Go big or go home!
At this time last year, we were just closing our Seed fundraising round led by Connect Ventures (thank you Pietro Bezza and team!). In fact, exactly 12 months ago we finalised the paperwork during Web Summit where we exhibited and I was giving a talk on the main stage, the same event we are at this week! Only this time we have “graduated” from the Alpha to the BETA exhibition, reflecting our growth during the last year.
The time leading up to this funding round was extremely stressful, as these things tend to be... What came after though, has definitely exceeded all our expectations!
Hitting the venture track of raising external capital is not something companies have to do. But if you want to build something truly new and game changing, and become the best in the world at what you do, it will certainly increase your chances!
So, with some fresh funding we continue to pursue our (very big) ambitions. Over the last 12 months we’ve realised that the problem we originally set out to address (to make learning easy, by building a product that was accessible, mobile-first, and very easy to use) is growing faster, and is more widespread and systemic than we’d realised …. What we’ve found over the last 12 months is summarised in ‘Our view on the Future of Work’.
Our view on the Future of Work
At eduMe, we’ve talked a lot about the Future of Work over the last 3+ years, and the effect that external megatrends have on our changing work habits.
This is primarily driven by three seismic changes happening in parallel:
50% of the global workforce will be mobile by 2020;
75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025;
The way we consume information and communicate has fundamentally changed with the advent of the smartphone
Jobs are shifting into non-traditional industries. To positions that are not desk-based. In fact, a whopping 2.7 billion people, a majority of the global working population, are deskless!
75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials (people born 1981 and later) in just a few years and not only do they think and appreciate other things than the generation before them, they have grown up doing things differently. This generation values learning and development very highly - in fact, it’s one of their top priorities when choosing where to work and whether to stay!
We’ve got a shorter attention spans but more information to take in. According to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, we check our 📱 every 12 minutes of the waking day, which roughly equates to 150 times!
Deloitte research shows that employees take less than 25 minutes of time to actually slow down and learn on a weekly basis. The people working are also different, with new priorities and ways of doing things.
Whilst this is happening, there’s an ever increasing need to up-skill and re-skill people to stay competitive and to ensure that company objectives are met.
There’s a barrage of information and a need to surface the most important and relevant information from the noise that surrounds us. And this information has to be very accessible at the point of need and serve short attention spans through short-form content in an engaging way that fits with the way we work and consume information.
Influenced by consumer-grade technology solutions, the workforce expects that their 9-5 should look more like their 5-9 (i.e. leisure time) when it comes to seamless, effortless experience, largely enabled by technology.
What happens if you have employees that are unengaged with your company, your products? They are lacking in job enthusiasm and not offering their best for your customers. Put simply – if you are not doing your best for them, they are not doing their best for you.
Introducing Workforce Success
By now, just about everyone is familiar with the concept of Customer Success, which is the function managing the relationship between a vendor and its customers. The goal of Customer Success is to ensure that customers achieve their desired outcomes using your product or service.
Our single biggest finding in the last year is that there must be a better solution to the problems described earlier that go above and beyond what’s available today and that helps people perform better in a modern workplace.
Workforce Success is achieved when you have empowered and motivated people working for your company or organisation. They are informed and they feel a sense of belonging. This is achieved by giving them the tools, and the control, to perform at their best.
Providing highly accessible and engaging up-skilling opportunities coupled with the ability to surface relevant information at the appropriate time will empower your workforce to perform at their best. It will motivate and engage. You’ll be able to build a sense of community and reinforce your culture. This will breed loyalty and productivity.
Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Deloitte and Vodafone have joined eduMe for the Workforce Success revolution in the last 12 months!
So what’s the way forward from here?
To answer this question, we asked ourselves the following things:
What does a successful workforce look like?
What affects the success of the workforce?
What can we do to affect success?
What are the touch-points during the workforce lifecycle?
What are we already covering in our existing product and what is missing?
A workforce is a living organism made up of individuals and the resulting group dynamics that emerge when individuals interact with each other. It’s a living and breathing entity.
We acknowledge that our existing proposition is still very centred around the ‘Head’; how do we empower people by providing the right information at the right time to equip them with the knowledge they require to be successful?
What is missing from this definition of Workforce Success is the emotional dimension, symbolised by the ‘Heart’ - we have to make room for the heart because otherwise this is a part-solution to a massive problem. Heart brings motivation and belonging into the picture at a time when it’s never been more needed. We want to go all-in on this.
The Head thinks about how to inform your people and doing it in such a clever way that it’s seamless, relevant, accessible and with the person in control. The opposite of what you’ll find with most corporate tools addressing this problem currently.
The Heart feels. It provides the person with a voice and a sense of value.
It also gives context to your professional life when you rarely or never see people doing the same job as you do (even though you have lots of remote colleagues). It gives control back to the individual at a time of centralisation of technology in the hands of the company. It allows the company to get to know the person and to show that it cares about the individual, and in the process get more out of each individual.
Companies that want to thrive in the modern world need to address engagement, effort, performance and satisfaction, in a cohesive and concerted way. This lies at the heart of what we’ve found in the last year and why we have dedicated our efforts to allow people and companies to achieve Workforce Success.
And remember, it’s all about the people!
We work on people solutions by trying to create valuable, effective and intuitive software that fosters Workforce Success.
This is done by people. Our people. We’re a very team-centric company where the team comes first. And our little team has grown substantially over the last 12 months. We can keep pushing the boundaries and build an ever-better product and share it with more people across the globe.
A year ago we were 10 people and we’re now 22 and growing! We’re not big but we’re growing very quickly, and relatively speaking, more than doubling your headcount in a year is quite a thing! Almost everything changes. From having almost zero hierarchy, we now have an actual management team and even mid-managers.
Having relied on information being passed around and absorbed through osmosis, we’ve realised that going from 10 to 20 people requires much more (specific) communication. It’s frankly hard to over-communicate! And we try to live as we preach at eduMe to ensure Workforce Success. More on that here.
Our core team that’s been with us from the start has been joined by a number of new fantastic individuals that bring with them new experiences, ideas and energy and it’s absolutely amazing to see how our company is growing, together.
The one constant thing that we care very much about is our values. Whilst we have a very diverse workforce with people of all backgrounds, we buy into the shared values that the core of our company’s future success.
We’re looking forward to 2020 and the year ahead with great excitement! We will be sharing many new developments in our product with you, and at eduMe we’re excited to welcome fantastic new people that make up our team.
Upwards and onwards! 🚀