Recall a past experience at a job where motivation was hard to conjure and you felt disconnected from your work. Presently, there are millions of people who can empathize with that same feeling. About 74 percent of Americans are actively disengaged at their jobs, according to a recent Gallup study. With this many glazed-over eyes, it’s no surprise why employees across the country have spent the past few months seeking out more valuable work experiences than ever before. In fact, 20 million people left their job between April and August.
As a result, employers are reevaluating what they can do to retain their current workforce and examining how they treat their employees. The pandemic contributed largely to a shift in how people view their jobs. Employees are reconsidering things like work-life balance as well as the benefits of working from home. With today’s distributed workforce, Atlanta-based HR tech company Cooleaf is developing a solution to help build more organizations that prioritize their employees.
“Covid has provided...an opportunity for people to reflect on their spot in the world and what they’re doing from a work standpoint,” Prem Bhatia, Cooleaf’s co-founder, told Built In. “What you’re seeing now is this sort of build-up after the pandemic that people are like, ‘Wait, I should not be spending the rest of my life in an organization like this, right?’ And there are basic things that organizations and employers can do to mitigate these effects.”
Cooleaf’s platform provides employers with a solution that aims to keep their workforce engaged. Founded in 2012, the company is much different today than how it got its start as a B2C health and wellness solution. Its present B2B SaaS product came into being around four years ago, according to Bhatia.
Cooleaf current platform offers enterprise software that allows managers and employees to quickly recognize employee achievements, reward those achievements, as well as encourage team-building through over 1,000 digital challenges.
The platform was built on a framework of “listen, engage and measure,” Bhatia said. Cooleaf integrates with several platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Workplace from Facebook and Zendesk to help companies monitor work performance and conduct pulse surveys. From there, it automates the accrual of reward points when people reach milestones through those platforms. Once an employee accumulates enough points or is awarded points from their manager, the points can be converted into rewards like gift cards, charity donations, travel opportunities and merchandise.
Cooleaf also enables companies to run team-building challenges and events through its platform. These can be based on ongoing agendas like training and workshops or challenges based on innovation, learning, culture. The platform also supports integrations with devices like Apple Watch and Fitbit for wellness challenges. Cooleaf provides companies with analytics to measure what worked to improve engagement. The company also plans to develop more AI-based recommendations for this application over the next year or so, according to Bhatia.
“All that really brings people together in a way that’s unique, gets people talking in a virtual work environment where you may not even meet your peers in person [and] can really solidify and bolster the culture, as well as the connection that you have to your organization,” Bhatia said.
Its approach to employee engagement has proven successful so far. Cooleaf saw 282 percent growth over a three-year period, according to its ranking on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list. The company has raised $3.2 million in funding to date from investors including No Limit Ventures and has grown its employee base from its initial four to about 30 full-time and contract staff members.
The company also signed more customers to its platform in one month than it did in the entire year of 2019, Bhatia said. Its current customer base spans the tech, professional services and healthcare industries and includes 50 companies such as Shipt, Salesloft, Aprio and Woodward Academy.
“Our company’s thesis was always that we need to help our customers…demonstrate their care for the people that power their success,” Bhatia said. “We really take a lot of pride in the amount of differentiation and the amount of work that we put [into partnering] with our customers to achieve that success.”
Along with expanding its customer base, Cooleaf is also growing its internal team. The company is currently hiring across critical roles in sales and customer success and plans to hire across product and marketing next year.