The science
behind Duuoo

The Duuoo Conversation Engine

At Duuoo, we care about what's important for people to feel engaged, motivated, and safe & secure at work. At the same time, we focus on what is essential for the workplace to cultivate a professional, competent, diverse, and productive workforce. Short and long-term.

To understand what is important to employees, managers, HR, and strategic management, we have conducted countless interviews, talked with numerous experts, scholars, and specialists, and examined all of that input in the context of the latest research in the fields of I/O psychology, coaching, and management theories.

The result is The Duuoo Conversation Engine®. The Duuoo Conversation Engine® automatically curates and inserts a selected number of Talking Points to your 1-on-1 and team meetings. Each Talking Point is categorized into one of our Six Themes of Employee Engagement. The Talking Points and Themes are automatically distributed throughout the year so that everyone gets to talk about all six themes in the course of a year.

The Talking Points are curated with input from a number of triggers about the specific meeting. E.g., what has been discussed previously, the interval between your conversations, for how long the participants have been using Duuoo, and so on. In this way, The Duuoo Conversation Engine® curates relevant and powerful Talking Points to every conversation to ensure high quality and impact.

To get the best out of the Duuoo Talking Points, we encourage our users to be open-minded and allow themselves to go a bit outside their comfort zone and approach each Duuoo conversation as an exploration and an opportunity for all parties to learn and grow.

Moreover, in the professional context, we believe it's crucial to clarify expectations and thus operationalize your dialogue with actionable outcomes by setting and tracking goals, actions, and agreements. After all, a conversation, no matter how great, only becomes meaningful if it can inspire actions, development, and/or change.

Below, you can explore the Six Themes that constitute Duuoo's Pyramid of Employee Needs. Click on any layer of the pyramid to learn more about that theme.

Personal Development
Self-Actualization was at the top level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in 1943 and is still today to be found in the top of Duuoo’s Pyramid of Employee Needs. Maslow argued that only by achieving the previous layers of the pyramid one could reach self-actualization. Today many people regard the workplace as a scene for self-actualization that enables people to be the person they want to be and a place to unfold their true and full potential. Many of us today feel, that we would prefer to quit our job if we aren’t sufficiently challenged. Some might even prefer not working than be caught by routines and steadiness. It’s important that our job can offer a room to ignite a sense of “passion”, “progression”, ”creativity” and ”motivation”. Most of us think of ourselves at some level, as “unique” and “indispensable” and our work plays an important role when we think about our personal development, growth and self-realization. We also wish to organize our daily work in a way that suits us - and we thrive on the freedom and autonomy that enable us to unfold our creativity. On the other hand, we also expect our leader to be clear in the communication and to set up challenging goals or projects, and to give candid and honest feedback. Our desires and expectations to our job are often ambiguous and complex but talking about all these themes enable us to reflect, develop and stay on top of our ambitions.

The Talking Points within this theme are designed to surface the ambiguity and complexity of ambition, personal development, and self-realization.

Motivation & Inspiration
Abraham Maslow wrote his 1943 paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation", including the legendary graphic pyramid called The Hierarchy of Needs. In his paper, Maslow categorized some essential themes that would explain what drives and motivates people. Only when the previous levels were satisfied would it make sense to progress to the next level in The Hierarchy of Needs. Prior to that, Max Weber wrote that “individuals need a legitimate (or moral) reason to engage in capitalist activities as wage itself, is not sufficient alone to engage or motivate individuals in their jobs”. In our Pyramid of Employee Needs, Motivation and Inspiration is the fifth level of the pyramid. The previous four levels in the pyramid are, with reference to Maslow, a prerequisite for individuals to feel motivated and engaged. Creative knowledge work depends on employee enthusiasm and flexible collaboration in order to generate competitive products and services. By articulating things and notions about what motivates and drives your team members you’ll be able to learn new things about your team, work processes, and product or service. Creating and driving motivation is not an easy task and is not accomplished alone just by talking about things that motivate and inspire people. Motivation is triggered from multiple places and is very individual. Some people are driven by constant changes and challenges while some people are motivated by concentration, consistency and long term experience.

The Talking Points within this theme are designed to explore the deep factors that drive, motivate and inspire your people.

Feedback & Learnings
The fourth level in the Pyramid of Employee Needs supports a company culture of feedback, learning, and development. Feedback is an excellent way to learn from each other across all levels of collaboration. Encouraging a culture of frequent feedback enables you and your team to be agile and innovative.The modern leader is expected to be both creative and innovative, holistic and strategic, compassionate and economic - while at the same time seeing it all in both a global and a local perspective. However, the right climate and intentions should be present in order for feedback to be successful. There is a thin red line between criticism and feedback. Criticism activates a person's defense system and is often received as a threat to the self. Hence, feedback should always be given in a climate of trust, sensibility, with good intentions and with regards to proper timing and manners. Last but not least, feedback should be helpful to the recipient. In this way, feedback is one of the most sensible skills demanded by the manager, however also one of the most important.When done continuously and adequately, feedback can add a lot of value to your team, company, customers, and people. Feedback, Learning, and development is not only a personal matter but relies on a team and leadership effort. In this sense, feedback can play a proactive role in an ever ongoing learning process. The creative workforce, which includes both team members and leaders, depend on high-frequent feedback and the promise of personal development and self-actualization.

The Talking Points in this theme intend to foster a feedback culture that goes beyond individual interests and promote a dynamic learning environment for individual team members, leaders, and teams.

Collaboration & Culture
The third level of the Pyramid of Employee Needs is the glue that ties the team members, managers, and organization together. It’s all the corporate visible and invisible notions that take place in the daily work life. Both leaders and team members contribute to the company culture whether we acknowledge it or not. There is no such thing as not being a part of the culture  - if you are there - you make a difference. However, some leaders may think that they are the only ones who can and should develop the company culture. This notion contradicts the fact that culture is augmented by everyone. A way a leader can promote a positive company culture is by example; Be the first one to give and embrace feedback, be the first one to celebrate success, be the first one to recognize good work, be the first one to care, if something goes wrong, etc. Lead by being a good example and be confident about your presence bearing in mind, that as a leader work is not a ‘me’ project. It’s all about team effort. Include your people in your decisions, your thoughts, processes, etc. and expect others to do the same. Building a positive culture on your team is vital for mutual and sustainable success. If you think you need to improve the cooperation on your team, please consider that cooperation happen three ways:

Bonding = the cooperation between team members.
Bridging = the cooperation between teams.
Linking = the cooperation between managers and team members.

Obviously, the manager can’t do this alone, but via the 1-on-1 Talking Points in this theme, the manager can understand and influence some of the dynamics that go on in the team.1-on-1s build actual linking between manager and team members. Think about the 1-on-1 situation as a space for creating a culture of confidence, relations, and trust between you and your people.

Work-life Balance & Well-being
The second level of the Pyramid of Employee Needs, acts a prerequisite for a sound and productive work-life and requires a good balance between the private sphere and work sphere. Nowadays, the boundaries of work are less stringent as technologies enable people to bring private life into the work life and work into the private life. Just as often as we check social media at work, we work at home. However, that doesn’t mean that there should be no rules. On the contrary, making rules about both social media at work, and work at home help people to get the feeling of freedom. In that sense, freedom is often facilitated by the right set of rules. Work-life balance and wellbeing both have a physiological and psychological aspect and often influence the perceived level of stress. Stress is often triggered or intensified by poor health and the lack of a good work-life balance. Stress can lead to pathological symptoms such as headaches, irregular heart beats, and strokes as well as psychological symptoms such as low self-esteem, feeling of inefficiency, low mental performance, and depression. Work-life balance and wellbeing are two entities that are difficult to spot or meter. Hence, when you talk about these themes, listening is crucial. People don’t always open their heart about possible health problems, early stage stress symptoms or work-life imbalance.However, not addressing them in time can have many negative results; increase in sick leave, a decline in efficiency and productivity, and overall lower engagement and performance.
Hence, the Talking Points within this theme may close potential gaps and blind spots and encourage a balanced and productive working environment.

Work Structure, Alignment & Performance
The bottom level of the Pyramid of Employee Needs is the foundation of every workplace; How work is structured and organized in the daily work and to which degree there is alignment between the management and the team members.Having an efficient and sound working structure seems elementary but has, not only a massive impact on productivity, efficiency and profit but also on job satisfaction, engagement, and stress. Likewise, an understanding of the company vision and mission is key to feeling recognized and appreciated and also adds a sense of meaningfulness to the job; What you do is actually valuable and appreciated! Bringing up questions within this theme in the 1-on-1 meetings can ensure a balance between job autonomy and job control. People operate well under a certain degree of freedom to organize their own work but also need directions, guidance and clear goals from their leader. Both team members and managers want to achieve their best, and the success of the employee is also the success of the manager.  

To get the best out of these Talking Points try both to be as specific as possible in some situations and as broad as possible in other situations. This way you learn from real success and failures and get the full pictures about the situation in your team.

Use Agreements to create clear goals within each Talking Point to show your team members that you’ll do whatever is possible to help, support and ensure mutual success.

Inclusion and Diversity

Everyone is welcome and valued
Inclusion and diversity underpins our 6 themes of employee engagement, however it is also such an essential topic, we have created a new theme to support these important dialogues.

Recognizing that in every organization, there may be barriers to every team member feeling included and fully accepted, is key to removing those barriers. The Talking Points in this theme focus on examining prejudice, whistle-blowing, equity and equality of opportunity, and improvements to processes, access, work environment and culture.

This is an overarching theme, as without being (and feeling) included on a fundamental level, team members are prevented from achieving any of their other work-life needs.

These talking points are designed to prompt sensitive conversation and introspection, and encourage all team members to take an active role in the inclusivity of their organization. The intended outcome is that, spurred on by the talking points in this section, team leaders and members will become more aware of their own prejudices, potential barriers to inclusion, and do the work to remove these.

Our Experts

Lean Change Professional Puk, who works on the basis of the agile principles, has provided supporting content for our Agile-themed Talking Points. Puk is a change management consultant and also co-hosts the podcast ‘The Future of Leadership To-Go’, where she, her co-host, and their guests talk about what you can do to think differently in the way you work.
The CEO of Duuoo, Magnus, is also the author of our core talking point bank. Holding a Masters in Organisational Psychology, he has 15 years+ of experience within leadership and entrepreneurship. With an academic background in linguistics, business psychology and coaching, Magnus leads the development of Duuoo's modern people & performance management approach.
Experienced Leadership Advisor Mette has a Masters in Organizational Psychology and is the owner of her own leadership consulting company, Boye Rådgivning. As a specialist in leadership stress management, supervision of leaders, and facilitation of meetings, Mette has worked with Eva to support the content for Duuoo's Stress Management Talking Points. Mette was also recently elected Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Department of Human Rights.
Facilitator and organizational expert Eva, is external examiner at Roskilde University in the subject Communication and a full-time lecturer at Djøf's Process Consultant education. Eva also has a Masters in Organizational Psychology (MPO), and owns her own consulting business, Jakobsen Consulting. Eva has worked with Mette to support the content for Duuoo's Stress Management Talking Points.
A consultant, author, and external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, Simone works with Duuoo on our Inclusion and Diversity content. With a Masters degree in Sociology and degrees in Organizational Management & Corporate Communication, Simone has many years of experience working with organizations to strengthen their leadership development and internal communication strategy. Simone also owns her own consulting business, ViaPlanner.

Additional Resources

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