With its unique internal communication platform, Irish company Workvivo has created an effective solution to the epidemic of employee disengagement.
Employee disengagement is estimated to be around 85% worldwide (Gallup), costing the global economy in excess of $450 billion annually. It’s a massive problem and one that prompted HR professionals John Goulding, now CEO of Workvivo, and Joe Lennon, CTO, to set up a company to develop a new style of communication platform.
“One of the main reasons that people are disengaged is that companies don’t have an effective way of creating a community feeling within a business, the kind of feeling that you belong to something, and that you understand what’s going on across the business. Workvivo was set up to address that,” explains Pete Rawlinson, Workvivo’s CMO.
Familiar concepts with a corporate twist
Workvivo was founded in Cork in 2017 with support from Enterprise Ireland, the trade and innovation agency, which also recently began using the platform across its international offices.
The company’s approach was to develop a platform based on how people interact outside of the workplace, creating an easy-to-use interface with familiar elements, such as tailored activity feeds, content sharing and timelines.
“Using Workvivo, employees can read and post content to an activity feed, like, share and comment in the same way they do outside of the working environment, but they can also recognise others through shout-outs, link posts to company goals and values, create community spaces and publish company articles and events. The result is a communication experience that employees actually want to use, and a powerful way for businesses to align employee activity to company goals and cultural values,” says Rawlinson.
Built on five pillars of employee engagement; namely social communication, community experience, culture amplification, social intranet and measurement, the platform is accessible on desktops, tablets and mobiles, making it particularly attractive to businesses with remote workers.
Validation from global players
In the two years since it was set up, Workvivo has grown its user base to over 100,000 in 38 countries and counts universities, legal firms, retail, hotel chains and technology businesses among its clients.
One of these is Cubic Telecom, where employees have embraced the platform.
“It’s given us a personality, and it’s enhanced our ability to reach everyone equally, whether you’re in HQ or working remotely,” says Gillian French, the company’s Chief People Officer.
Multinational company Kentech is also delighted with Workvivo, with its Group HR Director, John Kavanagh, describing it as “a huge empowerment tool that makes people at every level feel like they’re making a contribution”.
The company has recently marked two significant milestones, having beaten some major competition to win a leading US technology company, which is now using Workvivo’s platform for its 40,000 staff across the world.
“We’re talking to many other significant names in the tech sector and spending quite a bit of time in Silicon Valley at the minute. We also recently acquired Seneca Casino in New York State as a client,” says Rawlinson.
A second milestone was an investment from Eric S. Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications Inc., who considers Workvivo “an essential component in the makeup of successful companies”.
“Eric is the most influential technology entrepreneur today and Zoom one of the hottest communications companies in the world. His philosophy of connecting employees to improve productivity in the workforce aligns with ours. His decision to personally invest in Workvivo is a strong testament to how well we are differentiated,” says Rawlinson.
Taking an employee-centric view was at the core of Workvivo’s approach to developing the platform and that is particularly relevant in a workforce that is fast becoming dominated by millennials.
“Our surveys tell us that what’s important to millennials is being recognised for doing a good job, having a work-life balance, being part of something bigger, and being able to share ideas. A community-based communication technology really works for this generation.”
There are also extensive analytics built into the platform, which companies can use to look at behaviours and take the pulse of the business, making it an invaluable tool for management.
Workvivo integration with Slack
The company is excited about its next steps, which includes comprehensive integration with Slack, the leading instant messaging platform.
“We purposely didn’t build instant messaging into our platform as that’s not core to what we do, but we’re seeing more of our prospects using our platform as a central hub to other communication platforms such as Slack,” says Rawlinson.
With an overwhelmingly positive response to the platform from clients (most companies seeing over 90% usage rates), Workvivo is setting itself ambitious growth targets.
“By 2021, we expect to have over one million users on our communication platform and by 2022 annual revenues exceeding $10 million, an increasing proportion of which we expect to come from the US. We also expect to add around 100 employees to our team,” says Rawlinson.
Helping clients find their #workvivomoment
Trigon Hotels coined the phrase #workvivomoment when a manager was spotted helping an employee tie his bowtie. For Trigon it was the moment management realised that Workvivo had become embedded in the culture of the organisation.
“It’s fantastic to see something like that, because it shows communication and engagement happening outside of the platform but influenced by it,” says Rawlinson.
With ongoing support for every customer through a dedicated engagement professional, Workvivo ensures that every client can find their own #workvivomoments.
“We develop ideas on how to get people more engaged both on the platform and outside of it,” says Rawlinson. “We stay close to our clients, monitor their usage rates and make recommendations based on successes we see through our global customer community. This ongoing support is part of the Workvivo platform subscription.”