3 types of survey that will identify your employee’s needs

Companies are moving beyond sole reliance on traditional surveys to more agile listening strategies, driven by advances in technology. In response to current events, we have created some new custom surveys that will allow you to assess your employee’s needs. 

Pulse survey 

Sometimes you need employee data quickly. These are short surveys that provide access to employee opinions and reaction to events. We recommend sending these weekly. Here are some of our pulse surveys: 

Mood – How do you feel? 

This tracks mood and sleep every time an employee logs into their Cognisess account. It builds a picture of the relationship between mood, sleep and productivity.

Ask Me (work related) video diary

This is to track or record how an employee is feeling using the Ask Me video tool. It can be used for appraisal, ideas and feedback. Alongside listening to their feedback, you have the option to view how the person is truly feeling. The machine vision used by our DeepLearn™ uses highly advanced algorithms that read from 27+ points on the face. It tracks the differences of the positions over time to establish a picture of the emotion that is being expressed by a person. 

Employee survey 

We recommend sending these on a monthly basis. These will give you a thorough insight into your employees and culture. Here are a few of our new employee surveys. 

Leadership Check in 

This template is for the executive leadership team to get a pulse on their employees to make sure they have the support they need while working from home during the Covid19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Listening in challenging times

This template is for employees to understand trends and changes over time and can be used to monitor engagement. Questions include: What are the biggest challenges you anticipate you will have in meeting your customers’ needs? And, my manager makes an effort to keep in touch with me when I’m working from home. 

Coping in a new world

This template is for employees and how they adapt to changes to working from home. Questions include: Are you meeting set criteria working from home?, Are you finding new ways to work efficiently? And, do you have a similar routine/structure as you did at work?

Health and wellbeing 

Employer response to COVID-19 

This template is for employees and relates to Covid-19 and working in a different way. Sample questions include: What policies/aspects do you feel have worked during this time? And what level of flexibility is provided by your organisation when it comes to getting work done? 

Mental Wellbeing 

Checking in on your people in this challenging time is important. A dip in work performance may be due to low mood instead of lack of work ethic. This template is for employees and focuses on areas of job satisfaction, personal & mental wellbeing.

You can add your own questions, allowing you to ask the questions that are valuable to your organisation. 


Alongside these advanced survey tools, Cognisess Pro has over 60 scientifically-backed assessments that will help you further understand your employee’s personality and abilities. Harness the full power of Cognisess Pro today by booking a free demo. We look forward to helping you to recognise your employee’s needs, talent and potential.

How can Cognisess Pro empower your employees post lockdown

Now more than ever is the time to listen to what your employees need. Here is some advice and tools to uncover this information successfully. 

Firstly, understand and empathise

Your employees are looking for support to help them through this crisis. As they navigate uncertainty in their own lives, acknowledge that they might be feeling anxious, unsettled, and concerned for both their personal and family’s health. Be there to listen and make sure they have access to the information and resources they need.

Be proactive

Anticipate needs and questions that might come up and make a plan. And if you’re unsure what your employees’ concerns are, find out by asking for feedback. Boosting your employee listening strategy during this time can help you better communicate and act on a plan that has a more meaningful impact.

What strategies and tools can you use on Cognisess Pro?

Employee Surveys. Comprehensive employee surveys that deliver a thorough understanding of organisational culture, experience and engagement and links to business performance.

Targeted Pulse Surveys. Sometimes you need employee data quickly. These are short surveys that provide access to employee opinions and reaction to events.

Daily Mood and Sleep. Daily monitoring of an employee’s mood and sleep, with an emphasis on Health and Wellbeing. You will be able to assess how your workforce are generally feeling, which can inform your general strategy moving forward. 

• Games and Assessments. Targeted games, assessments and questionnaires for employees to focus on different aspects of wellbeing, self discovery and their talent and potential.

Supporting remote working 

Cognisess Pro can also be accessed anytime and anywhere, your employees will be able to access it from home if they choose to work remotely after lockdown has ended. Allowing your people to give feedback to you whilst working where they feel most comfortable. 

By listening to your employees you empower them. Cognisess Pro is built for HR to understand and unleash employee’s potential.By gaining this understanding using our tools you can build a stronger and united future workforce. Book a demo to start this journey today.

Inclusive Growth book with Cognisess

Cognisess featured in Inclusive Growth

Promoting diversity and striving to be inclusive is at the forefront of most HR professional’s minds. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Toby Mildon’s new book, Inclusive Growth, enables you to achieve this. It provides a practical framework for your organisation to transform into a sustainable and inclusive workplace. 

The book explores the many avenues you can change, from culture to collaboration. We are also proud to feature as part of the solution to this. In the book we discuss how the platform encourages cognitive diversity in an organisation. To be successful, businesses need different types of people. Knowing if your organisation has enough leaders, problem solvers and planners allows you to hire new people to fulfil these needs.  Our data is accessible, transparent and can be anonymous in order to ensure the focus is on a candidate’s abilities, not their gender, ethnicity or age when it comes to hiring. 

Dr Boris Altemeyer, our Chief Scientific Officer comments that: 

“It is wonderful to see that Toby’s passion and knowledge can now be shared on a wider scale via this great book. Since the very beginning of our work together, it was very clear that Toby’s and our perception were very much aligned: diversity and inclusivity are not just essential, but also highly beneficial for everyone, and more often a mindset shift rather than a resource question. 

We are grateful to be part of this book. Our case study is an example of how technology can assist this mindset shift and make inclusivity and diversity of thought a seamless part of standard practices.”

Buy the book today to start your organisation’s journey to inclusivity and read more about how Cognisess can assist with this. 

How our emotions influence the decisions we make

The holiday and New Year season are a wonderful time (for the scientifically minded) to explore insights around the role of our Emotional State. Cognisess’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer discusses what our emotional state does to us and why that is important. 

As social beings, our interactions are shaped by our current mood and general emotional ‘status quo’ – i.e. our Emotional State. At certain times of the year, such as the winter holidays, we have a heightened awareness of our own and other’s Emotional State. This can often make or break conversations and occasions – as some of us might have found out first hand whilst meeting friends and family over the holidays! 

Are our decisions influenced by our emotions?

We know from research, as well as from experience, that it is generally a bad idea to make promises when in a good mood and major decisions when in a bad mood. We are much more likely to be empathetic and engaging when we are in a neutral or positive mood. Being able to assess how another person is feeling is a tremendous skill. And doing so without being overly influenced by our own Emotional State, is more than just a skill or talent. However, AI is able to help.  

The way we feel or perceive how someone else is feeling will influence how we choose to react. This heightened sensibility is something that makes distinctly superior to AI… or does it?  

AI can see our emotional state 

In the past, we have focussed a lot of our research efforts on developing computer vision. This is used in the platform’s video analysis tool to reliably detect micro-expressions and emotions from a candidate’s video interviews. Using our own dedicated algorithms and analysis we are able to reveal a tremendous amount about a person, for example:  

  • How engaged someone might be in a role  
  • Their suitability for a role were empathy or Emotional State play a big part. We have found this to be especially useful when working with the hospitality industry, in which customer service and mood state is paramount.  

How good are we at decision making?  

Some humans are good at spotting emotional states. A recruiter or manager may be known for their good ‘instinct’ when picking the right candidate. Most of us do these things without thinking about it, or even being able to verbalise it. Whilst this insightfulness can be seen as a great advantage over a machine the approach is also prone to human errors. For example, distraction, stress, fatigue, bias and our own ‘less-than-reliable’ Emotional State.  

However, machines don’t have an ‘off-day’. Which is why at Cognisess we generate greater accuracies and efficiencies with machines in order to open up new opportunities for humans to learn about their own Emotional States and mood patterns. 

Why we need to work with AI  

We are starting to see a reversal of roles between the human and the machine – particularly in candidate recruitment and employee management. Up to this point in time, we have spent a lot of time ‘mentoring’ the machines to mimic what we humans do, like finding patterns and starting to interpret them.  

Going forward, we will see this dynamic being reversed. We will gain knowledge by learning from the patterns that the machines uncover, which in turn will reveal a lot about other people’s behaviour. For instance, this will be particularly helpful when dealing with huge amounts of real-time human data, volumes of videos, and visual information that are too vast for any human to process. 

The ghost of recruitment past is fast becoming the traditional recruiter armed with their ‘instinct’ and the ghost of recruitment future is AI. Which ghost is part of your hiring process?  Give yourself the gift of a future proof recruitment process this Christmas by booking a free demo with us. 

Recruiter holding a computer with a brain displayed

What is computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience?

Computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience are part of the new wave of HR technology. But what are they? Below we reveal their definitions and how they can be used in recruitment. 

What is computer vision? 

Computer vision acts as the eyes of an AI. This technology can visually process the world around them and they can be programmed to analyse the information it collects. For example, computer vision is used as part of our video analysis tool. The technology analyses each candidate’s facial expressions and micro-expressions from their video interview. Micro-expressions are facial movements that happen before we are consciously aware of them. This means computer vision is able to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel.

This tool can be used to recruit across all industries. However, it is especially useful in customer-focused roles where ‘reading people’ or presenting yourself positively or empathetically is required. Computer Vision can observe how easy a person is to talk to, and how approachable they will be to customers – even under pressure.

Learn more about computer vision here.

What is machine learning? 

Machine learning is a subset of AI. Like a brain, it is able to learn and independently come to its own conclusions. It is widely used in our everyday lives, for instance, it is used to recommend you  products online. 

It can be used in recruitment to identify the best candidates for you. For example, our team will give it data on your top performers and machine learning can select the common attributes that make that group successful. It will then use this knowledge to pick the best candidates from the applicant pool. 

What is neuroscience? 

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. By focusing on the brain we are able to reveal its impact on a person’s behaviour and cognitive functions.

This is actually a great resource in recruitment. Using neuroscience we are able to understand a candidate on an individual level, regardless of the volume of applicants. Equipped with this personality and cognitive data you can get to know the candidate before you meet them, you will understand what drives them and how they will react in certain situations. At Cognisess we do this by assessing applicants with our scientifically backed games which will enhance your decision making. 

A powerful combination

Computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience are only beginning to transform recruitment. At Cognisess we apply them in one user-friendly platform. Book a free demo with us to see how we do it. 

Person answering a personality assessment

Why personality assessments alone won’t identify the top talent

More companies are using personality assessments than ever before. NBC News has reported that their usage is increasing by 20% each year. But are they the most effective way to measure and predict job performance? 

Below is the results of Frank Schmidt’s meta-analysis based on nearly a century of workplace productivity data. 

Meta data that measures the most effective hiring methods.

As you can see, applying personality tests alongside traditional recruitment methods create a less effective process than using a multi-level assessment approach…But why is this the case? 

Personality tests are easy to manipulate 

Some candidates may try to reverse engineer these assessments in order to impress an assessor. For example, from a list of words a candidate will choose the most favourable ones to describe themselves, instead of what their truly like. 

This is damaging to the overall hiring process. HR believes the candidate is someone they’re not and can result in the wrong applicant being hired. 

We are constantly changing 

A lot of personality tests are based on the four-quadrant personality model. This model is built to assess our states. These are the more fluid parts of our personality, for example, a person may be highly organised at work but is disorganised in their personal life. It is recommended that individuals frequently retake these tests because a person’s context regularly changes. Meaning it can be unreliable to predict a person’s job performance. 

So we shouldn’t use personality tests in recruitment?  

This depends on how you apply them. A strong recruitment process would include a multi assessment approach that tests a variety of traits, behavioural and cognitive factors. Combining these components make a personality test much more effective. Here are some factors that indicate a strong personality assessment: 

  • They assess stable traits (instead of states). These are traits that are at the core of our personality, for example, how agreeable you are. Our platform uses the Big 5 Personality Model to measure these stable traits, which is the most reliable and scientifically backed personality model. The personality results are accurate for up to 6 months after they take the assessment. 
  • They allow you to compare each applicant’s scores. This helps you assess the strongest candidate. For example, with Cognisess Pro you can compare an individual’s score against the general population and identify the top scores in the applicant pool. 
  • They have an inbuilt ‘lie detector’. This helps detect candidates who are trying to ‘cheat’ by painting themselves in a more favourable light.  For example, in our new Lens Pro assessment you can choose between two options which are equally viable instead of two choices where it’s obvious what the ‘correct answer’ is. This helps an employer really get to know an applicant and the values they stand for. The process becomes about their true abilities, not the persona which they think will get them the job.  

A 360° recruitment process

Finding the right fit means assessing the whole person. By using a variety of assessments you will accurately understand each applicant’s behaviour, personality and cognitive attributes. Taking the time to understand the potential of your applicant pool will ensure you hire the right person who will thrive in a role. 

To get to this outcome you need an effective recruitment process. We have over 60 neuroscience assessments to suit your hiring needs. Please contact us if you would like help crafting a reliable and accurate recruitment process. 

4 Upcoming Bath Digital Festival Events Not to Miss Out on

Bath Digital Festival 2019 is next week, bringing a variety of technology and science events to the South-West. 

With over 80 events to choose from, which ones should you attend?  Here are 4 talks that will help you envision and enthuse about our digital future, from computers recognising emotions to how AI will affect the workplace.  

Making Work Meaningful (again) – the Future of Work and AI

12pm – 12:45pm, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to discover how AI will affect the workforce

The advent of AI has left many wondering: are humans obsolete soon? What can I do at work that will not be automated?

This talk will explore how humans can use AI and advances in Psychology and Neuroscience to understand better what makes the human mind so unique, and what we all bring to the table – in our own individual way

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here.

How to Teach Your Computer to Recognise Happiness

3pm – 3:45pm, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: The tech curious 

As machine vision has rapidly improved in recent years, there has been a surge in applications of this technology to the human face. It can detect facial expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. 

In this talk, we will cover the technical details of how cutting edge technologies like facial recognition software work, and discuss some of the potential uses and misuse. 

Interested in this event? Book your tickets here. 

Understanding the benefits of VR in psychological care

11am – 11:40am, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: Anyone interested in psychology and VR 

Virtual reality technology is still sparse in most mainstream care environments. Jed Brown’s research has been focused on “What’s holding us back from implementing VR treatments more widely?” A year on, he believes that he understands part of the problem, and perhaps more importantly, part of the solution.

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here. 

Exploring Opportunities for a Career in Tech 

12pm – 2pm, Thursday 24th October 2019

Perfect for: Parents looking to re-enter the workforce

Learn about how you can transform your creativity and problem-solving skills into a Digital Career. We will be helping parents and career movers matching their skills to jobs alongside The Factory, Mayden Academy and ADLIB

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here. 

Dragon Boat Race in Aid of The Mountain Way

On a lovely Sunday in early September, the annual race of the Dragons has yet again hit the calm waters of Avon. Teams from local businesses in Bath have risen to the challenge to support charities. The event also attracted strong local support, that was entertained by the live music, a friendly competition and sunny weather.

Cognisess has triumphed and brought the Gold Dragon back to their office on Argyle Street this year. The company, founded by CEO Chris Butt, is proud and happy to help raise awareness of The Mountain Way – a charity led by Andy Shaw, the founder and veteran of the Falklands War.  

Mr. Shaw was very kind to pay a visit to the Cognisess office. He delivered a moving and inspiring speech about his experience in the field. The little-known stories of soldiers are too often being swallowed by the feelings of guilt and shame only to erupt as PTSD later. The condition has led to one veteran taking his own life every 5 days in the UK.

Mr. Shaw has developed a method of how to tackle the problem. He takes a veteran on a pilgrimage to the mountains of France. With his guidance the person in distress gently learns to let go of the past and move onto the next chapter of their lives.

Mr. Shaw commented:

“As the founder of The Mountain Way I would like to thank the good people of the city of Bath for their very positive support last Sunday, the 8th of September, for showing up and competing in an exciting Dragon Boat Race, which saw teams battling it out for supremacy. We had a wonderful day on Sunday and very much look forward to next year’s event. We hope that more teams will be able to join us in what is a fun day for all concerned.”

Charity Designability also raised £10,000 at the event.  Dragon Boats will hit the waters of Avon next year again, but the race for Cognisess and The Mountain Way are not finished yet. The aim is to raise awareness of the cause and help as many veterans as possible. Get involved and help protect those, who risk their lives protecting us!

How your gaming habits could help you secure a job

In the past, video games have had a bad reputation. But video games are actually good for your brain. Every time you play a video game it exercises your brain’s neuroplasticity. This is the part of your brain that helps you learn new skills. As you get older your brain’s neuroplasticity naturally declines. However, playing video games is known to have a positive impact on this ability regardless of your age. 

We live in a world where we are always trying to improve ourselves or be constantly productive. We all need to relax from time to time, otherwise, we can suffer from cognitive fatigue.  Because video games are fun, they allow us to switch off from the daily grind whilst unconsciously improving our skills at the same time. 

They also have a number of benefits. These researchers found that playing these games can help your perception, attention, memory, and decision-making skills. These skills aren’t only important in video games, they can also be used throughout our lives – particularly in the workplace.  Video games can increase your reaction time, which can be useful if you are working in a role where you need to respond quickly, for instance, a doctor who works in a hospital.  

Video games can also help you get a job. 

More and more companies are using games to assess applicants for jobs to create a more engaging experience. But these games are different from the ones you can play on your Xbox.  They are scientifically-backed and are designed to assess a candidate’s behaviour, abilities and future job performance. In 2018, the global gamification market was valued at $5.5 billion. In the future, these games may be a common part of most recruitment processes. 

Will gamers have an advantage? 

When it comes to games used in job applications, gamers may have a slight advantage. But they aren’t cheating, they have done the work to increase these skill areas. Just as much as a person who has been practising the guitar for a year will be better than a complete beginner. 

But this doesn’t mean that people who don’t play video games will be at a disadvantage in the gamified job application process. For every ability a video game can train there are other activities that can improve these skills. For example, a text-based adventure game will improve your reading ability, but reading a book will also do this. Video games are just a popular and fun way to develop these important skills. 

Technology helps us improve our lives. From conveniently paying for your meal deal on your phone to AI assistants like Alexa. Video games not only help you improve your skills but are also fun to play. This happy median will also help companies in the future fully understand job applicant’s abilities and help an individual discover their talent.

Collaboration will be a key leadership skill: How Millennials are transforming leadership and what businesses can do to prepare for it

Millennials are our future workforce. By 2025 Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the global workforce and are packed with innovative ideas on how to enhance the workplace – from flexible working to a strong company culture. According to a survey, 91% of them expressed a desire to lead. However, this generation’s perception of leadership is different from traditional leadership values.  

Research from The Duke of Edinburgh Award uncovered that only 10% of young people think discipline or dominance are desirable leadership traits. Alternatively, 58% of those young people say listening or empathy are the most important leadership traits. This shows there are clear expectations held by the young workforce surrounding leadership.  

As a result of this, we will start to see a shift in leadership style in the future, moving away from an egocentric and hierarchical management style. It will become a more collaborative process, employees will be active and valued contributors. Instead of the leader telling their teams what they need, it will become more of an open dialogue between management and employees.  

How Team Fit will help teamwork

Teamwork will become even more important, a study by IdeaPaint uncovered that 74% of Millennials prefer to collaborate in small groups and nearly 50% of Millennials believe that leadership is the empowerment of others. Our Team Fit tool will be able to help organisations with this larger emphasis on collaboration. The feature collates, maps and compares the skills of each member within a team via a user-friendly graph. It also allows an organisation to compare how collaborative each employee is. Using this tool helps businesses visually understand how a collaborative team and leader dynamic would work, as well as how collaborative their current employees are. With Millenials wanting a more collaborative leadership approach, this tool will help a leader to identify the strengths of each individual and encourage them to apply them on a regular basis to facilitate excellent overall performance.

It will be even more important for future leaders to listen to their teams and be aware of how they are feeling. This will require high emotional intelligence from these leaders, a key leadership skill according to Harvard Business Review and another attribute Team Fit measures.

Are Businesses prepared for this leadership change?

95% of businesses agreed that a new type of leadership is required to address the changes in organisational structures due to digitalisation. In the future, AI will automate a lot of menial tasks and there will be a greater focus on people and the unique abilities and soft skills they can contribute to the organisation. It will require high performing leaders to facilitate not only adopting this technology, but also assisting their employees in adapting to this new style of working.

Although it is acknowledged a new leadership style is needed by businesses and Millennials alike, only 37%  of organisations believe they have a strong digital leader in place today. How will businesses recruit leaders who have the skills to lead collaboratively and will transport the organisation into the digital age?  

What can organisations do to prepare?

At Cognisess aim to help successfully recruit future leaders in a variety of industries through their graduate schemes. Our clients include the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev to hotel giant, IHG. Our platform is designed to help identify those potential leaders who can transform organisations to operate more effectively in the digital age.

To achieve this we assess all the specific attributes an applicant will need in their industry, the job role and the culture and teams they will operate in. We also benchmark the successful factors that will be needed in the future by assessing the attributes of those current loyal and high performing leaders. This data includes career values, personality traits, emotional intelligence and cognitive abilities. Analysing current high performers not only helps to understand the qualities that make for a successful leader – but it also helps to inform which applicants to recruit to future proof a high performing future workforce.

Our expert team uses this data to construct a detailed job profile based on these collective characteristics. These become the benchmark to assess graduates and other diverse recruits on Cognisess Pro. Applicants complete a series of tailored cognitive, emotional and personality based assessments. The process results in targeted applicant recommendations, increasing the chance of successful hires. Recruiting the right talented graduates provides continuity and momentum for the organisation which can be confident it is future ready, with the right people coming through in those leadership roles.

For example, we accurately assess around 600 applicants a year for IHG’s Future Leaders graduate programme, with 90% of those hired retained over the past 2 years. Our analysis of the data over recent years has helped us observe how the previously hired graduates are successfully evolving and aligning to mirror this changing dynamic between a team and their leader, with a slight increase in the presence of collaborative skills with each annual cohort. Even the hires who saw themselves as less collaborative have a 75% chance of having more collaborative traits than they think, when we compare their self reported results with their assessment results. This shows conclusively that Millennials are naturally becoming more collaborative, regardless of whether they are aware of it – or not!

Using a People Analytics platform like Cognisess Pro allows businesses not only observe the change of skills within the workforce, but identify and recruit the kind of future leaders that have the skills set to allow their organisations to be future ready. Our Team Fit tool is becoming more vital in the changing leadership landscape – and with the line between how leaders and teams interact becoming increasingly blurred, it will be critical to recruit high performing and dynamic teams to underpin a successful organisation. If you would like to try Cognisess Pro, the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today – contact us for a FREE demo today.