Can fake employers help solve their performance management problems? The HR technology company, which is announcing a 11 million funding round today, believes it can – and in the past year has signed up more than 1,000 customers worldwide who seem to agree.
Theoretically, performance management is an important tool that has benefits for both parties. It enables employers to work with their employees to get the best out of them, and keep them employed and connected to the organization’s goals. Employees, meanwhile, get a sense of where they are doing well, guidelines on how to improve in other areas, and a sense that their employers consider them an important part of their organization.
In practice, however, performance management often turns out to be a tedious and pointless task for all concerned, which is characterized by endless form filling. Research suggests that employees dislike performance management more than any other individual process. Employers are not getting much out of it.
“Performance management hasn’t changed much since the 1970s and it’s not working,” said Sourav Nangia, co-founder and CEO of Mesh. “Many employers review them only once a year, so people quickly become isolated; What’s really needed is feedback on an ongoing basis – continuous performance management. “
More so in today’s changing work world. In the event of an epidemic, working at home means that employers and employees often have less opportunity to connect with each other than in the past. And every organization is under pressure to become more agile, a transfer that must be managed by employees.
Mesh therefore offers employers a new way to work with employees. The goal of its performance management platform is to make it easier for managers and employees to manage goals, share feedback, and engage on an ongoing basis. It provides a dedicated channel through which both parties can communicate in real time, review progress toward objectives, provide coaching and check in with each other.
While other providers are leaning towards technology to provide performance management, they typically build it into a larger human resource management system. Nangia believes that this method will inevitably be short-lived. Staffers occasionally log into such systems, he argues – to check a paylip or book some vacation, say – which goes against the notion of continuous performance management.
Instead, Mesh has launched an expert performance management platform. And by integrating with software like Slack and Microsoft Team, the company incorporates its tools into the way it works every day. The goal is to activate and support ongoing dialogue. Nangia says, “We exist in the general work flow of the individual. “We’ve created something that feels like a social network, so that people come back to the platform every day.”
The benefits are wide-ranging for companies that get it right. Employees suddenly get more visibility about what is expected of them and how they fit into the company’s goals. Managers get an ongoing opportunity to share feedback and set new goals. The company is able to communicate its vision and strategy. And the HR department is traditionally free from the complex processes associated with performance management.
Also, the platform is constantly creating a flow of data about how employees are working, what they are concerned about and the broader experience of employees. If used wisely, that data could provide an important edge for employers’ talent in a market where many industries are struggling to recruit and retain.
In fact, research suggests that companies that make good use of advanced analytics are four times more likely to hire and retain employees, eight times more likely to ‘effectively innovate’ and more likely to exceed their financial goals.
The rapid growth of the mesh since its launch in 2020 suggests that a growing number of companies are confident of these benefits. By 2021 alone, the company’s revenue has grown 16-fold.
Today’s fundraising will allow Mesh to accelerate at that pace, with investors led by RTP Global providing the company with the funds it needs to invest in product team, sales and marketing, and international expansion. The business hired 30 workers earlier this year but is expected to grow to 120 in 12 months.
The fundraising comes less than a year after Mesh’s $ 5.1 million seed round. “One thing we are particularly pleased about is that our seed investors have come back to support us in this second fundraiser,” Nangia added.