The Predictive Index: New Working Models Deliver Diversity and Employee Experience Inside & Outside the Office
The success story below isn’t about embracing a “one-size-fits-all” hybrid working model to drive diversity. Instead, it describes how one hybrid company with remote employees has taken the best aspects of remote work, especially its ability to expand access to diverse talent pools, and blended it with in-office interactions to build collaboration and trust across an entire organization.
Challenge: Addressing employee diversity
The Predictive Index (PI), a Massachusetts, USA-based company that helps organizations optimize their talent, believes diverse teams produce better results. Pre-pandemic, PI faced challenges hiring diverse talent due to its suburban location that limited its ability to access diverse candidate talent pools. Further, PI faced challenges searching beyond the technology industry recruitment pool, one typically dominated by white males.
The in-office culture was always a huge part of the PI employee experience, but as a result of the pandemic, PI saw an opportunity to balance its in-office culture with new ways of advancing diversity through becoming a hybrid company. PI identified the following goals:
Increase diversity, improve hiring scope, and support flexibility while maintaining employee productivity.
Ensure equality across all experiences as employees work across many locales.
Maintain the central role of the PI office and support quality in-person gatherings.
Leverage technology to enable employees to seamlessly use the office when and how they needed to.
With a formidable list of goals, PI’s people team got to work looking for technology to support their new working policies.
“Robin's been so helpful for us, particularly around those times when everyone's coming together in the office and needs to book a place to sit.”
PI’s move to becoming a hybrid company with remote employees required thoughtful and thorough analysis of how to best support flexible options. PI developed and offered three distinct work models:
Field: Remote first approach to hybrid work with quarterly travel budget so employees can come into the office (enabled by Robin’s booking and scheduling coordination capabilities) with their teams or for big events.
Flow: In the office one to two days per week with access to a hotel desk.
Studio: Three or more days in the office per week with an assigned desk and access to all office amenities.
Even with some employees spending the majority of their time in their home offices, PI knew their office experience should remain a priority. In fact, the ease and quality of in-office interactions grew in importance due to the lesser frequency.
Technology had to ensure two elements for the in-office experience, regardless of Field, Flow or Studio:
That every day spent in the office contained as little friction as possible.
That each employee could be fully autonomous in planning their days in the office.
Additionally, PI needed technology that would integrate into their existing systems and tech stack. Lastly, PI also wanted the ability to manage all aspects of office resources in one place, so they were looking for a product that could ease the use of conference rooms and desk booking.
Outcomes: Driving Diversity and Employee Experience
Prior to becoming a hybrid company, the standard experience for PI employees was working from the office most of the week. Now, there’s a diversity of experiences, which the PI people team is closely monitoring for impact, according to their original goals. PI now has over 220 employees, across more than 25 states. Partnering with Robin has enabled PI to create a best-in-class employee experience while accommodating the ever-changing demands on the office.
“We believe that when employees come into the office, the experience needs to be as seamless as possible,” says PI’s Jackie Dube, Chief People Officer. “It’s like going to a guest house: you want to feel like someone has prepared everything for you. We want to ensure that our employee’s experience of the office is well-considered.”
PI has been able to successfully blend remote-first work with a vibrant dose of in-office employee engagement. “In-office interactions bring significant value by letting people put a face to the images on a screen,” says Dube, “enabling people to have those in-the-hallway conversations and surprise interactions they wouldn't typically have in a remote setting.”
Office utilization varies every week and peaks at 100% with PI’s big bi-annual events (Office Olympics and Holiday party). The people team has implemented programs to bring people back into the office and emphasized the benefits of gathering in person. Between sponsored lunches, cocktail hours, quarterly visits from remote team members, around 50% of PI's employees are active in the office monthly and use Robin to control their experience, despite the geographic spread.
“Robin's been so helpful for us, particularly around those times when everyone's coming together in the office and needs to book a place to sit,” says PI’s Delaney Valente, Product Marketing Specialist. “Robin lets you see where colleagues are sitting. So even if you don't get a chance to interact with a certain team, you can book a desk near them, or sit near your friends.”
Dube points to trust building as a valuable advantage of the office.
When you work in-person on a really hard problem, you learn more about your teammates and you build that foundation of trust you can tap into later when you meet on Zoom or need to depend on them in a remote setting.
Chief People Officer | The Predictive Index
PI’s hybrid work model with remote-first employees (Field) allowed the company to diversify its candidate pool far beyond Massachusetts. As a result, PI has reduced its average hiring time by 18% from 2020 to 2022, as well as reduced its hiring costs.
The recruitment benefits enable progress against PI’s DEI efforts.“We pursue these goals because they help us create a higher-performing team and ultimately make us a better company,” says Dube, “and Robin has helped us make in-office interactions a really meaningful experience” that ripples out to enhance remote collaboration. As PI becomes more diverse, Robin helps bring them together inside the office, building trust that spills over into more effective remote work.
PI uses Robin to make scheduling coordination easy for employees, so they can benefit from each other’s talents, including their diversity. “Without Robin,” notes Dube, “we'd have no solution and our employee experience would be chaotic with people just wandering around the office when they come in.”
While PI approaches hybrid work with some remote-first employees, the value of the office remains central to their workplace, serving as a perfect complement to remote work and the diversity it enables. The instances when PI’s people gather in-person, even if it’s not a weekly event for everyone, continues to have an outsized “ripple effect” on the ongoing quality of remote collaboration.