A Very Human Story: How Ancestry Counts on Employee Voice to Drive Innovation
“If our people aren’t passionate about what we do, we’re not going to build a product that continues to change people’s lives and helps them find those connections.” – Lori Olson, Director of IT Operations, Ancestry
A productive meeting that leads to a creative solution. An employee who thinks critically about every detail of the research she’s analyzing, identifying a critical, hidden connection. A cross-functional team that works seamlessly to deliver a new offering to customers for the first time.
These are the outcomes when employees are at their best. These are also the outcomes that form the foundation of an innovative company — one that’s positioned to pull away from its respective pack, to be better than good or even great.
Engaged employees are the cause of these outcomes and the reason for innovation. They’re the thinkers, builders, and sellers of products that change lives and capture hearts.
Such is the understanding at Ancestry. The organization that brought the world unprecedented access to our own family histories is creating an even more powerful opportunity as they pioneer a brand new category named “consumer genomics.” By giving everyday individuals a deeper understanding of their ethnicity and genealogy through DNA testing, Ancestry is helping people around the world identify exactly where they came from — and where they belong.
Shepherding this evolution and building a brand new industry hasn’t come without its challenges. New technology, new products, and even entirely new departments have meant major changes for the organization’s 1,500 employees around the world. To help make this transition as seamless as possible, the leadership at Ancestry has taken a distinctly human approach. They have committed to gathering continuous feedback from employees, learning from it, and using it to remove barriers to success, address frictions and challenges, and create a more effective and innovative work environment.
Ancestry uses frequent pulse surveys to help leaders and managers understand “the story of their employees,” discovering critical opportunities and roadblocks to productivity, collaboration, and innovation. Leaders and managers use that understanding to clear paths to employee happiness and success, even as the organization moves at breakneck speed to innovate for its customers.
This story is a reminder that our vision — to create a world where people love their jobs — isn’t only a catalyst to help employees be happier and more successful, it’s also critical to driving the innovation that make our lives more meaningful and complete. When complex, high-performing organizations like Ancestry are able to navigate change and achieve their ambitions, I believe the world we’re working to create is close at hand. We can’t wait to share more stories as our customers continue to harness employee feedback to propel their businesses forward and to help their employees love their jobs.
Watch our story with Ancestry to learn how they think about the connection between employee engagement and the company’s ability to achieve its mission — and discover how you can begin to think about harnessing employee feedback to create a more innovative environment at your organization.