Hrtechcube Interview with CEO, Heartpace – Henrik Dannert

Henrik Dannert

Henrik Dannert, the CEO at Heartpace talks about the significance of employee engagement, OKR management, and the alignment of employee and firm goals.

1) Tell us about your role at Heartpace?
I’m the co-founder and acting CEO of the company.

2) Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
We originated in the HR consultancy field and felt that employee engagement was left out of the IT processes being implemented in companies. The focus for systems on the market was management and admin and missed out on the most vital aspect namely the individual employee engagement. Our work as consultants was directed towards objective driven talks between managers and employees so we decided to make a digital approach where talk is core to all processes. Our motto is “Let’s talk” and present a structure for making it happen. Our mission is to build a better world, which can be done with great talks between people.

3) How do you think technology is upgrading the HR Sector?
HR most commonly have a long way to go in regard to IT development. Unfortunately the IT competence is lagging which leads companies to buy in to islands of technology. It is really happening, they are digitalizing, but many will go astray before making it right.

4) How according to you, digitization is empowering the performance review processes?

Digitalization supports managers with structure. Quite commonly a manager has ended up as a manager due to good performance as a sub.

Becoming a manager is a role that they often were not trained for so giving them easy to use tools helps them to manage. It can help them direct their focus to where it matters most.

5) What is the impact of a 360-degree evaluation on the professional success of employees?
A 360 widens the feedback scope for an individual. Used correctly it can give the employee really valuable feedback for their current and upcoming performance. However, you have to be in a mature and stable organization that understand the pitfalls with a 360 since it can be as strong in a positive sense as devastating used incorrectly. A 360 which is strength based can really encourage an individual so it is important to keep it that way.

6) How does Heartpace Pulse take care of employee engagement and loyalty?
All our modules in Heartpace offers a check in. A Pulse performance review or survey is a powerful tool but if it is not combined with actions connected with the individual it is creating a strong statement that “we do not really care what you say”. The individual needs to feel their voice counts, it is one of the scientifically proven engagement drivers, and you have to let the individual know you picked up on their feedback. Our tools always offers the possibility to schedule check-ins, to set individual objectives and actions and to make “things happen”. This drives engagement.

7) What is the significance of OKR management for accelerated growth of a company?
With OKR you can set a target to win the world and actually accomplish it. OKR is vision driven and a superb way to join in around mutual objectives. Remember that all strong movements throughout time, being religion, political stand or business, have besides had a strong vision at its core also a good way to reach out and communicate it. The OKR visionary stand in combination with transparency and frequent check ins picks up the necessary features of building a winning team. For the larger groups it is of course a good solution to use tools in order to manage it. The core ideas that brings content to the OKRs however must of course come from a vibrant person or management group.

8) How important is it to align the goals of a firm with those of its employees?

One can of course argue about from where the ideas stem but for sure there will be no success if the ideas are not aligned.

100 people running in different directions will not accomplish more than a buzz, but moved together towards common targets the will make a world of difference. When it comes to goals it is important to remember that understanding the individual contribution to the objectives is vital for active engagement. Without it you will just not reach the engagement levels that are important to reach as an organization.

9) Can you explain to us in detail about Heartpace Pay?
In Sweden we have a legislation on equal pay. I would say this is not controversial in any of the western countries and in many others but the legislation in Sweden (as in Iceland) takes it a bit further in details on how such a review needs to be done. We provide the tools to really go in depth in to the salaries breaking them down to understand how pay is distributed within the organization. One part is of course living up to the legal expectations but another focus is also to deliver other insights. Having equality as one of the key strategies is a modern approach that will be both appreciated by employees and in a greater aspect by both clients and suppliers.

10) What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
During autumn we continue the move in to making salary review a data based decision process. We have found that salaries very often are based on subjective decisions. This creates demotivation and of course it also creates extra costs for companies. Since they reward ineffectively the high performers will leave because of an unjust system and the costly low performers will stay. Managers often think that distributing salary increases evenly in a group is fair but this is not rewarding smart. We will help management and managers to distribute wisely, and also help them seeing the total costs involved. Including benefit, bonuses and pension plan. We introduce a smart formula that we have not seen anywhere in the market so far.

11) How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
Going forward we collect a lot of numbers regarding performance and salaries. This will give us the possibility to assist our clients with great insights that can help them build better companies. Machine learning and AI is on top on our strategic agenda.

12) Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
Our team is a strong combination of great, respected HR consultants, marketing and sales staff as well as top end IT engineers. When we engage our clients meets both the young affluential as well as the seniors, and all from a broad cultural background. Our teams are located in Stockholm, Sweden and Odessa, Ukraine which brings a healthy international mix to the table.

13) What movie inspires you the most?
Schindlers List, the story of what difference an individual can do.

15) Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I place Spotify first since it brings joy whenever I have a moment of privacy or with family. Reddit and some local news apps are present as well. Apart from that PS Express, Camera+ for picture editing and Telegram and Signal for communication. I spend quite some time on Podcaster for inspiration and use Snapchat for staying in daily touch with kids and friends. Then of course there are the business apps that are always in use. Google Chat and Meet are essentials. WeHunt, an app to organize my wild life hunting experience is of course essential.

Henrik Dannert Director and Partner at Heartpace

Henrik Dannert is the Director and Partner at Heartpace. Heartpace is helping companies build engaged and productive teams.


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