How do we motivate employees, asked Greatify CEO Theirry Poitras. Is it money? Is it recognition? Or is it a combination of both?
One thing he knows for sure is that it’s a large concern of businesses big and small. The CEO wants to do something about it by motivating five million employees within 10 years.
“It’s very ambitious but I think it’s a nice goal to reach,” he told MTLinTECH.
It’s not a stretch to think that low levels of employee motivation can lead a company to lose out on sales.
“Motivation at work isn’t just for employees and managers – it’s anyone,” Poitras told MTLinTECH. “People want to be engaged in something. They want to feel part of something bigger than themselves and when that works it’s a good situation for any organization, not just businesses.”
Poitras decided to find the answers after years spent running his own marketing agency and struggling with the question of motivation. At the time he was managing about 20 employees.
Based in Quebec City, Greatify is an employee engagement solution that helps people create and automate incentive programs for employees. They’ve got about 4,000 users through clients like Telus, Intact Insurance, Ikea and Desjardins.
The startup raised $975,000 in funding in June from 22 members of the Anges Quebec network and Anges Quebec Capital. They’re currently at four employees, but Poitras expects the team to grow to 10 by the end of the year.
Greatify mostly organizes contests for sales and customer service teams. As an incentive program solution, the company uses the principles of gamification: the use of game mechanics (points, badges, leaderboard) and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. To make achieving goals more fun for employees, managers can use Greatify to develop contests with which employees can win prizes, badges or ranks when they achieve specific milestones or goals.
Poitras said his competitors end up offering incentives and contests to clients via dashboards, which is less engaging for the end user.
“But with our platform our users go through it several times a day to declare what they’re doing, so they actively participate in the contest. It creates a better engagement for the manager because they see that the employees are really active. Now that we have 18 months of activity behind us we know it’s not a fad or something that will go away in a few months.”
The problem of employee motivation can be especially serious in call centres, said Poitras.
“I’m sure you’ve had a situation where you were in a company that was not so inspiring, you had no real leaders or you felt disengaged. This is not a good thing to have,” said Poitras. “A lot of people working in call centres have difficulty being engaged at their job. This is a really big challenge that we set ourselves on.”
Poitras described the software market for employee motivation as fairly new. Many companies still build their own contests manually. Still, it’s a fast-growing market that Greatify wants to be well-positioned to take advantage of.
With the million raised from Anges Quebec, Poitras feels they’re ready.
“Disengaged people and companies are everywhere,” said Poitras. “Now we’re getting companies reaching out to us because they’re really struggling with engagements and they have a lot of questions. Trying to do something about it is really important and it’s not impossible to achieve results for these companies.”