Sam Caucci, founder and CEO of Newark-based 1Huddle, is worried about the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on employees.
The workforce gamification company is extending its product to all existing customers for unlimited use over the next 90 days, to help them as they transition to a more remote workforce.
“A really important message that needs to be communicated right now to a lot of folks, especially C-level leaders, especially in technology, is that now more than ever you should be leaning into your workforce, not forgetting about them,” he said.
“What I’m most afraid about is, as companies begin to try to make tough business decisions, tough choices to send folks home to work from home to just sending them home to not work, people are going to be negatively impacted economically, but they’re also going to be impacted in a variety of other ways. And I think that companies need to be vigilant and really make sure that their remote work strategy is not just something that means we’re signing up for Slack and we’re signing up for Zoom, because that is not a remote work strategy”
You need to keep people not just communicating and working, but really connected when they’re working from afar, Caucci said. And, “I think that is something that, no matter if you are a big business or a startup, everybody’s going to be challenged to do: trying to keep everybody tight as a family.”
Caucci also said that, while people are talking about how to train employees to work remotely, they aren’t paying enough attention to the manager, who is the one that’s responsible for coaching and developing those folks. “How do they know how to properly be a leader, to be a manager from afar?” We want the market not to forget to invest in managers at this moment, to make sure that they have the right coaching and the right tools to keep their people connected, he said.
The 1Huddle platform is a communication tool first, he noted. It just so happens that most brands use it for onboarding, compliance training or ongoing development. “But at our core, our platform allows companies to send quick communications to their workers, allow their employees to consume that wherever they are, and, in the process of consuming it completely, compete against their coworkers. The majority of what makes our platform succeed is that, as you play, you play to win.”
He said that the tool will keep managers and teams excited, and added that existing customers who have accepted the invitation to use 1Huddle are finding many applications for it. He noted that one current customer, a major player in the sports category, told him that the senior leadership had made the decision to have everyone work from home this week. And they are having all their workers play 1Huddle every day for at least one to two hours on different topics. “We’re really leaning into the platform right now,” the customer said.