Thursday, May 31, 2012

SPARC Launches Two New Products from the Engagement Effect


SPARC is launching two new products on June 23rd at SHRM 2012 (stop by and see us!). SPARC is fundamentally changing the game and working to solve two of the biggest problems facing companies today; hiring the right people and employee engagement. We call it our "Get 'Em In, Keep 'Em In" strategy, with 2 new products SPARCIN and SPARC'D, respectfully.

SPARCIN (get the right people in) is a first of its kind Interview Management System (NOT an ATS) and for the first time ever, not only will you be able to give better interviews and have more insight on candidates, but your entire company will be able to continuously improve on the interviewing process ...leading to much, much better hires.

SPARC'D (employee engagement platform) is a collection of micro apps that for the first time ever (again) can assist you in building a great corporate culture, employee engagement and a stage 5 company. Software alone doesn't build culture or engagement, but with SPARC'D the energy you put into these areas gets multiplied and becomes continuous.

How We Got Here...     
At SPARC (where I work)  we have gone through some rapid growth. In just under two years we have gone from 5 to 160 team members. These are pretty remarkable numbers in any industry and location, but considering that SPARC is a software company in Charleston, South Carolina, we are quite humbled by what has happened. When looking back on how this was achieved, I've created a model that somewhat explains what has, and still is, happening at SPARC. It's called the Engagement Effect.


You see this type of model popping up in many successful companies these days in that it is a very powerful way to create and run a company in a creative and knowledge based economy.

How It Works -  The right people go into the model, its cultivated and what comes out are the things that money along can't give you.

Hire - What goes into the model is hiring the "right" people. Without the "right" people the whole model breaks down. Hiring is hard... very hard and finding the right people is a top level objective at almost all companies. "Right" is the key word in the statement... in that "right" might not be what you think it is. In the model, "right" means people fit the (your) culture first, have a very strong aptitude (ability to learn and adjust quickly) second and, third, (and only after the first two are satisfied) resume - has this person proven themselves in the past.       

Culture - Within the model... you need to build a great culture for people to exist in. I could write an entire book about creating great cultures (might some day), but for now let's say it's a place where people trust each other, including management, feel empowered and generally like to be there. Along with a great culture, a continuous focus on people's happiness (overall happiness, not just work) needs to be maintained. Believe it or not, it's not that hard. Making people somewhat happy can be achieved simply by efforts to align people to their passions, make sure they are always growing(learning) and taking time to making people feel like they are listened to.    

Engagement Happens - Find the right people, create a great culture, focus on peoples' happiness and they become ENGAGED! Engaged with each other and engaged with the organization. That engagement then fuels finding more right people, enhancing the culture, making more people happy and engaging more people. It starts to build on itself and becomes its own "living" thing.    

Energy, Strategy & Brand... New Customers - What comes out of the Engagement Effect is really the most important part and why you would want to create it in the first place. What comes out is Energy, Strategy and Brand... some of the most valued things in business. Walk into a Starbucks or talk to someone from Zappos, the energy is infectious, which leads me to the final element. The Engagement Effect leads to loyal and new customers... the holy grail of all business. If you are looking for engaged customers, start with engaged employees.

Can the model continue to work? Can it scale? Can it increase in value? We certainly believe so and now that we have software to help, it should be even easier.... and (wait for  it) with the launch of SPARCIN and SPARC'D you can, too! :D ...you can even get started completely for free!

So I ask...  are you waiting for an effect to happen or will you create one, an Engagement Effect? :D