Employee morale is something that dodges in and out of the employer’s sight. Some see it as a very important part of their company strategy (Richard Branson, for instance, often states that the success of the Virgin empire is due to his happy employees) while others deal with company employee morale when there is a potential mutiny on the horizon (“Capt.Blighe to the Yard Arm, please. Capt.Blighe to the Yard Arm”). HR departments and small business owners have employed a myriad of ways to try and gauge employee morale, but it is often hit and miss. After all, when is the last time you heard of an employee saying “this company sucks!” to the boss’s face?
Well, Joel Cheesman (@joelcheesman) may have found the answer to the “what are my employees thinking” question and it is as simple as a smiley (or frowny) face. Welcome to the world of Morale.me
Cheesman is a young entrepreneur who has seen the ups and downs of employee morale, from working through the heady days of the dot com boom, to the dot com bust and the slow road to tech sector recovery. Over his years working for SEO, HR and Restaurant sectors, he noted that there was a constant need for employee engagement, but there were few, if any, tools out there that would allow for that engagement quickly and efficiently, so after leaving SMS Marketing Hungry Thumb in 2012 (after it was sold to Totango), he set about creating Morale.me to meet that need.
There was a certain irony talking about an app that focuses on employee morale, with a company CEO that was sitting outside of a coffee shop in sunny Phoenix, while the last of the Canadian West Coast winter storms raged outside my window. Putting that aside, it was pretty easy to get excited by the potential of this new app, where employees can use their iPhone (and soon their iPad) to express their pleasure, or displeasure, with the employer by picking from a series of simple emotion icons ranging from Big Smile to Big Frown. Designed for small businesses with only a few employees to corporations with offices globally, this quick and easy way to answer the “are you happy working for us” question through the click of an iPhone button, just made companies employee satisfaction efforts a whole lot easier to track.
Configuration is simple. If you are the person responsible for employees, you log into Morale.me, connect to your LinkedIn account, follow the account setup and Voila! You are the admin for the company Morale.me account. From there you send invites to your employees, get them to download the app and then, usually every month, all they have to do is choose the icon that best represents their feelings about working for the company that month. Even though the employee signs up via LinkedIn, the selection of expression is anonymous. Gone are the suggestion boxes in the staff room, where everyone can see you slip your angry note into the slot. Now it is an anywhere-anytime update that compiles the most basic of info need by a CEO; are my people happy or not. As Cheesman put it “your team in Seattle may be happy as clams, but your team in Chicago might not be. Now you can focus on what’s going on in Chicago and try and resolve an issue that isn’t company wide.
Recruit and Retain via Good Morale.
Employee incentives are always something that employers use in their efforts to recruit and retain employees. LinkedIn, for instance, offers an iPad to all of their employees. But how often do those incentives and that high employee morale that results, work in future recruiting? Now, with an app like Morale.me, something as simple as a 97% smiles rating on a company LinkedIn page can instantly tell a prospective employee “this is a great place to work”. No employee testimonials needed. The analytics are available, compiled by LinkedIn, every month. That aspect can help drive an employer to do more to keep employees happy, knowing that a happy employee literally demonstrates a happy company.
Currently (and for the foreseeable future) the Morale.me app is only available on the iOS platform, via the iPhone and, soon, the iPad. Cheesman doesn’t believe this to be a drawback, however. “There is something about the iOS platform that makes an app like this attractive. A certain exclusivity. Plus, with so many corporations using iOS devices as part of their employee incentive programs, it was important that we had an “app for that”.
Morale.me is likely to show as a real game changer for company CEO’s and HR departments, when it comes to getting feedback from employee. With this mobile app available, the answers are only a smile away.