One thing that most employees and managers dread is the annual performance review. DevelapMe is a Philadelphia startup that aims to shake up the human resources world with an app that creates an ongoing, two-way dialogue to improve performance and employee satisfaction.
Cliff Tironi, a co-founder and director of analytics, chatted with Keystone Edge about this up-and-coming company.
What is your origin tale?
[Our] app launched in early 2016. DevelapMe received notoriety in April 2016 when it took the grand prize in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl held at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Beating out 96 other business plans, we received $60,000 in prize money in addition to other services.
What prompted the idea and how was the technology developed?
There were two significant motivations behind the creation of DevelapMe.
The first was the shift in the market away from the static, annual performance review, to one that provides employees with continuous feedback throughout the year. This movement in the workforce is in part due to millennials who seek more frequent, comprehensive feedback.
The second motivation was based on the first-hand experiences of the founders [Dr. Tony Petrucci, assistant professor of Human Resource Management; Dr. Michael Rivera, associate professor of strategic management; and Tironi, performance analytics manager for the Fox MBA and MS programs]. Recognizing the value that positive and constructive feedback can have on a workforce, we were frustrated by the inability to capture real-time feedback in the workplace.
This frustration — combined with cumbersome back-end setup and limited reporting features of many feedback tools available in the market — led us to close a growing gap between existing products and what organizations need.
In early 2015, [we launched] the pilot product: a responsive website, which enabled us to conduct rapid prototyping and user-centered research. Over the next 10 months, we completed five pilots and 12 focus groups on approximately 500 users to gain critical insights on their needs and behaviors. Armed with this [information], we converted the tool from a responsive website into an app, now available in the App Store and Google Play.
What kinds of clients are you attracting?
Our growing list of clients spans healthcare, fleet management and professional services, among others. Currently, DevelapMe has over one million data points.
What is ahead for the company?
DevelapMe is constantly updating its platform, building on an ever-growing list of user-focused features and enhancements. In addition to offering the app directly, DevelapMe is licensing the tool to HR consultants, who in turn sub-license it to their own clients. We can support the rollout of the tool then fade to the background, allowing HR consultants to work their magic by leveraging the human capital insights collected through DevelapMe.
ELISE VIDER is news editor of Keystone Edge.