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This Startup Provides Employees With Leadership Face Time Via Multimedia Content

by Muriel Vega

For most employees at large enterprises, reaching leadership to give feedback and fill in knowledge gaps can often be borderline impossible. Blast keeps employees engaged with the company by incorporating gamified learning and surveys.

“Blast is taking traditionally siloed solutions like survey solutions, awareness solutions and gamified learning, and wrapping them in an integrated approach that improves employee experience while capturing valuable data for our customers,” says CEO Jimmy Lin. “By doing this, we are creating visibility into true measures of engagement with the internal audience.”

With Blast, companies can reinforce values, key policies and procedures, product knowledge, and working relationships between employees through three modules. A bite-sized multimedia feature allows CEOs and other top leadership to upload quick phone videos with new product announcements or milestones to remain approachable. The second modules gamifies procedures within the company for employees to stay in sync. Finally, a reward system encourages employees to take surveys and quizzes to win prizes while collecting engagement metrics to identify issues within the company.

The employee engagement solution startup closed a seed round this past August from private investors to focus on adding expertise in a board of directors and continuing to scale.

Here, Lin shares more about how short iPhone videos can make your company more approachable, how he is applying Blast’s concept within his own company, and why they continue to grow their company in Atlanta.

What problem are you solving?

Organizations are challenged with communication to their front line audience, who are typically non-corporate and on the floor serving customers. Blast provides a fun and engaging way to ensure messages are being heard and understood by providing bite-sized, interactive content to the front line on a weekly basis. We provide the engagement metrics while identifying knowledge gaps in the front line that can underserve customers or reduce sales potential.

How’d you get the idea?

The idea for Blast started with a corporate trivia game that helped assess and reinforce essential information. From there, we looked at our collective experiences in the workplace and saw a real problem with not only getting information to the front line, but keeping them engaged to improve long-term organizational performance. We are all employees and have been on the front line and empathize with them. We think our integrated solution is the best way to solve that problem while making it fun for the employees.

How can personal videos and media help employee retention? 

A top complaint in employee satisfaction surveys is the lack of communication from leadership. In today’s digital world, we consume information very differently and quick video messages capture most of our attention. By providing a platform for consistent messaging to a target audience, team members are more plugged in to strategic priorities, company news and other communication.

And hearing directly from leaders in the company puts a face and voice to leaders that front line associates might never see. Integrated polls and surveys also improve employee retention by giving them another channel for feedback.

How does your rewards program play into that engagement?

Rewards are an integral part of our solution because, who doesn’t like prizes? Our rewards programs bring out the creative expertise from our decades of experience creating employee awareness program. There are loyalty programs, where Blast points can be redeemed for various types of prizes. We also help customers run contests with raffles for “big” prizes to bring the fun into corporate communications. Whether it’s gift cards, branded items, donations or Blast swag, our rewards program is an integral part of our solution to motivate and engage the audience.

How easy is for leadership to upload messages and videos to the platform? 

Creating messages are as easy as uploading YouTube videos. We advocate for casual, short videos from wherever the leader might be — at a store location, traveling, or just at the office. This approach humanizes the leaders so they are not as distant. We often give our customers tips on videos and guide them on content creation to keep it fun and interesting.

As CEO, how are you doing this within your own company?

We use Blast internally to communicate our values, but also invite “friends and family” to participate in monthly contests to gain feedback on new features, usability and to keep them appraised of our progress. As we like to say, we’re having a Blast!

What’s your revenue model?

We’re a SaaS company through and through. We have various packages for annual subscriptions to the Blast platform and supporting value-add solutions through our implementation and customer success teams. We keep it simple by tiers of value provided rather than rely on strict user counts. We want to encourage customers to use Blast for all types of internal audiences.

Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?

Aside from more manual and traditional methods of awareness and communications, we have a relatively young set of competitors aiming to solve the same problem. There are providers like Nudge Rewards, aimed at retail staff, or Beekeeper, who is bridging the gap to non-desk workers. In addition, we have some overlap with employee engagement providers like TINYpulse and OfficeVibe, who are gathering employee satisfaction data. We love all of them and see our platform as a way to bring a more employee-centric ecosystem.

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