First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Rebecca Lundin: We’re lucky not to be part of any risk group. We’re all doing fine! It was a hard couple of weeks in the beginning, but things have slowly gone back to more normal day-to-day.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Celpax
Rebecca Lundin: I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick. Both at work and in their private life.
In one of my first jobs abroad, the CEO asked me to lie to a potential partner. He was convinced the client was lying to him already, as in his words, “that’s what I would have done.” He didn’t stop for a second to think about what base he was building a future business partnership on. I obviously refused to lie. He didn’t take it well.
A few days later, I resigned and realized that my co-worker’s words on my very first day were right: This is not for you, Rebecca. It’s a shitty workplace. The CEO had created such a toxic work environment. You could FEEL the fear in the office.
Fast forward, a few tech companies later, Bart Huisken, a former manager of mine, reached out. Together with Rafael del Valle, we took on the challenge of getting more people involved and engaged at work.
A Swede, a Dutch, and Spaniard on a quest to improve workplaces worldwide – and societies while at it. How can we get more people to wake up in the morning and feel good about working?
Today we have users from companies in 70 countries.
How does Celpax innovate?
Rebecca Lundin: So, back in 2010, we started from scratch by interviewing leaders. They all had achieved remarkable things with their teams, winning awards, etc. Based on their feedback and tips, we came up with a software demo. Next, we would test it on users, do some more interviews, and then pivot based on their feedback.
We went through a couple of different software solutions. Then we suddenly ended up with a hardware solution! I come from a hardware background, and I still remember the feeling when I held our first – bulky – Celpax prototype. It was so much fun 🙂
We had early on decided on simplicity as our way forward.
Hence we finally settled on our’ killer feature’ with the Celpax device. It has a green and a red button and asks employees to answer, “How was your day?” as they finish their shift. Managers can check the employee mood results from a particular day, see trend lines, differences between shifts, locations… and then talk with their team to figure out what ‘red’ needs to be fixed. And do more of what makes people press green! This way, companies can quickly see if an improvement is working or not.
As a social company, we soon decided to step up. We wanted to make a global difference and be accessible to everyone, one of our company values.
Subsequently, after having experimented with different trial periods, we introduced a true freemium.
The 1st Celpax is always free!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Rebecca Lundin: We spotted a COVID “red-button” impact in our data back in February 2020.
As the pandemic spread, more countries reported more and more red feedback from employees.
As a company, this, of course, brings us further away from our mission. Furloughs, cutbacks, and lay-offs mean anxiety and stress levels have risen. No wonder so many people are pressing the red button. There are many exceptions, though! I am particularly interested in “desk-less” workers, those who can’t work from their homes’ safety.
To cope with the new situation, we are currently developing a remote condition for our work-from-home users.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Rebecca Lundin: Our organization was faced with some difficult choices a couple of years back. As a result, we are pretty resilient when it comes to pivoting and adjusting to new situations. It might sound like a cliché, but we’ve been through hardships before. We try to keep a positive mindset, adjust, and work our way through it.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Celpax in the future?
Rebecca Lundin: We’ve had Celpax users asking us for a remote solution for years. They are super happy that this is finally happening. From an inclusion point of view, it’s important to get all employees onboard the improvement journey.
It also means our product offering is more complete, future-proofing our company.
A strong purpose also helps when it comes to coping with the current situation. We have such strong support from our users, which helps us have more green-button days.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Rebecca Lundin: “Can we use the Celpax for customer feedback?” is a question we keep getting. There are tons of companies that do feedback terminals like Happy or Not or Survey stance. Their devices are geared towards retail, shops, etc.
We are 100% focused on improving employee morale.
Everything we do is geared towards getting employees more engaged at work. This makes us somewhat unique. Not sure if it’s enough to stay in the game (if you look at the numbers, companies spend a TON more time and money in finding out how their customers feel, compared to their employees hehe), but we are also very affordable, and managers love that the 1st device is free!
A big chunk of our sign-ups comes from word-of-mouth from users. We don’t spend any money on adverts; instead, we design our own cloud, etc. to keep our costs down. We also steer more and more towards open source solutions.
At Celpax, we also involve our users in our roadmap. But just because a client has a want-list doesn’t mean that it will bring the product forward in the right direction. You have to listen to users but decided to listen to some more. Plenty of managers are looking for technology to replace conversations with employees. We build tech to make sure these conversations happen. Our data shows that this is what drives the workplace culture in the right direction.
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