Many startups have tried to measure employee morale, and some have failed. In the year We reported on Plasticity Labs in 2014, although their website appears to be no longer active.
Officevibe appeared around the same kind’ve era. Recently from the UK, WorkBuzz raised £2.3M. And Spill ($3.5M) is a startup that offers a messaging-based medical app to help improve workplace safety.
But now a Bristol-based UK startup is hoping to make waves in the ‘workplace measurement’ space and plans to use generative AI as rocket fuel.
By employing a combination of Open AI’s ChaptGPT with its own proprietary training platform for employee safety, LoPin hopes to stand out from the rest of the field.
Now, it might be easy to succumb to another startup pulling an open AI API. But this isn’t your average startup.
The two founders are battle-hardened, ex-Royal Marine commandos, Ben Williams and Anthony Thompson. After leaving the army, Ben has been involved in coaching management teams at organizations including the England Football Team and Manchester United. He also wrote the 2020 book “The Commando Mindset” published by Penguin.
These two highly trained former Special Forces soldiers have now poured all their knowledge – as well as academic research papers and other information – into a platform for training teams on how to build teams. This is the difference.
There is a daily ‘check-in’ on the Loopin page via Slack or Microsoft Teams. Employees share little updates on their mood, using emoticons, which are anonymous for privacy.
Trained in Ben’s coaching method and based on each team’s data, Lupine’s ‘virtual coach’ then provides managers with tips on how to best support their team and unlock better performance.
As you can see from the video below, Team Managers can share their status with higher level managers.
Lopin says the platform uses NLP as well as Chat GPT (currently in beta) to measure and predict team morale to assess team sentiment and generate predictive behavioral analytics.
Ultimately, Lopin sees itself as a marketplace for morale and performance training in business.
Lopin has now raised £1.6 million ($1.9m) in seed funding from angel investors. The company says it has 40 paying customers, including Reed, Farfetch and JD Sports.
Stuart Neal, former CEO of Boku Identity (Oct. 2022, Twilio) and chairman of Lopin, says there is a need to boost employee morale post-pandemic: “At any given time, an astounding 45% of employees are actively considering leaving their jobs. Work. With the average cost of replacing an employee being £30,000, the cost to businesses of low morale is huge.
Of course there is competition in the market. Steven Frost, CEO of £2.6m-raised Workbooth, is also in the ‘Employee Listening’ space, focusing on mid-market firms with 500-5,000 employees. He told me that clients include companies such as Five Guy, Premier Foods, The Priory Group and public sector organizations such as HS2. Their funding was led by Mercia and the Forsyth Group. He told me: “Our AI guides them where to focus on improvement and we ensure ROI. Employee listening is now a must due to talent shortages, changing employee expectations and collaborative work.
However, Lopin’s Williams told me during the interview: “Our competitors measure data and often present it to the company in the form of metrics, dashboards and lots of graphs and the like. And that’s not a bad thing. But is that practical? No. Is it relevant and useful at this time? It’s okay to look at it and it’s useful, but it doesn’t help the people who really need it, which are employees and managers. So, essentially, we’re taking that data, adding our own proprietary data, and then applying it to open source AI models so we can provide personalized coaching and leadership improvement recommendations to employees in real time. This is why we believe we are different.
He added that Lopin will eventually take anonymized data from companies and allow them to benchmark themselves against other similar and external organizations: “One thing we will eventually bring to the product is a benchmark.” Where does your company rank with other companies and how do you see engagement and morale and where you rank?
“What we’ve been missing is a real-time measure of the mood and motivation of our teams,” Simon Wingate, MD of Lopin’s client at Reed (3,500+ employees), said in a statement. We use Loopin to understand exactly how our teams feel and ensure we’re driving better communication quality between managers and their direct reports.
It seems the race is on to employ AI in the workplace to elevate teams, but this time it’s powered by LMMs.