SOURCE: Zugata

Zugata

October 13, 2015 08:00 ET

Big Data Startup Zugata Re-Imagines Performance Reviews, Launches With a New Approach to Empower Employees to Reach Their Fullest Potential and Funding From Silicon Valley VCs and Angel Investors

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 13, 2015) - Today Zugata emerged from stealth with an innovative mobile-first software solution that makes it possible for employees to receive continuous feedback from the people they work with, along with mentor recommendations, so they can constantly improve and reach their true potential. At the same time, Zugata enables companies to better understand team and organization skills to drive effective learning and development programs. Zugata is being used by organizations of all sizes -- from startups to publicly traded companies, including one of the largest coffee chains.

Zugata will be showcasing its product for the first time in booth 827 at the HR Tech Conference, taking place next week at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, where it is a gold sponsor.

"The market for real-time feedback systems in business is growing rapidly," said Josh Bersin, principal, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Tools like Zugata are part of the new wave of open, anonymous feedback systems that enable employees to communicate openly with each other, unleashing opportunities for innovation, coaching, and development in fresh and exciting ways."

Ever since Adobe and Juniper Networks announced they are dumping annual performance reviews, there has been a steady drumbeat of others, with Accenture, Deloitte and GE being the most recent ones following suit. In an environment where hiring and retaining the best talent is a top of mind issue for CEOs, Zugata believes the focus needs to be on continually developing employees to reach their potential.

"Performance Management is in many aspects broken and so Talent Management does not work properly. Enterprises are desperate to create a high performance culture, one person at a time," said Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst & VP at Constellation Research, Inc. "Solutions that take advantage of cloud economics in the form of Big Data and Machine Learning to allow for the collection of feedback across daily interactions, thus achieving a more complete performance footprint of people through high frequency, lightweight and anonymous feedback, will get the most attention."

Zugata automatically figures out who employees work with and solicits anonymous feedback every week. It helps employees not only understand their strengths and growth areas but also helps them track their development over time. Further, it recommends mentors who can help employees reach their potential. It also helps managers and organizations better understand team strengths and growth areas so learning and development efforts can be more focused on what matters.

"In today's millennial, mobile and cloud world, many of the long-held beliefs of how we manage people and organizations need to evolve," said Srinivas Krishnamurti, co-founder and CEO of Zugata. "Zugata's continuous feedback solution brings unprecedented automation and ease of use to enable users to continuously receive feedback so they can better understand their strengths and growth areas in real-time. Just as importantly, Zugata recommends mentors and ensures feedback is only shared with the employee so the focus is squarely on empowering employees to develop."

To read Krishnamurti's blog on the five key components of a performance system built for the 21st century, simply go to: http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/re-imagining-performance-reviews-srinivas-krishnamurti?.

Key features of Zugata:

  • Uses Data to Identify Who You Work With: Zugata constructs graphs to understand social interactions within the organization and uses this information to automatically figure out who employees work with so it can intelligently figure out who to ask for feedback.
  • Unprecedented Ease of Use: Zugata iOS app and web interface allow users to give anonymous feedback in less than two minutes by simply swiping right (for strength) and left (for growth area) on a set of pre-defined skills. Users can also pick from a set of improvement suggestions or write their custom suggestions. This guided feedback process allows consistent and constructive analysis of performance.
  • Powerful Recommendation Engine for identifying Mentors: Zugata's powerful recommendation engine mines the feedback data and automatically suggests mentors within the company who can help employees develop specific skills.
  • Track Improvement with Intuitive Trend Charts: Zugata lets users to understand their strengths and growth areas and how they are improving on specific skills over time. It also helps users understand how they compare with aggregate information.
  • Completely Automated: Zugata's engine automatically collects feedback so users do not have to manually ask for feedback. Further, Zugata ensures users receive only one invite a week to provide feedback so users are not bombarded with too many requests at the same time.
  • Collect Organization Skills Inventory: Zugata aggregates skills information and gives managers and organizations access to comprehensive skills inventory so that any training programs can be focused and targeted efficiently.

Individuals and teams can start using Zugata for free today by signing up at: http://www.zugata.com.

Backed by Silicon Valley VCs and Angel Investors
Zugata received $3.2 million in seed funding from General Catalyst, Formation 8, Redpoint Ventures and Silicon Valley angel investors.

"Having managed hundreds of talented people at various jobs, no task seemed as onerous and as much of a lost opportunity as the annual performance review," said Steve Herrod, former CTO of VMware and General Catalyst Managing Director. "I wish we had Zugata back then. I love Zugata's implementation of regular, peer-driven feedback that is actionable and truly a joy to use." 

About Zugata
Zugata was founded in 2014 with a vision to use data to empower employees to reach their fullest potential. Its innovative mobile-first solution makes it possible for employees to receive continuous feedback from the people they work with, along with mentor recommendations, so they can constantly improve and reach their true potential. At the same time, Zugata enables companies to better understand team and organization skills to drive effective learning and development programs. Zugata is based in Palo Alto, CA and is backed by General Catalyst, Formation 8, Redpoint Ventures and Silicon Valley angel investors. For more information, go to http://www.zugata.com/ or follow Zugata on Twitter at @ZugataInc.

Contact Information

Multimedia