This Y Combinator-backed HRtech startup helps companies improve their annual performance reviews

“Efficiency or Death” has always been the axiom in the business world, but it has become even more relevant today in the post-COVID-19 era that we live in.

‘Productivity and efficiency’ have now become an industry in their own right instead of just a business language and constitute a market that could potentially be worth $75.09 billion by the end of 2022, according to a Statista report.

The resounding successes of Inasmuch aszohoInasmuch as and Inasmuch asfreshworksInasmuch as lend faith that every company – large or small – is willing to loosen its purse strings for resources that can help it become agile, more streamlined and efficient, particularly in terms of human capital. Employees are obviously important cogs in the business machine, and their efficiency (or lack thereof) can make or break a business.

That’s why it’s even more important these days — due to the rise of work-from-home and hybrid work setups — that employees resonate with their employers’ mission and values.

Inasmuch asMeshInasmuch asa San Jose-based startup founded by Gaurav Chaubey, Rahul Singh and Saurabh Nangia, has made it his personal mission to help other companies improve their effectiveness in employee engagement and productivity.

It complements companies’ efficiency efforts by helping them to continuously manage and measure the performance of their employees and enables leaders to define Objectives and Key Results (OKR) for their team members.

The platform also encourages team members and managers to rate their performance based on these OKRs, encouraging people to take ownership of their goals and work.

“​​The main challenge facing businesses today stems from traditional performance management systems that have been practiced for decades, using manual operating systems and annual reviews and evaluations. Our vision is to overcome this obstacle with a modern model that sees organizations as organisms,” says Gaurav Your story.

Essentially, Mesh places the responsibility for monitoring its performance on the employee, as well as management by encouraging regular checks on OKRs. It also has a social aspect where employees or teams can post their achievements on the microsite that Mesh creates for each company, like an internal social media page, which can inspire others to aim higher.

The startup was backed by Sequoia Surge, Y Combinator and RTP Global, who together invested $5 million in its seed funding round.

“At the heart of it, Mesh pushes today’s high-performing workers to use critical self-enforcement, rather than rigid, robotic structures,” says Gaurav, adding that the startup, which has about 35 employees, uses also the platform internally.

How it works

The Mesh platform consists of three main components:

  1. A internal social media page open only to company employees where they can publicly recognize each other’s victories, contributions and accomplishments.
  2. A goal setting interface that allows managers and employees to chart their goals and key results.
  3. A feedback and review process that challenges employees to self-assess against their goals and helps managers track their progress. The “review” component uses artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to intelligently pre-populate appraisal forms that managers mostly have to work on manually, and is based on input entered by employees when they appraise their performance.

business model

Mesh charges businesses for using its interface on a per employee, and is betting on the growth of the company to allow it to increase its income.

Currently, the startup charges companies between $4 and $10, per month, per employee for the use of its platform.

He claims that the More than 30 companies it works with on five continents – including the likes of Inasmuch asCREDInasmuch as, Inasmuch asTrellInasmuch as, Inasmuch asMeeshoInasmuch as, Inasmuch asCoinDCXInasmuch as, Inasmuch asShareChatInasmuch asamong others — have seen a 20% increase in goal achievement, and one 30% increase in employee engagement.

Gaurav says Mesh’s goal now is to bring even more businesses onto the platform and help them become more efficient with their human capital.

Interestingly, there is a small group of Fortune 500 companies such as Adobe, General Electric, Deloitte, Accenture, among others who have suspended the annual maintenance ritual after realizing that A) it’s not super efficient, and B) it affects employee morale when ranked.

In fact, a Harvard Business Review study found that, for millennials in particular, removing rigid goals helped them communicate with their managers better understand their aspirations.

“Of the 30 companies we studied, a preliminary finding that stood out was that after a company removed ratings, managers talked to their teams about performance much more often (three or four times a year instead of just one). More frequent communication helps with employee engagement, development, and fairer compensation, as managers better understand how their employees are doing,” reads David Rock’s report. and Beth Jones.

Another Harvard Business Review story said, “With their strong focus on financial rewards and punishments and their year-end structure, they hold people accountable forr past behavior at the expense of improving current performance and preparing talent for the future, both of which are essential for the long-term survival of organizations. In contrast, regular conversations about performance and development change the focus on building the workforce your organization needs to be competitive today and in the years to come.

Whether companies subscribe to a “no review” policy or an annual performance review ritual, the performance review system and activity as it currently exists (mostly manual) is archaic and must adapt to the changing needs of the workforce.

And these are startups like Mesh and its competitors like Betterworks, Inasmuch asgreytHRInasmuch asWorking day, Inasmuch asDarwinboxInasmuch as, Inasmuch asbelongInasmuch asMonjin, Inasmuch asMettlInasmuch as.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

About Geraldine Higgins

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