We caught up with Juha Huttunen, co-founder of Vibecatch, and asked him a few questions about how to improve company culture – and profitability – with 15 questions.
How did you come up with the idea for Vibecatch?
We originally worked for a software company and wanted to measure, internally, how satisfied the employees were with the company and their job and all, but we couldn’t find the proper tools. Nothing was cheap, or easy, or automated. We had to do all kinds of polls, and set everything up manually, and do data analysis and collection ourselves.
We did some research and found out there was a big demand for these services.
What exactly is your service?
The most hard core thing we have is a fixed poll of 15 questions measuring different parts of the organization. In addition to the questions, it’s kind of a scientific analysis. You can get advice for management, and find areas where you most need to pay attention within your company.
Typically if you have a long list of questions we only send out a few questions per week, so people don’t feel overburdened. For management that means they have a view of how their company is doing in more or less real time.
For the employees, it is pretty easy to spend 5 seconds per week answering a question.
How is Vibecatch different from HR collecting their own data?
Vibecatch is continuous, automatic, and collects data kind of in the background. It keeps giving you data that will help you make your company a better work environment.
If you talk to big companies, typically all of them run some kind of infrequent polls. And the feedback loop in those types of services is really long. If you do a poll, and people reply to it, it takes months for the HR department to collect all the data, analyze it, make a presentation for management with recommendations and so on. It can take half a year to actually see anything happening in your daily work.
When you approach companies, are they already using employee satisfaction tools?
If we talk to larger enterprises, they obviously have been doing all kinds of employee engagement surveys for ages, they use consulting companies that come up with the surveys and do the analysis for them. Small companies often haven’t done anything yet, or may have tried Survey Monkey or Google Forms to collect data occasionally.
If you are making surveys, why not just use something like Survey Monkey?
We have no reason to compete with Survey Monkey, I mean, they have a monopoly on this! Unlike Survey Monkey we are totally HR focused. If you are using Vibecatch, you don’t need to hire a consultant or have HR analyze the data internally.
We have analytics as part of our product, and we have a founder who is an expert in HR and has been researching employee surveying for 15 years. His research is the basis of our product.
The specific poll is based on 15 years of research and experience, which measures certain things, and based on the answers we can make recommendations. This is a scientifically proven way to find out the problems.
The founder in question is Marko Kesti, a researcher from the University of Lapland who has specialized in human capital and strategic management for 15 years. In fact, Kesti has actually proved the connection between employee satisfaction and profitability – if your company culture is positive, so is your bottom line. You can read his published work here.
Are companies hesitant about a “one-size-fits-all” approach?
No, because Marko has done research with hundreds of companies, and it seems to be working with reasonable accuracy.
There is a clear correlation between the quality of working life and your bottom line. In the future, we will be able to calculate how much certain improvements in your company culture can effect your bottom line, and we can currently show you which problems to fix first, which are the ‘lowest hanging fruit’.
In addition to automating and helping the internal HR not spend so much time collecting and analyzing data but actually fixing things, we hope that we can be even more serious in the sense that it’s not only about satisfaction, its about money.
How have you monetized your strategy?
We restrict the free version to one question and one poll, and in the paid version you can categorize the answers based on department.
It’s just a simple temperature meter, how people are feeling about their work this week, but if you want to ask different questions or create different polls or use a quality of work index analysis, that is what you pay for. The analytical tools that are free are restricted in their level of detail.
You recently demoed at Slush. How was it?
We were really positively surprised by having a booth there, I’ve been there since it began, but I’ve never had a booth – I was not sure if the audience would be right – we were looking for B2B clients, like companies, but there were a lot of those! We had 4 guys on the booth at times and even then there were people waiting. Even the Slush organizing team used it themselves before for the event.
Try out Vibecatch for yourself here.