By: Sophia Tupolev-Luz
Efectio is a digital HR tool for engaging employees, boosting their productivity and helping them feel happier at work. The Latvian platform counts Accenture, Latvenergo, Bite, and SEB as their clients, among others. The company’s new solution is of particular interest to hybrid or fully remote organizations but can make a positive impact on the well-being of employees at any company.
The Baltic Times interviewed Efectio founder Artūrs Bernovskis. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
The Baltic Times: Why do companies care about employee engagement?
Artūrs Bernovskis: In the modern workplace, routine tasks have been automated by robots and technology. The result has been that more and more people are left in jobs requiring creativity. To foster creativity, companies need to ensure that their employees are feeling in balance. When employees don’t see the more profound meaning of their job responsibilities or don’t feel connected to their workplace and community, their output suffers. Without effective engagement, even the most simple task will be less productive. This is why companies need a qualitative employee engagement strategy.
TBT: Why is measuring employee engagement a challenge?
AB: The concept of employee engagement is still being defined because it’s more complex than it seems. Several factors affect engagement, including ones that companies have no control over. But it is already clear from the scientific literature that employee engagement is affected by social interactions between the team, performance and established goals, growth opportunities and employee well-being. It’s by measuring these four pillars of employee engagement that it becomes possible to determine how engaged employees are. Only then can you benchmark it and find ways to improve.
TBT: Tell us about the makeup of your own company. How does Efectio engage its own team?
AB: The Efectio team has worked remotely 90% of the time from day one, with in-person team meetings at least once a week. We focus on output and efficiency rather than process; it doesn't matter where and when the work takes place. We are still a small team, so employee engagement happens on an individual level. But as our team starts to grow it will be necessary to use our own platform daily!
TBT: What kind of companies need to use employee engagement solutions?
AB: An employee engagement tool is essential for any company facing challenges in inspiring and motivating their teams. I usually say that it is most helpful for organizations whose employees are difficult to gather in one room, or hybrid and fully remote teams.
TBT: What are you doing differently?
AB: Gamification is a mechanism that creates a positive attitude towards work. In the process of playing, our minds are affected by happiness hormones. Duties that had previously appeared difficult and boring seem more pleasant. To be more successful with gamification, it is necessary to segment employee player archetypes, because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Efectio is a solution for companies to do just that.
TBT: What kind of backgrounds do the company’s management have?
AB: Egils Boitmanis and I have both developed several startups with successful exits. Both of us are biohacking enthusiasts and have contributed to the movement. I’m now working on my Ph.D., conducting research on employee engagement, and writing scientific publications on the subject.
TBT: How have the challenges changed for HR during Covid, and what changes will stick around after the pandemic?
AB: The pandemic has significantly increased the need for employee engagement, as remote working, uncertainty about the future, and health concerns are now top-of-mind. It's clear that offices will no longer be the way they were before, and that’s why more companies are starting to look for technological solutions to help employees feel happier and cope with the challenges of their working conditions.
TBT: What does AI really mean in your industry, and why is it important to use it?
AB: As in other industries, many processes in HR are being automated. For it to be successful, developers need to design suitable AI solutions. Efectio is also currently working with AI so that, in the future, Efectio can give employees the best advice on career development and maintaining work-life balance.
TBT: How will employees engage with companies 5 years from now?
AB: One thing is clear: gamification will play a crucial role in employee and customer engagement. For companies, it will be the primary tool for employee motivation.
TBT: Why did you choose to work with BTV at this stage of your growth, and what are your plans for collaboration?
AB: BTV created a unique offer that was not available in the Baltic market from other funds. We see great potential in cooperation and working together in this investment round and beyond.
Sophia Tupolev-Luz is an advisor to Baltic Tech Ventures and the managing director of Swordpen, a B2B tech communications advisory.