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Swae Case Study: How LifeLabs Used Swae to Solve a Costly Industry-Wide Talent Retention and Attraction Challenge in Less Than 30 Days

Swae Case Study: How LifeLabs Used Swae to Solve a Costly Industry-Wide Talent Retention and Attraction Challenge in Less Than 30 Days

How LifeLabs responded to COVID-19, which compounded healthcare recruitment and retention challenges. 

In November 2020, Swae announced our partnership and pilot with LifeLabs to help crowdsource COVID-19 business and operation solutions directly from employees.

While remaining in full operation during COVID-19, LifeLabs had to continuously adapt to the ever-changing landscape with the health and safety of their customers and employees at top of mind. The team reacted swiftly by streamlining operational procedures, modifying their business model and services, and updating policies to remain agile and consistent. 

With great and persistent change comes the challenge of keeping everyone aligned. To support employees, the LifeLabs leadership team wanted to ensure they were hearing internal feedback quickly, addressing complex challenges collaboratively, and keeping an ear open for insightful ideas for improving the organization, all at the same pace of the changes required.

Swae was engaged to help them achieve these goals with a pilot program, formally launched in January 2021. The program was intended to help the LifeLabs team focus on the ‘Future of Work’ and understand how they could adapt processes at their labs and collection centers in a post-pandemic world.

The Swae pilot was initially sponsored by the company’s Lab Operations division. When it began, 28 leaders were invited to join a session to brainstorm, suggest, and collaboratively prioritize the most pressing problems and areas of concern while identifying potential solutions.

THE CHALLENGE 

The top priority that surfaced through their efforts with Swae was the issue of attracting and retaining highly skilled Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists. This industry-wide challenge came from increased competition for these roles stemming from the global pandemic and existing long-term trends of increased scarcity for these roles that had been impacting the industry.

The concern of attracting and retaining trained Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists is not unique to LifeLabs. This is a challenge affecting the entire healthcare industry. 

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the medical industry has an aging workforce that is retiring earlier than expected. Referencing a Statistics Canada study, they found that as baby boomers move towards retirement, the supply of medical staff has not kept pace with the retirement rate.

The study found that the average retirement age for Canadians employed in health and social services between 1976 and 1980 was almost 65 years, but 10 to 15 years later the average dropped to approximately 62 years. This 3-year reduction and deficit significantly impacts the availability of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists and other specialized medical staff to fill critical roles. 

A recent study on the Fastest Growing Industries and Professions in Healthcare by the Skilled Immigrant Infocentre also identified that Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists are among  the highest in-demand professions across the country. In British Columbia alone, they estimate 1,520 new job openings by 2025. While there is significant demand for these professionals, the supply of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists has not kept pace. 

When Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists first join LifeLabs, they receive an investment in training and development within the first eight weeks of their employment. For LifeLabs to consistently compete and continuously improve as an organization, it was imperative that they continue to retain their in-demand and highly-trained employees.

Given the uncertainties in the market, this challenge proved very difficult to solve with simple solutions. 

THE SWAE OPPORTUNITY 

When in doubt, innovate! This became LifeLabs’ motto as they addressed each organizational challenge head on. 

By using Swae’s platform, the discovery and brainstorming process uncovered several brilliant ideas from participants to effectively address the various problems they faced.

The group’s biggest area of focus was around talent retention and attraction. The idea that gained the most engagement and traction included offering a retention bonus and student loan subsidy or reimbursement to help newly-trained Technician students pay back a portion of their student loans if they remain employed at LifeLabs for a period of up to two years.

This idea can be a major incentive at any point of a person’s career, but is a definite advantage during times of great uncertainty. In addition, they thought this idea could help LifeLabs improve the incentives for retaining talent while also attracting new applicants.

Over the 30-day pilot, this specific idea gained over 50% engagement from the entire cohort, had an average vote of 82% from 14 managers, and allowed colleagues to collectively raise potential risks and easily discuss all facets of this potential solution in a constructive manner. 

This idea graduated into an official management review by the Vice President of Operations and Human Resources leaders. Together, leadership from across the organization conducted a light feasibility study to stress-test the idea and they now have plans to turn it into official company-wide policy. 

IMPACT OF THE UNCOVERED SOLUTION

Once implemented, the idea could help retain up to 10 Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists per year, helping solve a particularly challenging industry-wide retention issue. This in turn could help LifeLabs repurpose scarce resources and re-investment in other areas to continue growing their business.

This potential solution could be a major win for the organization and will be closely monitored throughout the implementation of the policy to fully understand the overall impact more accurately and attribute any positive outcomes back to the Swae pilot. 

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Swae Partners with the Igarapé Institute and the United Nations launching a global digital consultation to strengthen international cooperation

Swae Partners with the Igarapé Institute and the United Nations launching a global digital consultation to strengthen international cooperation

The Igarapé Institute and United Nations Taps Into Our Collective Intelligence Platform to Crowdsource the Best Proposals to Adapt Multilateral Institutions and Global Problem Solving to Meet Tomorrow’s World

VANCOUVER and RIO DE JANEIRO

The world is facing monumental threats ranging from disease outbreaks and climate change to nuclear conflict and deepening inequality. In order to strengthen global cooperation, the United Nations is seeking input from stakeholders across different sectors of society to improve international cooperation. Swae is helping accelerate an innovative digital consultation to enhance and strengthen international cooperation, and reveal creative solutions to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world.

Working in partnership with the Brazil-based Igarape Institute and to support the United Nations Secretary General, Swae is being deployed to canvass the voices of civil society, including leading private sector groups, philanthropic organizations, metropolitan authorities, parliamentarians, labor organizations, humanitarian and development agencies, think tanks and civil society groups around the world. The platform is being used to generate bold and actionable proposals to bolster multilateral action and build a safer, fairer and more sustainable world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital consultation will use Swae to crowdsource creative proposals for ways to rapidly accelerate delivery of the commitments made by governments in the UN75 Declaration adopted by the General Assembly in 2020. A key priority is identifying bold actionable strategies to bolster the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. With the help of Swae, the consultation will generate action-oriented recommendations to help the international community confront and adapt to new and emerging challenges.

The digital consultations are taking place between April and May 2021 and reaching all corners of the world. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to shape a new narrative for multilateral action”, according to Robert Muggah, the founder of Igarape Institute and SecDev Group. “Swae is a critical platform to take these kinds of debates to the next level”, he added. Swae will not just help develop new ideas, it will also ensure a high degree of diversity and inclusion in the consultation itself.

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“This project is an exciting step in improving the speed, diversity and user experience of consultation processes for critical institutions such as the United Nations. We urgently need to improve the quality of exchange between the general public and decision-makers. This is what Swae is designed to do. We’ve rapidly customized the platform to ensure that the voices of people too often excluded from these kinds of global conversations are front and center.” – Soushiant Zanganehpour, CEO of Swae

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Thanks to Swae, invited participants can access and input to the digital consultation and benefit from the company’s Natural Language Processing and Writing Improvement AI features in all six official UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Video and Visual Preview of the New Swae Platform

Below are screenshots of the all-new platform, redesigned for this consultation.

Screenshots of the New Swae Platform

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About Swae

Swae is an AI-powered platform for turning feedback into smart, inclusive decisions for organizational improvement. With over 25,000 users, Swae’s platform creates a safe, inclusive, and anonymous space for problem and solution generation inside any organization, allowing leaders to source investable solutions, hear the truth, boost engagement, and reduce bias in important strategic decisions to improve overall performance.

Since launching in 2019, Swae has been implemented for clients such as Etihad Airways, Bosch, Doctors without Borders, Lifelabs, EMC Insurance, and the governments of Mexico and Chile, amongst others. We’ve won many prestigious awards recognizing our innovative approach to hacking through hierarchies and making inclusion useful to decision making.

More Info

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT SWAE, CONTACT: info@swae.io

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE DIGITAL CONSULTATION, CONTACT wethepeoples@igarape.org.br

ACTION BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

To mark UN75, the UN’s 193 Member States adopted a Declaration setting out a vision for achieving the future we want and the UN we need. In it, they note they have listened to the concerns and aspirations of the people, through the UN75 global conversation, and pledge: “We are here to respond.”

They also tasked the UN Secretary-General to report back by September 2021 with recommendations “to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges”. 

‘WE THE PEOPLES’ DIGITAL CONSULTATION

The Secretary-General launched Our Common Agenda, a process of consultation and reflection to generate ideas to inform his September 2021 report. This process is being led by the Secretary-General’s office with support from a network of global partners, including the United Nations Foundation, Igarapé Institute, Accord, Southern Voice, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

The “We the Peoples” digital consultation is one part of this effort. Building on the UN75 global conversation, the consultation invites stakeholders from different sectors to develop practical recommendations to: accelerate delivery of the commitments made in the UN75 Declaration, together with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement; and to respond to new and emerging challenges.

Source: https://un75.online/take-action/

LifeLabs Partners with Swae to Crowdsource COVID-19 Business and Operation Adaptations While Keeping Employees Feeling Engaged and Valued

LifeLabs Partners with Swae to Crowdsource COVID-19 Business and Operation Adaptations While Keeping Employees Feeling Engaged and Valued

Swae’s AI-empowered technology drives employee engagement and encourages collaboration building inclusive decision-making processes and healthy, high-performing organizations.

 

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The Business Case for Swae

The Covid-19 crisis has magnified the importance for most business leaders that investing in technologies to keep their employees engaged day-to-day, as well as included in important decision-making processes, isn’t a feel-good measure but critical for driving success.

Employees that feel valued and feel like they’re still a part of decision-making processes will be more engaged, will feel comfortable being “in the know” and will be happier in their roles. When people in an organization believe their voice matters, and believe in the opportunity to influence the agenda, they trust the process and engage more deeply. An engaged employee who has trust invests more discretionary effort and emotional equity than the bare minimum expected.

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The opposite is also true. When employees feel excluded from decision-making or feel that there is a lack of transparency about core decisions (especially during a moment of existential crisis like COVID-19), they become disengaged. Disengagement prevents people from feeling like they want to be a part of anything so they’ll stop coming forward with potentially great ideas and useful insights. What follows in this vicious cycle is a lack of trust and lower morale which ultimately negatively impacts productivity, culture, and organizational performance.

That’s why LifeLabs decided to do a pilot program with Swae. Our team is excited to help them create an inclusive culture welcoming bottom-up ideas so that they can start to activate the full potential of their workforce!

 

 

ABOUT LIFELABS AND THE PILOT PROGRAM WITH SWAE:

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LifeLabs performs over 112 million laboratory tests to help diagnose, treat, monitor, and prevent diseases for millions of Canadians. They are the largest private-public laboratories and COVID-19 testing facilities across Canada. 

In this 60-day pilot program, the LifeLabs leadership team is planning to use Swae to engage employees to gather insights and source idea innovations for adaptations to their operational and business models for their now distributed workforce (due to COVID-19). This pilot program with Swae will also help LifeLabs think about the Future of Work and understand how they can adapt processes at the patient services centers in a post-COVID world (a time or circumstance that most of us struggle to see and predict).

With all of this uncertainty, new values are reshaping the workplace every single day, and by using Swae, LifeLabs can turn the participation of their people into a powerful source of innovation potential for their organization. And this isn’t only about employee engagement, but also about providing high quality, defensible ideation, and innovative solutions for the future of the organization.

“Swae is a tool I have been hoping to see developed for many years. It dispels many of the implicit and explicit biases often seen in brainstorming exercises.”

 — Jamie Lepard, LifeLabs Business Continuity Program Manager

Building a culture where employees feel comfortable to “speak up” (also called a “speak up culture”) can, as our customers have seen, 10x employee engagement!

The goal of this relationship is that by implementing Swae’s AI-empowered technology platform, LifeLabs will get more ideas from their stakeholders, include more voices, and raise the quality, intelligence, and legitimacy of decisions. By removing the barriers to inclusion, the process they will reveal. Doing so will boost engagement and all of these things have a long-lasting impact on morale, culture, and performance.

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ABOUT OUR PLATFORM: 

 

At the most basic level, we are a high-tech suggestion box that can’t be ignored. Unlike the old school suggestion boxes that collected more dust than ideas, helps organizations create a competitive idea marketplace to source from, evaluate, and improve upon the ideas in a collaborative manner.

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