Coming Home to Talk About the Future of Employee Experience with Parag Kulkarni, CTO at Simpplr

After so many podcasts, it is nice to return home. And by home, we mean back to the Simpplr family. Amanda Berry, Manager of Corporate Brand & Communications at Simpplr, has spoken with a bevy of subject matter experts in the Cohesion Podcast. In the 16th podcast, she was joined by Simpplr’s own Chief Technical officer, Parag Kulkarni.

The CTO position is often identified with a focus on technology, especially emerging features and tools. But there is also a roadmap, innovation, and strategies to consider. However, in fast-growing companies like Simpplr, the CTO’s role is much more. It is highly focused on accomplishing present goals and new product delivery in addition to all of technology. That was one of the reasons for Parag’s visit–new product. 

Simpplr’s original claim to fame was as an internet platform. It is the leader and best-ranked IC company in the internet platform space. But things are evolving, and as CTO, Parag wanted to know how Simpplr could change and enrich the employee experience, platform, and employee engagement. The recent rollout includes capabilities like surveys, and newsletters, which are a more extensive part of communication. What’s really unique about Simpplr, however, is where it is going.

Moving From Reactive to Proactive

Simpplr has identified itself as a traditional employee experience platform in the past. Now, they are adding the capability of the live employee experience. You may wonder what exactly that means in terms of its future offering. That is when Parag explained about LiveEX.

“What is the difference in terms of Live EX? It is the word “live,” Parag explained. “It’s about being in real-time. The fact that our platform allows communication and then can get real-time feedback on that communication allows you to double down on communication if it’s going right. But it also allows you to course-correct.”

Simpplr is now providing real predictive insights and getting them to users immediately. These new features and functionalities are employee experience management components that enable and enhance the employee communication platform. 

Parag shared that when communications are sent out, most companies will not necessarily know whether the intended recipients have received them. Then they will wait, perhaps a few weeks or months. That can be a costly mistake. If they were to perform a survey later, people may not understand the intention or comprehend the content because the initial information was not communicated properly or even received. It can be a prolonged and debilitating process for communications.

With Live EX, there is real-time feedback and sentiment check. It enhances the listening ability of your company. There is also very rich analytics that can help all levels of management to understand trends in messaging and what is transpiring within their company. That means they can take immediate action, remedying misinformation and course correcting, ensuring there is always a central source of truth for every situation.

Simpplr already has native video capabilities. Now, with LiveEX, there are real-time pulse check capabilities to get feedback on what the employees are feeling. The answer to any question can be placed in video feeds. Need a response to a new initiative? The immediate sentiment is raised to the appropriate leadership levels. Combine this with analytics on top of the best communications platform in the field, and LiveEX can replace several systems with one powerful tool. It is filling a dual role. And Parag could not be more proud of his product!

Measuring Success

There is a saying in tech, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” There is a measuring piece in traditional engagement. But most companies wait for annual or biannual engagement surveys to see if people understand how new initiatives fit into the corporate strategy. That is a waiting period of six months to a year. And according to Parag, “That’s really too little too late when you’re trying to move the needle.”

First, what if it is a fast-moving initiative? Even if you are in an in-person, in-office situation, it isn’t easy to comprehend how people feel or if they understand your messaging. “I’m telling a story usually from open rates, and page views,” Parag said, “and I’ve always thought that that doesn’t give much insight because I know I’m a person who will open an email just to make it read ‘opened.’”  

Now combine this issue with a dispersed workforce. The impediments to accurate measurements are numerous. The idea of real-time analytics in a sentiment check within the Simpplr platform can help not only communicate. But after a message is sent and opened, the system prompts two or three questions asking the recipient if they understand the message. If they answer they did not, someone is notified that can provide more information. It’s almost like a conversation where people are in the office. Somebody communicates, and people are trying to get clarification. 

This functionality is impressive in and of itself. However, this is key in terms of how the system can help drive engagement, better communication, and help change management. 

Parag posed some critical questions. “If an employee is not clicking on something that’s important, does that mean that the engagement of that employee has gone down? Is that something we could do here to help?”

If employees are not opening communications, such as emails, and are not answering the questions, analytics is. Not responding is an answer in itself, and it speaks volumes. 

You can also immediately measure and glean from the behavior where employees clicked. LiveEX gives you insight into employee sentiment and mode of thinking. Using data in this manner is an excellent opportunity for internal comms to have the data to say and see where we are with the sentiment of the employee base. That can help prevent workers from leaving and finding a mother job where they feel heard and companies give them what they want and need. 

Live EX is not only a highly anticipated product. It signifies Simpplr’s commitment to making a better workplace for everyone, even a Chief Technical Officer. If you want to listen to the rest of this podcast, you can find it on Simpplr’s Cohesion Podcast, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.

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