This post is part of our new Future of HR series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with David Mendlewicz, Co-Founder and CEO of Butterly.ai.
1. What's the history of Butterfly? Where and how did you begin?
DM: We are three Belgians, who have been (un)fortunate to be young managers in very different environments, but all with the same reality; What do I do now?
So 2 years ago we got together, and decided that something had to be done for all the managers in the world. We convinced some friends and family to invest in us, and we were on our way to New York to get started.
2. What specific problem does Butterfly solve? How do you solve it?
DM: For too long managers have been kept out of the loop regarding employee engagement, some companies have rethought the way engagement surveys are done. However, none of these bridge the gap between displaying the information and offering ways to take actions this feedback.
3. What’s the future of HR?
DM: We strongly believe that HR as an industry will have to change its mindset, people are not only resources they are talent. Companies will have to act accordingly, offer more flexibility and change the way the workplace is perceived. We often talk about work/life balance truth be told there isn’t much of a balance because both world often blend together. It’s very likely that in the future we’ll see 100% decentralised team, why should you be in one location to do your job? With a laptop and an internet connection, you can do it anywhere. Which will spark new ways of communicating and ensuring that you can gather all the information you need and act in real time.
4. What are the top 3 technologies you're seeing in HR?
DM: Some technologies have already surfaced in our everyday lives, such as wearables. We believe that it makes total sense to include wearables in the workplace, not only to gather data about how people are doing but to help leadership to optimise everything to give their teams all the tools to feel more comfortable and enjoy their work more.
Natural Language Processing (NLP), and we are using it with Butterfly. With NLP we help managers understand what is happening and where they should focus their attention. We gather all the comments from team members and sift them through our system, this way we can give a big picture of the situation to managers.
AI, in today’s world time, is a commodity that you can’t expand but you have less and less of. The only way is to optimise it, and this is exactly what AI does. AI can take care of the nitty-gritty things that you don’t want to spend too much time on and presents you with solutions. Why would you waste time looking for the right piece of content, when that same piece could be presented to you based on what you need right now?
5. Why is HR industry ripe for disruption?
DM: The HR industry has been going through different stages of disruption, optimisation of payroll, HRIS, communication, and now it is time to disrupt how employee engagement is run. What is the point to see how engaged your employees are if the information doesn’t go to the right people. And most importantly, what is the point to know a situation, if you can’t do anything about?
Add to this the fact that managers are getting younger and younger, without having access to leadership coaching early in their careers. Is employee intelligence ripped to be disrupted?
About David Mendlewicz
David Mendlewicz is the co-founder and CEO of Butterfly, an employee intelligence and leadership coaching app. Prior to Butterfly, he co-founded Tevizz, specialized in providing semantics analytics on social media stream for the broadcaster.
Mendlewicz is passioned about technology and AI.