Having been part of the fast-paced and exciting world of fin-tech for 20 years, leading global teams through transformational initiatives, Deepa Kartha witnessed a ‘Deja Vu’ in how most companies and teams operated day in and out. She observed that most employees including leaders in companies spent a lot of their time in a reactive "firefighting mode" where they focused on what they needed to do to stay current and repeated it regularly to achieve short-term targets rather than working toward the long-term goals of the organization.
The long work hours, the need to juggle several responsibilities, coupled with constant changes within companies and information overload resulted in employees feeling disconnected, disengaged, and sometimes frustrated. She noticed that these changes affected not only their productivity and morale but also had a negative impact on the organization’s overall business results. After noticing this time and again, Deepa envisioned an organization that could essentially take a proactive approach towards engagement, making employees more engaged, involved and happier at their workplace with tools based on daily employee experiences. Enter, Zinda!
Interestingly, the name of the company is on point as it means alive- bringing culture, engagement and purposeful communities alive in companies! Zinda offers a mobile and web employee engagement platform named ‘Journyz’ for corporations and employees to bring their personal mission and company goals to life. In this interview, Deepa Kartha, the founder and CEO of Zinda shares some insights about her organization and the features and functionalities of their offering.
In your interactions with CHROs of leading companies, what sense do you get of the challenges they face with employee engagement?
The two biggest trends that CHRO’s see currently are,
1. The change in the mix of employees from boomers and Gen X-ers to Millennials and now Gen Z-ers poised to come in.
In a multi-generational workplace with expectations being totally different between employees it is difficult to have a standard set of tools to engage and motivate employees. There is a disconnect between the generations which requires thoughtful bridging and connectivity. Even though there are a lot of employee engagement activities’ happening, the engagement scores and indicators are not changing year on year. The decreasing gap in business change cycles and the low unemployment rate that makes it difficult to attract and retain the best talent does not help the situation either, thus piling on more work to existing employees was making the engagement situation worse.
2. How can technology be used to simplify rather than overwhelm?
Businesses are starting to move away from traditional systems to new technology and now there is a proliferation of technology to deal with. There is also an overload of information that is hitting people because of which it is difficult to get people’s attention. On top of that, you are competing with the ease of social technology that everyone is expecting from your systems at work. Even with this, the right information is not reaching the employees. Employee adoption of new technology is also a big problem due to all the factors above.
Zinda is a young dynamic company with a dream and vision to change the way workplaces behave in the future
Please walk us through the features and benefits of Journyz.
Journyz is a web and mobile-based employee engagement platform that drives engagement through the day-to-day employee experience in a company. Rather than adopting the traditional survey approach, our software transforms the way employee engagement happens by creating digital experiences wherein employees and employers can interact on a daily basis.
We recognize that every new initiative in an organization is unique in its own way and call each one of them a ‘journy.’ Our platform enables clients to customize and methodically digitize team interactions with feedback, recognition, time tracking, polling, rating, photos, and check-offs as per their requirements. Additionally, they can design their own unique collaborative workspace with features such as built-in templates, gamification, and workflow management to quickly act on a plan, create healthy competition to sustain the momentum, and keep track of all the developments with precise business rules.
By enabling our customers to connect in a better way, we have paved a new path for teams to be informed, involved, and innovative while completely redefining how they go about their daily work life. Rather than working in silos and focusing on a routine, our offering allows workers to closely interact with their leaders, which brings them closer as a team as well as helps achieve organizational goals together.
Journyz leverages real-time analytics to pull reports and track the progress of employee engagement by creating customized scorecards to measure and monitor the engagement activities and provide real-time visibility into the companies’ transformation efforts.
For now, we offer three versions of Journyz. The Tribe Journyz for teams and small businesses, the Nexus Journyz to scale and replicate engagement activities virtually across an enterprise, and our upcoming Squad Journyz, the free SaaS version for potential clients with small teams.
Could you please cite a case study explaining how you have enabled clients to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes with your innovative platform?
Recently, one of our clients that were trying to expand the workforce found issues with onboarding new employees. This was a problem because new employees had to be productive within days after they joined the company. As the existing workers were busy, they did not have time to spare to seamlessly integrate the newcomers into the team. To tackle this issue, the organization leveraged the gamification aspect of Journyz and announced a series of onboarding activities, including a week-long photography contest. As a result, the company noticed a significant improvement in the overall employee engagement with over 2000 interactions throughout the event.
After that, the new employees felt genuinely integrated with the organization in just two weeks as opposed to the typical onboarding process that takes nearly months to achieve such goals. The fun process identified leaders in the group, helped connect them to existing employees and created a fun and competitive, team bonding experience. It also created a personal connection between the employees and the leadership of the company. The exercise also helped with the company branding among potential employees with all the postings about the challenge in social media.
What does the future hold for Zinda?
First is our SaaS launch where any leader in a company or team can try us out risk-free. We are looking to work with business associations and HR organizations, to have the ability to serve content to employees based on industry and type of need. Next year we are also focused on integrations, AI, and machine learning. By leveraging these technologies, we would be able to make our offering more personalized with the ability to connect to each employee individually. We envision enabling organizations to engage their workforce the way they want to be engaged by getting them involved in activities that they prefer.
Zinda is a young, dynamic company with a dream and vision to change the way workplaces behave in the future. We want to use technology and innovation to tap into the kind of behaviors that are going to help companies do great things by creating an environment where their employees will love their job all the time.