3 killer discoveries of 2021 with CEO of Innovisor
December 16th, 2021 | From our CEO
2021 has been quite a year for many of us. Emotional ups and downs have lined up. New ways of working envisioned. Remote work, Hybrid work, Digital Transformation, 4 days weeks, etc. I must admit I do not even remember how doing business felt in 2019 anymore. Now, we constantly use scenarios to imagine and re-imagine the future. Then we readjust and recalibrate as everything we assumed has changed anyway. Change is the only constant, as Heraclitus said. In all that noise and constant change, there are however still three killer discoveries of 2021 that what all leaders must be aware of and handle as the pandemic endures.
One of them, however, is still unchanged in 2021. In fact, I believe it is the ultimate non-discovery for leaders in 2021.
3% of Employees Still Shape the Perceptions of 90% of Their Colleagues
If you are a regular follower of Innovisor, you will know the #ThreePercentRule. The Innovisor algorithm identifies the smallest group of people that have the maximum impact on the organization. Over the last 15 years, that group has always been around 3%.
We were of course curious if the number would change during the pandemic.
The non-discovery is that it is still the same. Nothing has happened! It is still 3% that drive the perceptions. If anything, the 3% have just become more impactful, as their impact on others has magnified.
However, something else has changed in 2021! – We made three killer discoveries that we believe all leaders must be aware of and handle as the pandemic endures.
Killer Discovery #1 – Organizations Have Disconnected
Organizational networks have become more siloed and less dense in the past year. Innovisor numbers show fragmentation of 30%, as we now primarily connect and collaborate with those people that we are close to and cannot benefit from the chance encounters we have had with colleagues outside our core team in the past.
The consequence is a drop in overall performance and especially innovation, whereas the daily work within teams is still taken care of.
Another and more indirect consequence is that inclusion suffers, as we predominantly connect with people that are “just like us”.
As an example, the small gains organizations might have made in addressing gender bias, since the launch of the book “Lean In” has now all vanished. Gender bias is now at the same high level as the Innovisor data reported in the book in 2013.
Isn’t it time that we get this right in 2022? I think it is. It requires executives to not only talk but also to follow through.
Killer Discovery #2 – More People Are Excluded from their Organizations
Another worrying trend is that an increasing number of people are now not integrated into the informal networks of organizations. In 2021, we have seen about 15% are not looked to by their colleagues, when they look for help & advice, neither in social conversations. Just imagine how lonely it must feel when none of your colleagues reaches out to you.
Personally, I think all leaders – without exception – need to take responsibility for this. To make sure that EVERYBODY is integrated and included in the company, feel valued and appreciated. Loneliness has the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, so let’s establish non-loneliness policies in 2022.
Killer Discovery #3 – Time-to-Integration of New Employees Doubled
It is hardly a surprise that employee onboarding has suffered in the last years, but the magnitude of it is. Time-to-integration of new employees is now taking twice as much time as prior to the pandemic. Two groups of employees are standing out negatively:
- Young professionals, who are missing out on the workplace experience, which allowed them to learn by observation from the more tenured colleagues
- Senior experts, who after a quick introduction to the new organization are expected to be the go-to people for their expertise, but is nowhere near building the needed reputation in the ‘word-of-mouth’
The strong and tangible business case for improved employee onboarding should make this a top priority for any executive in 2022.
What will you do to address these discoveries in 2022?