust with their employees, while also addressing needs that may have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t surfaced from the data.

Another important use case for data is using it to measure the ROI of engaged employees. This topic was addressed in a panel discussion with Bianca McCann, Global Head of People at Trifacta; David Hanrahan, VP of People at Niantic; Ron Storn, Chief People Officer at Zume; and Kate Kastenbaum, VP of People Ops at Remind.

All the speakers understood the significance of employee engagement in today’s workplace: not only do engaged companies see 200% better business returns, but living in the age of review sites like Glassdoor makes it easy for employees to vent frustrations that stem from disengagement. That makes it all the more important to collect data (whether positive or constructive)and present it to leadership so they can take action.

As one speaker put it, “engagement stems from leadership. As HR professionals, we can only author it, then hold the mirror up to the leaders to see.” Below are tips from the speakers on how to use employee engagement data more wisely:


Learning #3: Looking after your company’s culture is hard

There’s no denying it: looking after your company’s culture is challenging. However, there are tactics to help you manage culture effectively, and even adapt it according to feedback from your employees. Natasha Kehimkar, Chief People Officer at AppAnnie used a great metaphor to explain culture change - she compared it to planning a dinner party.

Her advice is to:

The topic of employee feedback was also addressed, given that it frequently shapes company culture. In a panel discussion with Manny Hernandez, SVP of Culture and Learning at Livongo; Andrea Robb, Director of Talent Design and Operations at AirBnb; Jacklyn Felix, Learning and Development Manager at Dollar Shave Club; and Lindsey Ducroz, Director of U.S. HR at Frog Design, they shared the following tips to use when collecting, using, and acting on employee feedback:


A huge thanks to Reflektive for inviting us to Illuminate We learned so much about the ins and outs of people management, and we hope you picked up some learnings from our recap.

If you’re interested in learning how Blueboard can strengthen your relationship with employees through meaningful experiential gifts, reach out via the Request Demo button at the top or give us a shout in the Live Chat window at the bottom right corner.

And to learn more about how Reflektive helps companies like Allbirds, Omada Health, and 23andMe with performance, engagement, and people intelligence, visit to set up time with a product expert.

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