One fallout of the pandemic climate is feelings of isolation and disconnection among those who are unaccustomed to working from home.
However, one Cork firm has created the tools that keep workers connected to one another. “In these times, it’s vital that employees feel part of something bigger than themselves — that they are all working together to get through the situation,” according to John Goulding, CEO of Workvivo.
“By using technology to communicate via a social community, it is possible to achieve effective employee communication and provide a ‘part of something bigger than me’ experience.
“With familiar activities such as posting to personal activity feeds, liking and sharing posts, shout-outs to recognize others, collaboration spaces for common interests, remote employees can see what’s happening across the landscape of their company, hear from senior leadership and freely interact with colleagues around the world.”
And that’s exactly what Cork-based employee communication platform Workvivo aims to provide. Founded by John Goulding and Joe Lennon over two years ago with support from Enterprise Ireland, Workvivo is one of the sectors that has thrived and grown during Covid-19 restrictions.
The Workvivo software is designed not just to inform but also to engage employees, aligning colleagues to the goals of the organisation, facilitating a culture of recognition, creating a sense of community within the organisation while supercharging the overall internal communication in the organisation, according to its CEO.
Its founders had 20 years’ collective experience in the HR and internal communications space. They spotted a gap in the market when they noticed that organisations were still relying on old-style intranets or emails that did not provide for an engaging employee experience.
From its Cork base, the company has customers across the globe, in 42 countries.
“Our sector is luckily one of the ones which has grown during Covid-19,” said Mr Goulding. “We are not only seeing significantly higher demand for our products, but we’re also seeing a major change in how quickly customers want to move through the selection and implementation process.
Large enterprise organisations that previously would have taken many months to make a decision to purchase are now doing so in weeks – or even days in some cases.
Workvivo has noticed a surge in demand for its service in recent months due to the work-from-home culture. “The Workvivo employee communication platform is very effective at keeping everybody in the organisation informed but we are focused on much more than this,” said Mr Goulding.
“Effective communication in an organisation should also look to keep people aligned around what the organisation is trying to achieve, it should help build a sense of community and amplify the positive culture in the organisation and should help keep everybody engaged with the organisation.
All of these things become more important not just in times of crisis but also when your workforce becomes more distributed and particularly when a large part of your workforce is operating from home.
“This is what Workvivo is about and we are certainly seeing a spike in demand and interest right now.”
How is Workvivo faring in this post-lockdown world? “There is a significant opportunity for technology to play an enabling role here,” said Mr Goulding.
“I say enabling because it’s more important that companies genuinely recognize the importance of community and connection first, and then use technology to help connect people in new and interesting ways. We believe that through this ‘forced’ move to remote working, businesses who were previously a little reticent to transition large proportions of their workforce to remote will come to see that a distributed workforce is not such a scary move.
“But this can only happen on a larger scale if there is appropriate technology in place to provide communication that engages employees, otherwise you lose the social aspect of communication and engagement loses out.”
Enterprise Ireland has continued to support Workvivo as the business has grown. “Cork also has been and continues to be a huge supporter of the business,” added Mr Goulding.
And Cork is where Workvivo will grow long-term, said its CEO. “We’re seeing great demand now for our communication platform globally and we’re proud to be able to grow the business effectively from our base in Cork,” said Mr Goulding.
We’re proud of our Cork heritage, it’s a great place to live and work and while we will hire across both Ireland and the US in the short-term we see Cork being the main growth location for Workvivo for a very long time.