RoundPegg Uses Web-based Polls, Services to Build Stronger Cultures

8/7/13Follow @MichaelXBD

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your company functions more than anything else on a day-to-day basis,” Baumgartner said.

RoundPegg focuses on values for a few reasons, Baumgartner said. First, the values an individual has tend to stay stable over time.

“We rely on about five decades of personality research that tells us that our core values as individuals are pretty well hard-wired by the time we reach adulthood,” she said.

Second, asking employees directly about whether they’re happy or what the corporate culture is like usually isn’t very helpful. Opinions can change based on whether an employee’s had a bad day or a recent disagreement with a coworker.

“We don’t ask individuals to identify what they think the culture is, or what they want the culture to be, because we know that data’s fraught with errors. But that’s usually how organizations measure culture, up until now,” Baumgartner said.

RoundPegg also generates a score that tells companies how well aligned their values are with every employee. Scores can be tracked over time to watch for changes and to see if new initiatives are working, and the data’s much more useful than a thick report that comes in once a year following an annual survey.

Culture might sound nebulous and hard to define and measure, but it can’t be ignored.

“This is something that’s applicable to every organization out there. Everybody has a culture, whether they want one or not,” chief operating officer Brent Daily said.

RoundPegg doesn’t tell companies whether they have a good culture or a bad culture, but it can tell whether a company has a strong culture—meaning the company and its employees share the same values—or a weak one, Daily said.

RoundPegg also can identify which teams or offices within a company have strong cultures and help companies match values and a team’s objectives. Different departments can value different things—maybe the sales staff should be hypercompetitive, while product development needs to favor cooperation—and Daily said RoundPegg can help companies fine tune their cultures, or at least avoid a disastrous one-size-fits-all solution that ends up hurting everyone.

RoundPegg’s surveys can be used in a variety of situations. One obvious use is screening prospective employees, but RoundPegg also can assist with acclimating new hires, finding and fixing morale problems, planning and executing a reorganization, or integrating companies following a merger.

The range of applications is indicative of how powerful values are in the business world.

“When you look at the implications of all of this, it’s pretty staggering,” Daily said.

It also suggests RoundPegg could have a bright future. The company is a graduate of the Techstars accelerator program and has raised $2.45 million. It has 11 employees.

After rolling out a new product this summer, RoundPegg’s focus is on adding to its sales and marketing efforts to acquire more clients, Daily said. The company has more than 50 clients, including Kaiser Permanente and eBay.

The company declined to disclose details about revenues, but Daily said it has grown 180 percent year-over-year and the company expects 300 percent growth this year.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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