Globoforce: Walking the Talk at the WorkHuman Conference

It is very refreshing to see a company that walks the talk. Globoforce’s WorkHuman event in Orlando May 9-11 showcased an organization that truly believes in its core values. Although many companies in the HCM space use their own product, I learned at WorkHuman that they (Globoforce) is the largest per-capita user of their own platform. An interesting side effect of this usage came out during my conversations with their product engineers and product development executives, who understood what new features were needed because they were the ones using their product every single day. shutterstock_341384843

At a product briefing for analysts, Grant Beckett, Vice President of Products, and Neal Bruce, VP of Product Marketing, often gave examples of how their product direction was shaped by their own experiences using it. Naturally, there was customer feedback thrown in, but it was refreshing to hear how they had decided on some key features by noticing gaps in what they were trying to do in their own day-to-day work and then setting about to address those gaps.

Also exciting was to see how their feedback platform (I’m being careful not to use the term “recognition” here, because as Grant explained, “Recognition isn’t in the domain of HR, it’s in the domain of business”) can be used in ways that meet the needs of growing concerns within HR, such as measuring EVP.

As my colleague Daria Friedman wrote about EVP recently, it is very difficult to measure because “it requires a comprehensive and objective assessment of every facet of the organization from both the organizations’ and employees’ perspectives.” A lot of the questions that arise from Brandon Hall Group’s presentations on EVP are usually about its hard-to-define nature and how to measure whether efforts to improve EVP are having any effect.

What Globoforce’s tool gives you is a means to see the impact of EVP (or company values for that matter) by tracking how feedback and recognition is given around certain core cultural competencies. Another surprising use of their technology is in tracking who the influencers are in your company (i.e. informal leadership) by seeing who gives and receives feedback and recognition to whom, and how often. These areas, informal leadership and EVP, have traditionally been “black boxes” in organizations so it’s pretty fascinating to see how different HCM tools are being used to gain insight into these areas.

Tracking Your Organization’s Influencers with Globoforce


Of course, the event itself, WorkHuman, was more than just product demos. Returning to the idea of an organization practicing what it preaches, the layout, schedule, and speakers at WorkHuman truly reflected a people-centric mindset. Keynotes from Amy Cuddy, Michael J. Fox, and Eric Mosley (CEO of Globoforce) were refreshingly direct and on-point with their positive and poignant messages. If we are truly only in year two of the Human Century (a favored phrase of Eric Mosley’s) then it’s hard not to feel good about the state of the industry moving forward.

Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.