The initial idea and why you wanted to build it
Many people don't realise the unique power of appreciation - it improves well-being, and subsequently productivity and retention. Research also shows instant and fair rewards encourage more positive behaviours. However, the process of raising appraisal is clunky in many organisations, e.g. need to find a well-hidden, long, user-unfriendly forms to fill in.
The pandemic forces changes in employees' working patterns. However, many organisations are not used to remote working at this scale:
- Due to network bandwidth constraint, some organisations were not able to support video calls for all meetings.
- Some employees may not want to have video calls all the time too because of personal/household reasons.
- These further minimise social interactions among co-workers which may impact team relationships and dynamics.
- In the uncertain environment, managers may focus more on employees' productivity than their personal needs and circumstances.
For both office and remote settings, it can be harder for the business to identify disengaged employees and those requiring support.
As a global observation, on average 60% of employees are disengaged. In the German economy, disengagement costs an average of €90bn per year because of lost productivity. JustToSay sees retention is as important as recruitment. Therefore we would like to approach those problems from an unconventional angle.
What the product does and which problem it solves
JustToSay is a tool to enable employees to turn expressing appreciation without delay into a habit, and to proactively support the modern workforce.
- User profiles are set up on JustToSay.
- JustToSay sends a daily reminder to users of a) interacting with a co-worker or a colleague (picked from a virtual hat randomly);.b) expressing appreciation to co-workers.
- Users can interact and express appreciation via any channel they like, e.g. video call, phone call, instant message, a quick online game.
- Gamification element: Users earn points and badges by expressing thank you, receiving thank you, and keeping up with interactions.
- JustToSay can be tailored for different organisations' needs. For example, when the user reaches certain points/level, there is a virtual roulette to pick their rewards.
- HR practitioner can facilitate managers to support individuals who are lacking engagement, understanding what they are about and the support they may need.
- JustToSay can be connected with enterprise HR systems. The trend/patterns of the high-risk churn segment will enable the business to provide more proactive support to employees.
JustToSay enables users to express appreciation differently based on their personal preferences and/or cultural differences.
How you built it and with what tech stack, tools, APIs
We used Ruby on Rails as a Framework since it is very scalable, beginner-friendly and widely used. It uses convention over configuration which makes it easy for developers with different tech stacks to understand the flow of a typical Rails-App. Over the weekend, we generated the database schema and developed the basic functionality of the employee workflow.
What were the biggest challenges while building it?
We did not have a front-end developer in the team to build a full-stack prototype.
How did you solve them?
We provided some Figma wireframes to illustrate our concept.
What are you proud of about this product?
- Based on our competitor research, JustToSay has a very unique proposition to transform HR operations from a reactive model to a proactive one.
- We are a dispersed team based in 4 countries. We take into account the difference in culture when building JustToSay.
What are the next steps for the product after the HR Hackathon online?
- Continue development on the backend, e.g. HR workflow
- Develop the frontend
- Look into making JustToSay available in the marketplace as a plug-in of major enterprise HR systems, e.g. Workday, etc
- Acquire assurance on international data privacy and other regulations
- We will collaborate with NGOs and academical partners to study the impacts JustToSay brings to our users.
What are the necessary resources and plan to implement the product
- Project development: enterprise HR system experts, full-stack developers, data scientists
- SMEs: HR practitioners
- Partner with medium-size enterprises for trial
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