People Mentality HR Tech Feature Issue #4 – EngageRocket

Our employer branding agency, People Mentality Inc., will be featuring a series of HR Tech partners to share more about their background stories as well as how users can benefit from engaging them. No tool is perfect, but every one of them is unique in their own way which is where the value lies for the various users. Find the best tools that suit your needs, mix and match based on your context and grow your business from there!

In this issue of People Mentality Tech Feature, we are glad to share that we have with us, CEO of EngageRocket, Leong CheeTung, to share his thoughts on his pulse survey tool. Find out more about the story of EngageRocket and how users can benefit from this HR Tech app.

Interview Summary

EngageRocket 1

Sam: What made you decide to start EngageRocket? Where did you see the opportunity?

CheeTung: There were 3 things that stood out.

(1) Employee engagement and a strong organisational culture are important:

A 2016 Gallup research found that engaged teams are 21% more productive, have 40% fewer defects, up to 59% less involuntary attrition, and are 22% more profitable.

The costs of disengagement, on the other hand, are non-trivial: research finds that 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months, with 89% of them leaving because of poor cultural integration. At the junior ranks, this translates to a cost to replace them of 50-75% of their annual salary, while at the senior ranks this can increase to up to 250% annual salary.

(2) Yet, typical employee engagement programmes are costly, time intensive, with poor attention to results:

On average, these programmes are heavily centred around annual surveys of over 60 questions each, taking more than a month to set up, 4 to 6 weeks to analyze results meaningfully, and another 2 to 3 months to cascade the results and action plans through the company.

Over 60% of professionals report being more disengaged after each of these costly exercises.

With all the points mentioned above, it leads me to the opportunity below.

(3) EngageRocket allows leaders and HR to refocus on the people, removing excessive administrative processes:

Results and analyses are delivered in real-time, when the value of the survey data is greatest. Actionable recommendations are also given to team managers at all levels for them to take action immediately to address key issues.

By automating the administration, analytics, and actionable insights from pulse surveys, leaders and HR can focus on the human aspects of management, leaving the processes to our machines. Customers report also help reduce administrative overhead by up to 80%.

Sam: How did the name EngageRocket come about?

CheeTung: As with most new technology businesses, we had to consider what domain names were still available with an acceptable suffix, without overly complicating the name. Also, the name had to point in some way to the core of our business.

When we built a shortlist, we then crowdsourced opinions from a range of people we felt would be able to benefit from our software once it was launched – and EngageRocket won by a landslide!

Sam: How did the idea of EngageRocket evolve along the way? Why did it transform the way it did?

CheeTung: From the beginning we were very customer and market-driven. While we had the benefit of being familiar with the domain, it was a completely different buying process and type of company that we needed to serve. So we ran experiments and tested working with different market segments, and responded to what the market was feeding back to us.

For instance, while we knew that employee engagement was a primarily local phenomenon (70% of engagement is driven directly from immediate managers), we over-estimated the appetite that line managers had for playing around with different analytical tools. So we built a Key Insights box that crawls the data and tells each manager just what they need to know.

EngageRocket 2

Sam: What was the most memorable moment during this startup journey? What lessons did you learn?

CheeTung: Every day is a new challenge, a new set of problems to help customers solve. So I’m not sure the memory formation process is done yet, we’re really just getting started!

If there had to be a single moment, I’d say it was the very first cheque we received from our first customer. It meant a lot that someone else besides us believed in our vision, and believed in us, enough to hand over cold hard cash in exchange for our services.

There isn’t enough room here to list all the lessons, but here are some:

  • Choose the people you work with extremely carefully, as the team makes or breaks the vision.
  • Over-deliver to your early customers, they believed enough in you to take a risk, and in a way the whole journey was made possible only because of them.
  • It was really important for us to have a wonderful set of investors who understand us and our business, and are willing to provide mentorship and guidance at the right points, while also leaving us the flexibility to run with our ideas and test them.

Sam: What are your thoughts about the HR Tech space?

CheeTung: It’s about to get bigger. Much bigger.

Sam: Who would you recommend to use this tool?

CheeTung: We find that companies or teams between 50 to 5,000 benefit the most from using a pulse survey tool, particularly if they:

  • Have a distributed workforce across geographies or business units;
  • Are changing fast or growing quickly; or
  • Prefer to use analytics to make their people decisions.

Sam: Where can people find out more if they are interested?

CheeTung: Visit us at, or drop me an email directly at [email protected] to arrange a free personalised demo and best practice sharing.

Closing thoughts

There are plenty of engagement survey tools out there in the market. However, in my opinion, it’s the spirit behind the utilization of the tool and timeliness of deployment that makes a difference. EngageRocket is one company that started this journey with a right intent and has good value to deliver with its useful tool.

What I love most about the interview was the part about winning trust of stakeholders and over-delivering to repay their trust. Often, we take trust for granted and only realize how difficult it is to regain trust when we lose it. Likewise, this is an important piece to establish with our people if we want to create a great workplace to drive productivity and business results.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of People Mentality Tech Feature. Stay tune for the next one real soon!

Together we can create a better workplace for tomorrow!

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