If you are in employee engagement then you are in management development as well – Interview with Jim Barnett of Glint


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Employee engagement

Today’s interview is with Jim Barnett, who is the chief executive officer, co-founder and chairman of Glint, an employee engagement platform which uses machine learning and real-time, data-driven decisions to help improve company culture, increase engagement, and positively affect employee retention. Jim joins me today to talk about employee engagement, what is an engaged employee, the main challenges to improving engagement, what Glint are up to and the sort of impact that they are having on their client’s businesses.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – You have to sit next to a customer to be able to really understand their pain – Interview with Ben Velker of Edgenet – and is number 187 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to their customers.

Here’s the highlights of my interview with Jim:

  • Glint makes people be happier and be more successful at work through helping companies develop employee engagement, develop their people and improve business outcomes.
  • To Glint an engaged employee is someone who is emotionally, intellectually and physically committed to an organisation and it’s goals.
  • Glint helps firms find teams/groups of people where engagement is low or decreasing, provides insights into why this is happening and guidance on what management can do to improve/boost engagement.
  • There is no complete agreement on what engagement is but people tend to know it when they see it.
  • One of the challenges around why employee engagement has remained stubbornly low for such a long time is that companies historically only collected data from employees once a year or every other year and there was little or no follow up. There might have been company wide action plans but not very much on specific team issues.
  • The key to increasing engagement is to gather data much more frequently and also to empower managers to become change agents/take action (along with guidance on what to do) based on the results.
  • Engagement is an outcome of doing the right things.
  • Its important that any approach to engagement not only measures the overall outcome but also the underlying root drivers of engagement.
  • Glint also uses analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques across their platform to provide three different types of insights:
    • Descriptive – alerts to management when there may be a problem based on feedback and sentiment analysis.
    • Predictive – leveraging machine learning and AI techniques the platform provides firms with alerts to things that are likely to happen – i.e. team and performance attrition.
    • Prescriptive – alerts to management on what drivers they should be focused on but also what actions are most likely to have the best and most positive impact on that driver of employee engagement.
  • It’s nice to know that you have a problem but it’s even better to know what to do about that problem.
  • Half of what employee engagement is about is impacted either somewhat, or highly, by managers.
  • If you are in employee engagement then you are in management/leadership development as well.
  • Glint has over 100 companies using their platform including firms like United Airlines, AOL, Sky Broadcasting etc
  • Jim cites a case study where one of their partners, Opower, implemented the Glint platform and saw their their regrettable attrition drop by 26% due to their ability to take action at a local level.
  • Glint’s platform utilises data from a variety of sources including feedback from pulses, surveys, email, other appropriate HR related IS data etc.
  • Glint is achieving in the region of 80-85% response rates on their client’s monthly engagement surveys.
  • It turns out that people want to provide feedback on their engagement levels as they want their companies, in the large part, to improve.
  • It’s really important if you are going to institute an engagement programme that you provide feedback to the organisation.
  • If you want to get better at anything then measuring it once a year is not going to work.
  • In the coming few years we are going to see a dramatic shift in HR systems to real time systems.
  • Wow service for Jim is……where someone not only meets my needs but also anticipates what they will be in the future.
  • In order to deliver that wow service/experience you have to be willing to take risks and do things differently.
  • Check out Glint as there is nothing like out in the market.

About Jim (taken from his company bio here)

Jim BarnettJim Barnett is the chief executive officer, co-founder and chairman of Glint. Jim is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur, having built and run several successful companies. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Turn Inc., where he was CEO for many years. Prior to Turn, Jim served as president of Overture Search, a division of Overture Services, Inc. Jim joined Overture after its acquisition of AltaVista Company, where he was president and CEO. Prior to AltaVista, Jim was President of Ancestry.com (previously named MyFamily) and CEO of Accolade.

Jim earned a BA from Stanford University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Find out more about Glint at www.glintinc.com, say Hi to them and Jim on Twitter @glintinc and @jjbarnett and connect with Jim on LinkedIn here.


Photo Credit: Premier of Ontario Photography via Compfight cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


  1. Getting feedback from your employees is necessary in today’s workplace. Tools like Glint are doing a great job at not only getting that feedback but actioning it. Great read!


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