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Contxto – It’s often touted that employee engagement is the secret sauce to a successful team and productive business. And all companies claim they’re building that emotional commitment with staff, but most miss the mark.
So to help them build stronger ties with their employees, Argentine Slik recently raised a seed round for US$390,000. Angel Ventures and Vulcano co-led the investment and were joined by unnamed angel investors.
The startup will use the funds to strengthen its own team as well as improve its product, a platform for measuring and understanding employee engagement.
Slik can already be found operating in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and the United States. Evidently, engagement is an issue everywhere you look.
Although the Argentine company will also direct funds and efforts towards its projects in the US.
Wanted: Employee engagement
The first time I filled out an employee engagement survey, it was on paper. After gathering data from company staff, the results were pasted onto a PowerPoint presentation for everyone to see. After which, nothing was accomplished. I quit sometime later.
The lack of engagement—or feeling emotionally committed to the business—was one of the reasons I’d left.
My story is one of many wherein companies (well-intentionally) want to understand employee needs and interests. However, aspirations fall short due to lousy approaches in data-gathering and worse, poor action plans to help build meaningful connections with staff.
This is a problem Javier Brignone, CEO and co-Founder at Slik noted.
“The vast majority of companies’ investments to understand employee engagement ends up in an Excel spreadsheet,” said Brignone in a press release.
“Big consulting firms will make companies carry out extensive, user-unfriendly surveys to gather data, and then, a couple of months later, they come up with some action plans to tackle a problem, which is obsolete by then.”
Surely they’re engaged elsewhere?
The United States (starting in Silicon Valley) is where the shift towards employee engagement programs greatly emerged. Pet-friendly offices with playgrounds, wellness programs, volunteer initiatives… engagement has come in many flavors.
So everyone there is likely uber happy working away… right? Wrong. Only 34 percent of its workforce felt engaged according to a Gallup survey.
Though I couldn’t find an equivalent in Latin America given the region is still catching onto these work trends (thank you tech companies and startups <3)… I’d bet the number is lower still.
Within this realm, Slik wants to bring in some slick tech to help HR and businesses retain their valued talent.
Slik and employee engagement
The startup offers a SaaS platform where companies can quickly survey staff to better understand the environment and company culture. All data is arranged into a report for review and it can segment data—by department, gender, age, etc.—for a better reading.
Based on its own findings, its algorithm can offer KPI-based action plans to resolve weak spots within teams and across the company.
The pain points it resolves are what drew its lead co-investors.
“We see great potential in the technological tool Slik is developing, it adds a lot of value to the human resource process and we are sure they will be able to meet all the challenges ahead,” says Sebastián Ibáñez, Investment Manager at Vulcano.
“Slik helps companies find new and better ways to measure employee engagement and get the most out of their workforce” adds Greg Mitchell, Regional Director of Angel Ventures.
While the startup’s platform is aimed at HR departments, it’s important to remember that employee engagement constitutes a company-wide effort.
So don’t just delegate and call it a day, dear founders.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Argentina!