How HubSpot uses HR tech to remain transparent

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The way employers use technology is evolving everyday and more companies are relying on digital tools for HR and benefits administration. Katie Burke, chief people officer at HubSpot says the software company uses technology, including an onboarding bot, as a way to remain transparent and open with employees.

“We default to sharing pretty much everything on our wiki, from financials to strategy, with everyone in the organization, including interns, executives and everyone in between,” she told Employee Benefit News. HubSpot uses Confluences' Wiki software by Atlassian to share information across the company — and the content goes far beyond just administrative tasks.

EBN caught up with Burke to discuss some of the ways her team uses digital tools to communicate with employees.

How does HubSpot use technology to communicate with employees?

The natural inclination for most global public companies is to hide things, yet transparency has always been core to HubSpot’s culture, and we rely heavily on technology to bring that value to life. We default to sharing pretty much everything on our wiki, from financials to strategy, with everyone in the organization, including interns, executives and everyone in between. What we’ve found is that the wiki removes the incentive for teams and leaders to solve for themselves over the organization, and instead encourages conversations, collaboration, and innovation for a common mission.

As a global company working across multiple time zones, we use Slack to communicate news and updates to employees. Some of my favorite use cases involve commending remarkable work, sharing lessons learned from external events I attend on topics near and dear to my heart (like diversity and inclusion) and reminding people of amazing events we have to help them grow better during their time at HubSpot.

Katie Burke Hubspot

How does HubSpot use tech to communicate about benefits?

We use our wiki to house all HR resources and communicate any changes about benefits to employees and then Workday manages all employee data in one system— from personal information to benefits, performance management, and more. But I would also say your benefits are only valued by employees if they know about and use them, so we use our #HubSpotLife Instagram channel to showcase employees using our sabbatical benefit, Glassdoor to communicate benefits long before someone starts at HubSpot, and employee stories and narratives to share use cases on our benefits to groups within HubSpot. For example, one of our executives shared a post on using Teladoc to help their child get medical care, and it was better promotion than anything we as a team could have hoped to generate because it was authentic and from the heart.

In general, technology provides our HR team not only the ability to communicate changes to any benefits, but also to get good insight into feedback on what’s working and what isn’t in the candidate and employee experience. So what we use on a regular basis is our employee Net Promoter Score survey, which gives us a lot of really valuable feedback on pockets of the organization where we hope to improve as it relates to how we can better support our employees, both personally and professionally.

Where did you get the idea to create a Slack onboarding bot? How does this help streamline onboarding?

As we’ve seen an increase in automation in the workplace, we’ve also seen that increase in HR and recruiting more broadly. We created an onboarding bot in Slack to nudge new employees throughout their training and communicate information and to deliver exactly what we want new hires to know and when. The first few weeks for any new employee can be overwhelming with the amount of information shared, so we use the bot as a way to follow up and remind employees once they’ve settled in to remind them of important first-day materials, connect them to employee resource groups, and inform them of any upcoming events the office or company may have.

Can HR teams utilize technology more effectively to engage and communicate with employees?

Employees will continue to push leaders and organizations on topics they feel passionately about — flexibility, parental leave and support, learning and development. So, HR teams (and companies in general) will need to lean onto technology to not only identify what current and future employees are passionate about, but then how to effectively communicate how they are going to change and grow to match their needs. I also think as more and more companies grow their remote population, it will become more imperative than ever that HR organizations and leaders give people information whenever, wherever, and however they want to consume it. Great technology and enablement is critical to that outcome.

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