Written by Robert Leitch.
Happy employees make successful companies. They work hard, and are dedicated to their jobs and achieving the company’s mission. Finding these employees and keeping them satisfied can be an arduous process, but BlackbookHR of Cincinnati, Ohio, is working to make it easier.
Founded in 2008, BlackbookHR is a software company focused on helping companies engage and retain employees. Its software evaluates employee productivity, performance, retention and culture. The technology then uses this data to provide companies with tools to improve employee engagement and, as a result, create positive business outcomes.
“Employee engagement is the means to the end, but it is not the only key part of success,” said Chris Powell, CEO of BlackbookHR. “We help companies take this one journey as part of the larger process.”
BlackbookHR’s flagship product Sense has four different key measurements for companies to gauge happiness and engagement among its employees:
- Job satisfaction – the employee’s compensation, benefits, management and work environment
- Organizational commitment – how dedicated an employee is to the company
- Motivation – how much effort an employee is willing to give to his/her job
- Degree of attachment – how well an employee fits in with the larger team, their work/life balance and their relationships at work
“Instead of having to do the guessing game, our system allows companies to know how engaged their employees are,” said Powell. “When you know that information, you can do a better job of designing programs and practices to retain employees. When companies know better, they do better.”
Results from BlackbookHR are not just intended for upper level management – the system can also be used to provide insights to employees to help them grow and develop in their careers. This approach of targeting both ends of the employment spectrum is something that very few employee engagement software companies include in their services.
BlackbookHR is a CincyTech portfolio company. The two first began working together when CincyTech provided seed funding in 2009, helping BlackbookHR determine their market fit and develop their initial technology. The company also received a Commercial Acceleration Loan from Ohio Third Frontier in April 2015. This loan will be used for product development, scaling to accommodate more customers, hiring additional talent and pursuing intellectual property.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, BlackbookHR currently has 10 employees, with predictions of nearly 20 by the end of 2015. The company is seeing a majority of its success with larger companies including Coca-Cola and Ernst & Young, two of its biggest clients.
Powell moved to Cincinnati to work for BlackbookHR in 2014 after living in Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland and Illinois. He says the company will continue to call Cincinnati home in the future.
“I find the startup ecosystem here in Cincinnati to be one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Powell. “There are great higher education institutions to source talent from, there is a significant amount of research and development in the state and people just have that great midwestern work ethic. This is the right place culturally for BlackbookHR.”