Profile: Zugata

Profile: Zugata

Company Description

Zugata is Performance Management Software for high-performance cultures. It is the only system designed to improve both employee and organizational performance. Our robust platform accelerates employee performance by using sophisticated algorithms to gather continuous feedback, enabling meaningful check-in conversations, and delivering personalized resources to help employees advance their skills. With Zugata Insights, companies can surface AI-powered insights about an organization’s health to create the ideal environment for employee success and to drive organizational performance.

Interviewee Bio

Srinivas (SK) is the CEO of Zugata, a company that creates performance management software that enables continuous performance development. He founded Zugata in 2014 with a vision to use data to understand employees and to use those insights to empower employees to reach their fullest potential. He previously spent 10 years developing his expertise in product management at VMware, where he was responsible for defining and driving the company’s product, partnering, and go-to-market strategy for mobile.

Why Zugata?

Before Zugata was started, the latest innovation in HR technology was moving the performance review/management process to the cloud. However, the basic underlying structure of how HR approached performance management was still similar to the server-based and paper-based predecessors. HR tech was built for HR people and didn’t consider the employees’ use case. Zugata’s co-founders believed that performance management shouldn’t just be for compliance reasons or promotional purposes; they wanted to create a employee-centric tool to help employees get meaningful, actionable feedback that they could use to develop professionally. Today, Zugata is focused on improving employee performance and organizational performance. Along with our employee-centric platform for performance measurement and development, we’re helping companies answer questions about the health of their organizations’ culture through the use of machine learning.

Top 2-3 features

Continuous feedback based based on social graph analysis: Employees better understand their skills and behavior with valuable, continuous feedback from people they actually interact with daily. We automate feedback requests based on the collaboration taking place between employees on platforms they actually use – like

Gmail, Slack, and Jira – and structure feedback in a way that is actionable for the recipient. It’s critical in today’s networked organizations that feedback is given by relevant peers, and not dependent on a static, hierarchical org chart. We offer a Google Chrome Plugin and Microsoft Outlook Add-in that allows employees to give feedback without leaving their workflows.

Continuous development resources that can be tailored to employee needs: At Zugata, we believe the goal of gathering feedback is to help employees take action on it and improve. Continuous development opportunities are even more relevant today because skills become obsolete more quickly, and new technologies require new skills training. Employees are constantly looking for learning and growth opportunities, and companies that meet those demands will retain top talent. We offer employees targeted development resources and mentors, and companies can create personalized performance paths by delivering on-demand development resources to employees based on their unique skills gaps and performance data. Employee skills are summarized in a personal dashboard which gives employees and managers a clear picture of individual and team skills, strengths, and areas to improve. The progress chart helps employees understand how their performance and skills are improving over time, giving them valuable insight into their development. We also partner with companies like The Muse, Lynda.com, and Skillshare so that employees have a variety of content resources.

Zugata Insights which uses big data to help companies measure culture and unconscious bias in their organizations: Zugata Insights helps companies drive organizational performance by allowing them to measure and manage leading indicators of a healthy organization. It surfaces an organization’s most valued and rewarded attributes to help it understand the culture in practice. Therefore, companies can take action before the gap between rewarded behaviors and established values grows too large. Companies can also measure and mitigate unconscious bias attributed to gender by surfacing any disparity in how male and female employees are being described and rated. Insights on the behavior, attributes, and skills of top performers help executives improve recruiting and talent management by using a data-driven approach to acquire, develop, and reward talent strategically.

How Zugata improves customers’ lives and company’s bottom line

We allow companies to create cultures of continuous development, meaning employees are constantly getting better & improving their skills. Continuous feedback allows employees to identify areas that need focus and to understand the impact of their efforts. This helps them correct their approaches to maximize their abilities and

outcomes. Being aware of the skills they need to work on gives them agency to pursue personalized learning resources in Zugata that will help them improve.

We also help companies pull the right levers at the organizational level – so that they’re creating the right environment for success. So far, companies haven’t had a way to really measure or manage things like culture or inclusion — things that Bersin Deloitte has identifies as having direct impact on business performance. In the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey, Deloitte found that 87% of respondents rated culture as “important or very important.” Their research also found that inclusive cultures are two times more likely to meet or exceed financial targets and six times more likely to be innovative. Zugata Insights helps to mitigate the culture gap between the culture companies have and the culture they want. Feedback data also allows organizations to surface the attributes of top performers-helping to improve recruiting efforts and talent management.

Careem Case Study

Who are they?: Careem is a UAE-based ground transportation technology company (think Lyft–in fact, they share investors). They’re growing fast. With 30% monthly growth, Careem now operates in 50+ cities across 11 countries and hosts over 6 million users. To support their rapidly growing organization of over 2,000 employees, Careem has put a clear focus on employee experience and driving top performance. Their organization is fueled by driving a company culture dedicated to the key values of ownership, agility, and collaboration.

Why’d they buy? : Careem was losing top performers. So, the team sought to increase talent retention in a two-step process. First, they needed to identify their top performers and high potentials. Second, they needed to create the culture of growth & development that would engage and retain talent.

What happened?: Careem rolled out its performance measurement process to have a clear picture of its performers. Evaluations include employee Self-Reflections and Manager-Requested Peer Feedback and occur twice per year. Separately, Careem started to build a culture of development rooted in Continuous Feedback (onboarding at Careem includes feedback best practices). Goals are also used for development. Careem employees (called Tigers!) have shown strong adoption of both feedback & goals, showing high levels of engagement with this new program. Nearly 80% of employees are engaged with feedback and 62% have created personal goals.

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