Events Dec 10, 2018

Well-being at work is an increasingly important consideration for talents when they consider joining a company… or staying! The Partech Shaker recently organized a discussion panel on this important topic with Marie Schneegans, CEO of Workwell, and Stéphane Bourbier, CEO of OurCompany. The panel moderator was Alexandre Jost, founder of the thinktank La Fabrique Spinoza and co-founder of l’Université du bonheur au travail (the University of Happiness at Work).

= = = Alexandre Jost: The notion of well-being and happiness at work has gradually replaced the issues of health and psychological risk in the workplace. However, currently we are seeing mistrust of the term well-being at work: in this context, why continue to use this expression?

=> Marie Schneegans: After working in a bank, I felt the need to create more links between people at work. Since then, making people happier and more connected in the workplace has become my motto. 3 years ago, I created Never Eat alone, a mobile app to encourage meetings between colleagues. I soon realized that employees used my app not just to eat together, but also to organize after-work activities or car sharing. That’s why I decided to take things to the next level by creating an office app that centralized all company employee services: room temperature control, meeting room bookings, find a carpool partner, order a meal, concierge services …. Companies pay a monthly subscription to access our solution. I may have shifted from the notion of happiness to well-being, but my ultimate mission is still to make people happy. Today, more than 100,000 people have eaten together via our app!

=> Stéphane Bourbier: The notion of well-being at work has always been key at OurCompany. This is because of a difficult work situation. One of my best friends suffered a burnout at work and I realized that he was ashamed to talk about it and had been afraid of losing his job if he spoke to his HR manager. We have observed that many working environments are affected by conspiracy of silence, rumors, taboos and ego conflicts. We wanted to improve on this and so we developed the notion of well-being at work. We are convinced that being able to express yourself freely is key.

= = = Alexandre Jost: Making people happy at work isn’t easy: how does your approach achieve this?

=> Marie Schneegans: Our approach is based on people working together and meeting each other. It has been proven scientifically that taking a break to have lunch with your colleagues has a positive impact on your work. Human resource managers need to understand the beneficial productivity impact of creating special bonds and relationships between colleagues. Workwell offices are like a house: there are rooms, a garden, a kitchen… I want people to feel good.

= = = Alexandre Jost: The 75-year Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study which tracked four generations of scientists proved that embracing community contributes to greater happiness. Relationships are key for happiness in the work place, but what about the quality of work? How do you ensure that your actions are linked only to work and work quality?

=> Marie Schneegans: With Workwell, employees don’t waste time searching the intranet to understand what services are available to them. Workwell centralizes many services that facilitate employee daily life and contribute to their productivity and efficiency, including meal delivery, meeting room booking, child care… The company can add or delete services as they choose, in response to employee feedback.

=> Stéphane Bourbier: At Ourcompany, we strongly believe in the results of a Google survey on the secrets of team effectiveness. Google studied different team groups to analyze the factors behind group performance in solving complex issues. One of the key characteristics of successful teams is the psychological and affective safety of all the group members. This is key for me. People need to feel good and to be themselves at work. At OurCompany, our mission is to help employees express their feelings and their satisfaction at work. We enable employees to give anonymous feedback on how they feel. Being sincere can help you solve many complex situations.

= = = Alexandre Jost: Is your app compatible with social dialogue and trade unions?

=> Stéphane Bourbier: Absolutely. In fact, many trade unions use our app to gather employee feedback, so that they can get the correct information and be aware of the issues, to better negotiate for the common good.

= = = Alexandre Jost: How do you measure the impact of well-being at work?

=> Marie Schneegans: We started with 100,000 people having lunch together, but our goal is to help millions of people. We began in France and are now expanding throughout the world. Our app provides a unique centralized platform to facilitate your daily working life, wherever you are. Our main KPI metric is how often we can help people daily.

=> Stéphane Bourbier: All the data expressed by the employees are aggregated to produce a public index of company well-being at work. Today, 40,000 employees use our app. Our index is increasingly used by candidates to check the working atmosphere of their future company, by citizen consumers who check the index to make sure employees are well treated before going to a store and by financial companies and investment funds looking to invest in companies that place people at the heart of their strategy. By promoting greater transparency, we make sure that work well-being becomes mandatory for businesses. This is one of our great victories.


Q & A

= = = What is the OurCompany business model?
=> OurCompany was created 2.5 years ago and has raised €1.1 million so far. Our app and website enable employees to talk about their well-being at work, to share with their colleagues, and to invite colleagues to join the app. This can be done anonymously and is free for all employees. Companies can subscribe monthly fees if they want to access our well-being indicator and learn about the atmosphere in-house. They can for example better identify the reasons for a high turnover in a particular division or job category. This offer costs companies 3 euros per month per employee.

= = = How do you ensure anonymity?
=> Our app is based on a reliable community: when an employee wants to use our app, he is required to send us his professional email so that we can check that he effectively does work for this company. We then put him in contact with his company community. Some people find this a little worrying, but in general, as soon as we reach the 20% tipping point of employees from the same company, they are reassured.

= = = Marie, was it difficult to integrate new services into your app?
=> Yes. Human resource directors don’t always see the benefits our app brings to them. We use employee feedback demanding a better working environment to convince them. Being able to access the best services not only improves well-being at work but also boosts productivity, increases employee retention, and all in all contributes to a happier, more connected workplace.
Stéphane: The best way to convince companies to subscribe to our OurCompany app is to prove that well-being at work is the new social requisite.

= = = Stéphane, what is the frequency of your well-being indicator?
=> Every day, we put one category question to our community. Our indicator is built on 157 questions (organized into 7 categories). So, in one week, each KPI category is covered.

= = = Marie, what is your business model?
=> Workwell is a B2B2C model: Companies pay the monthly employee fees, giving employees free access. We organize workshops where employees can express their service needs. Very often, we discover that 80% of these services already exist, so very often, our role is to promote and increase the visibility and accessibility of these services. Our app costs companies between 3 to 10 euros per employee per month.


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