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Humu, ‘nudging’ tool founded by ex-Google CHRO, acquired by Perceptyx

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Perceptyx has acquired Humu, the technology company co-founded by former Google HR chief and Work Rules author Laszlo Bock, Perceptyx announced Aug. 2. 

Humu garnered a lot of attention when it first arrived on the scene in 2017, due to its leadership and founding team featuring a number of former Google HR leaders and its focus on “nudging” — small notification pushes to coach employees and encourage behavior change.

Perceptyx — a large name in the employee listening space — said it will integrate Humu into its People Insights Platform and thus allow companies to “deliver personalized nudges to both leaders and employees, customized to the behavior each individual or team wants to improve,” according to the announcement.

“Humu pioneered the idea of using nudges for employee development, training, and well-being support,” Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company, said in a statement. “By incorporating this technology and content into its employee listening platform, Perceptyx can deliver a whole new way to drive change in an organization, effectively closing the loop between feedback and action.”

In a blog post on the acquisition, Bersin delved deeper into why Humu may never have taken off on its own. Most pointedly, he wrote, Humu may have gotten lost in an already complicated field of employee survey tools and engagement benchmarks, in which employers tend to invest a great deal of money. 

Cue the pandemic, which then prompted even more notifications upon employees, and Humu may have gotten lost in the shuffle. But in being acquired by Perceptyx, it may help the larger company fill in a gap in its offerings, Bersin said.

In announcing the partnership, Perceptyx CEO John Borland noted the importance of listening to employees.

“However, HR leaders have always struggled to see consistent and effective action by managers on those insights,” the acquiring CEO said in a statement, adding that AI is the “key” to solving that HR problem. “By adding Humu’s ground-breaking nudge technology to our AI-powered platform, we can help all employees influence positive change at every level, improving both the employee experience and business results.”

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