After helping it grow from two to 500 people, rake in $125 million worth of funding, and billions in transactions, the co-founder of Bigcommerce, Mitchell Harper has stepped back from an operational role and recently taken the wraps off his new start-up.
After considerable speculation and seven months of development, PeopleSpark is now live. It is aiming to make one million people quantifiably happier at work by improving communication, feedback and productivity.
Despite research showing that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202 per cent and highly engaged employees are 87 per cent less likely to leave the company they work for, only six per cent of companies believe their current process for managing performance is working.
What is the story behind PeopleSpark?
The product is based on Mitchell’s own experience scaling his previous company to 500 employees and 100,000 customers in just five years.
“At my last company we sent out quarterly ‘mojo’ surveys to know how everyone was feeling and to get their feedback on what was going well and what wasn’t,” said Mitchell Harper.
“The feedback was great, but we had to hack together lots of different tools and we only surveyed once a quarter. I wanted to take those same concepts and build them into a product that any company could use to improve their culture and communication.
“I also wanted to shorten the feedback loop to give managers weekly insights from their team instead of quarterly, which is too slow — especially if you’re growing quickly.”
What exactly does PeopleSpark do?
PeopleSpark helps managers get a weekly pulse on their teams, to dramatically improve their culture, communication and retention.
Every week they know what their team is working on, how they’re feeling, what’s slowing them down and more. Managers can respond to feedback from individual team members in real-time and get ahead of potential problems before they occur.
All employees can finally have a voice with open, fast, frequent feedback, and managers can actually become leaders by taking action on issues in hours, not weeks.
Why do people leave their jobs? What causes company culture to break down? Why do people not feel like their bosses actually listen? Can an app actually make us happier at work?
PeopleSpark has an interesting approach to answering these questions which haunt many businesses, tackling three specific pain points for teams of any size:
- Retention — The number reason employees leave their job is that they feel they’re not being heard by their boss. PeopleSpark creates a private, weekly feedback loop between managers and each individual person on their team.
- Culture — Managers can get ahead of problems before they arise, helping them maintain the unique culture within their team, while taking action on issues in hours, not weeks.
- Speed — Annual and quarterly surveys provide helpful feedback but are too slow and too cumbersome to administer. PeopleSpark gives managers insightful feedback from their teams every week, whether they’re in the same office or in different countries.
“We’re really looking to replace the quarterly and annual performance review process most companies put up with. They’re too slow, no one really likes doing them and by the time you act on the feedback you’ve received, it’s too late,” said Mitchell.
“Our mission is to make one million people quantifiably happier at work, and we feel we’ve got a good shot at doing that,” he remarked.
PeopleSpark is available as a 14-day free trial with pricing starting from $49 per month for a team of up to 10 people. You can sign up at PeopleSpark.com to try it out.