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Commercialising Innovative Disruptive Solution for Improving Human Resources Management and Practices

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HappyHR (Commercialising Innovative Disruptive Solution for Improving Human Resources Management and Practices)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-05-31

We are an innovative start-up company that took Europe by storm with our smart and simple product made for customer satisfaction surveys in retail stores: our turnover in 2017 is €7.5mil and we have over 2.500 clients globally. Our product is a portable smiley terminal that allows for quick feedback on client satisfaction levels. The feedback is sent and aggregated via GSM networks and allows us to service all manner of retail stores. We have rapidly acquired clients all over Europe – from chain stores such as Carrefour to Heathrow Airport and electronics mega stores.

The overall vision of the HappyHR project is to demonstrate and commercialize our innovative prototype within the Human Resources (HR) industry. As our product has quickly spread in use throughout the retail industry receiving awards for its innovative approach and uniqueness, we have increasingly been receiving questions from clients on adapting our product for use in other departments like HR.

We have done a preliminary feasibility study (Phase 1-type) on the use of our product and have found very high potential for expanded use within the field of employee satisfaction. Our preliminary research has shown considerable untapped potential in a field of operations that remains a cornerstone of business life and that would enable companies to prosper in human and financial terms. During our feasibility and market research study we have interviewed 20 of our top clients, representing 80% of our annual turnover, to verify the need for a device for supporting HR management. Our system will give a quick feedback using technology at any time without disturbing the employee. There is a need from companies from almost all sectors for an appropriate system for data collection from their employees in a fast and efficient way. At present, there is no other viable commercial solution to perform this task in such efficient way.

The global employment industry has been going through difficult times, since the world recession has negatively impacted employees’ motivation and engagement, forcing the global employment industry to face new challenges. Both employment and HR management fields are in a dire need of focus and innovation on the most important quest of employers re-engaging the employee empowerment, motivation and feeling of belonging to their workplaces. The criticism directed towards mainstream HR functions are that “HR professionals are not well-aligned with the business and lack the analytical skills to make data-driven decisions”. It is exactly these issues that have created a significant market opportunity for a device that enables HR departments to collect real-time data about employee satisfaction and motivation markers on a continuous basis, rather than the standard annual assessment. The opportunity to rely on constantly up-to-date data which are collected ensuring full anonymity, allows HR staff to successfully perform a strategic business function affecting the entire bottom line. Adapting our product to the needs of the HR industry will enable these benefits across all industries.

Conclusions: During the HappyHR project we have successfully developed a market disruptive device and business analytics solution for use of HR departments. The service will enable companies to improve employee satisfaction and the way it is approached and handled. We have developed our solution to TRL9 and proved with a pilot that the solution and service provide value for the customers. We have developed a Business Innovation Plan and a Commercialization Plan and ensured adequate IPR protection. Therefore, the service is ready for full-scape production and scale-up of sales.
The HappyHR work plan with 6 Commercialization Objectives (CO) spans 15 months and consists of six work packages (WPs). WPs 1 and 3 are technical in content and have covered the implementation of the informatics and electronics adaptation, analytics and reporting systems needed to handle, interpret and present HR raw data. This includes basic and advanced analytical tools for the final platform and an advanced dashboard reporting system that presents the findings in a logical way, and allows managers to navigate through the data and extract the necessary metrics. The adapted system has been piloted and validated by end-users (WP4), whose observations and recommendations were implemented in the final technical revisions of the HappyHR platform. These activities were balanced by three commercial WPs which defined the commercialization path including a communication strategy, channel management, and organizational and capacity changes, engaging stakeholders and partners, protecting new knowledge, keeping up with required standards and legislation, and keeping the overall progress of the project on track (WP2, 5 and 6).

In the HappyHR project we have been able to develop service for HR departments and management to collect real-time data about employee satisfaction and motivation markers on a continuous basis. The service provides up-to-date data which is collected ensuring full anonymity. As per exploitation and communication of the results, our web site is the main communication channel. On top of that we have created a communication strategy which addresses both our sales channels and includes customized content for our target markets. The communication strategy includes up-scaling marketing team, production of marketing and sales materials, attending tradeshows, and meeting with investors. Our service has reached TRL9 and together with the BIP and CP is ready for full-scale production and rapid scaling.
With the funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement for this project, we are creating a new feedback device and reporting service software that enables HR departments and managers to collect real-time data about employee satisfaction and motivation markers on a continuous basis, rather than the standard annual assessment. The opportunity to rely on constantly up-to-date data which are collected ensuring full anonymity, allows HR staff to successfully perform a strategic business function affecting the entire bottom line. Our service helps companies improve employee motivation and engagement and has the potential to change the employer-employee relationship. Adapting our product to the needs of the HR industry will enable these benefits across all industries – whether they are manufacturing-oriented or pure office-based types. Our system will give a quick feedback using technology at any time without disturbing the employee.