Key takeaways

  • Team projects are traditionally reviewed after it’s too late to change what’s not working.
  • PwC developed a tool that provides real-time, actionable insights through data gleaned from a quick survey.
  • This open, and collaborative approach has led to incredible team, individual and client outcomes.

One of the greatest benefits of collaborative work is bringing together a group of people with unique and diverse skill sets and perspectives that combined can deliver extraordinary results.

Keeping such a team motivated, working towards a common goal, in a supportive and harmonious manner can be tricky, particularly as these diversities often lead to differences that have the potential to jeopardise a project’s outcome.

What if there was a way, enabled by technology, that teamwork can be seamlessly, and frequently, reviewed and those learnings can be applied in real time to ensure incredible team, employee experience and client outcomes?

The ‘Fitbit’
for work

Activity trackers, such as the Fitbit or Garmin watch, give you real time information on your health metrics and fitness goals at a tap of the finger. The idea is that as you see your progress, you are motivated to take it to the next level or make adjustments to your program that will optimise your health outcomes.

PwC developed its Pulse tool which, in essence, the same concept, but applied to a team situation. Our people connect to this application frequently and quickly, which drives them to change their behaviour to improve their employee experience and that of our clients.

PwC’s Pulse is a micro survey tool that gives teams frequent, real time insights on the experience of the people on a team. It is a quick, 2 minute tool that allows all team members to better understand the ‘pulse’ of their team. The results are completely transparent so any member of the team can discover the insights and is empowered with data, to create a better team experience. The data gleaned from the surveys gives you a pulse, moving up and down, providing an overall indicator of the team and individual’s health over time – your ‘activity tracker’ for work.

The Pulse nudges teams towards conversations and interventions. In a highly analytical environment, Pulse is the key that allowed our teams to approach the concept of experience with an analytical fact base. For example, if we know an engagement team is doing it hard, it means leadership teams can focus on supporting and stewarding teams through these periods to ensure incredible team, individual and client outcomes.

Giving a voice
to everyone

Pulse is a critical part of our PwC Consulting Engagement Experience: PwC’s framework for a consistent way of working that helps our teams focus on delivering a great client and employee experience on our consulting engagements.

The Consulting Engagement Experience is an evolution from thinking about our employee experience in a more traditional way, to focusing on how we provide our people with information that allows them to impact each other’s experience on the job. There are plenty of challenging moments on client engagements and if people on the job aren’t operating at their best and empowered to speak up, it puts our client delivery at risk.

In an environment where diversity and inclusion is at the core of everything we do, we also need to acknowledge the role of human experience when creating large and diverse teams. It’s important to acknowledge that we have different personality types at PwC – diversity is one of our strengths, and Pulse gives everyone on the team a voice. Participants know their feedback has been seen.

We find that Pulse gives data to teams, which enables them to engage and act where they may not have previously participated. This creates opportunities for mature conversations and exploration amongst teams, anchored by evidence and insights, driving better experiences and leading to better outcomes.

Fuelling client conversations
and trust

It might seem obvious that better experiences lead to better outcomes, but it’s important to have quantitative data to support this, particularly for times when you might have to make changes to a client engagement.

Not only did the Pulse conversation enable us to make changes for our team, the client has approached us to learn more about how we embed diversity and inclusion, support flexible work practices and demonstrate real care of our employees at PwC and our clients employees.” PwC Partner

On a recent engagement with a large client, Pulse results showed that team morale and engagement were deteriorating, with people feeling disconnected to both PwC and their careers. The data and qualitative feedback provided evidence for the lead PwC partner to discuss with the client, and then pilot some alternative staffing options to address the issue. Pulse enabled the team to recognise that connection was valuable for their performance and then allowed PwC to demonstrate that making these changes had no negative effect on team output and performance. 

Looking to
the future

The next phases of Pulse include looking at new data points that provide further evidence about how better experiences on engagements over time equates to reduced staff turnover and better outcomes for both our clients and PwC.

In all, Pulse is an important step forward in the pursuit of optimising our client and employee experience and driving the consulting engagement experience. By enabling people to own their experience, we’re seeing some incredible team and client outcomes. Pulse is a key player in building trust and empathy with our people and clients, through inclusiveness and transparency.

Amid a rapidly evolving business environment, relying on insights that are incomplete and too late embeds inefficiencies and threatens a businesses’ long term success. Harnessing rich data and analytics available through ‘health tracker’ type apps to deliver real-time insights is key to establishing a competitive advantage. More importantly, employees are empowered through inclusion, as all feel they are playing a role in driving successful outcomes of the team.

If you don’t know how well your team’s tracking, or what to do about conflicts when they arise, maybe it’s time to consider what technologies can enhance your employee’s, and by extension, customer’s experience, to deliver extraordinary results.

 

Justin Homer

Contributor

Justin Homer

Justin Homer is a partner in The Difference at PwC Australia.

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Jane Cronin

Contributor

Jane Cronin

Jane Cronin is a director in Consulting at PwC Australia.

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