App happy

AMANDA SACHTLEBEN
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012
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Happy@Productions has released an app pitched at employees who want their work to be more fulfilling.

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Why does the receptionist always look happier at work than you? Do you have gripes with your employer but no idea how to make them better? And how likely is it that you'll change your job soon?

A Kiwi tech startup aims to help workers answer questions like this with its new Apple and Android app Happy@Work.

Among the 22 questions are how highly you value work/life balance and how you rate your employer meeting this need; how happy you are at work compared with 5000 others; the probability you'll leave your workplace in the next one to two years; and how 'engaged' you are with your employer.

Leading the Happy@Productions' charge into the app stores was Mark Kidd, a director at two recruitment industry companies. He recruited an investor, Andrew Wall, and young designers and developers to turn his company Matrixone's web-accessible product, based on more than a decade of research, into an app.

"The macro research tells you that you can drive happiness, productivity and talent retention with a compelling value proposition, but the challenge with that is employers have never known how to actually identify that and employees sometimes struggle to even know whether they're happy at work, what they value, and the things the employer does well or doesn't do well. This tool allows them to do that.

"It's not a staff engagement survey. The key thing with this is every individual in a job is different."

Matrixone's original product was EVP (Employee Value Proposition), built on Microsoft's .Net platform. It put to use 12 years of research with thousands of people who had used the product.

EVP was targeted at employers looking to retain talented staff, but Happy@Work is pitched at employees.

"It's about talent helping themselves to make their current job more fulfilling and to make them more engaged and more productive," says Kidd. "If they know the things that are working well and the things that aren't working so well, it gives them the tools to work better."

The application took about four months to develop. Kidd won't reveal the number of downloads, but says within three weeks of launch in late November there were users from several countries.

Happy@Productions plans to give some revenue from the US$2.99 application to charities and says there are more apps in the wings.

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