As a HR Tech World blogger I interviewed Lucien Brahier of Quercus to find out what they are showing in the disruptHR startup zone, and their views on the need for continuous feedback within the workforce to enable companies to deliver on their corporate objectives.
FAYE: Who are you and what do you do?
LUCIEN: We’re a young startup out of Zurich working on an enterprise software product – Quercus. Quercus is a cloud-based application that enables fast, easy and actionable 360-degree feedback among employees throughout the year. Through our intuitive application, it is our vision to accelerate the feedback cycle within companies from once or twice a year to a continuous exchange. Employees are an organization’s most precious resource and continuous feedback enables faster, more effective development, leading to both increased performance and engagement.
FAYE: Why did you decide to take part in disruptHRTech this year?
LUCIEN: It’s a great opportunity for us to display our product on such a renowned stage. We are very interested and excited in getting valuable feedback from the world’s top HR experts and to connect with potential customers.
FAYE: Who are your targeted principal ‘buyers’ and then who are the ‘users’?
LUCIEN: Our targeted buyers are HR managers of mid-market companies in the services sector that face the challenges of employee engagement as well as their learning and development. The users of Quercus are all employees of those organizations as we allow them to develop the critical skills specific to their respective roles and thereby drive their performance.
FAYE: When will the beta be available and what’s the plan for roll-out?
LUCIEN: We are currently in the middle of our beta-testing and are working closely with selected beta clients to gather feedback and build strong user cases to demonstrate the impact of Quercus. We plan to fully launch and make our application available to all organizations in January 2016.
FAYE: How does your solution help performance and engagement?
LUCIEN: In today’s competitive environment where strategies have to be adapted constantly, so do the skillsets of the employees that are charged with executing the respective strategy. Consequently, those ever-changing skills need to be developed faster than ever before. In such a landscape, yearly performance reviews are not enough anymore. People learn through regular application as well as receiving frequent and specific feedback – to adjust and thereby improve upon it. This is true for kids while growing up, professional athletes in sports as well as employees within organizations. Quercus enables that continuous feedback exchange to dramatically accelerate the feedback cycle and the associated development of employees.
Companies with the tools to develop the necessary skills faster will have a tremendous competitive edge. That is why we work closely with each of our clients to define the critical skills and behaviors their employees need – specific to each role – and develop those skills faster and more effectively through our application. Quercus thereby helps organizations to reduce specific skill-gaps critical to the organization’s success, develop a leadership pipeline and build a learning organization that significantly boosts both performance and engagement.
FAYE: How do you differentiate yourself in the market?
LUCIEN: Our singular focus on providing an intuitive and fast solution to continuous feedback within companies is rather unique in the market. Instead of 360-degree feedback being just another feature in an extensive legacy application, we focus on enabling a truly simple and fast experience for our users. This approach enables high-quality feedback: both timely and frequent, specific to a concrete instance, well-rounded from various sources and arranged in a structured format. Furthermore, our real-time “tracker” feature offers employees actionable insights based on obtained feedback. Employees and their managers can therefore easily spot strengths and areas for growth across a variety of skills specific to their roles.
FAYE: How does your technology platform work and how easy is it to integrate?
LUCIEN: Quercus is cloud-based and therefore very easy to integrate within organizations. There are no installations or setup fees involved. Clients can simply onboard their clients themselves or send us an excel spreadsheet and they are up and running immediately.
Our entire application is built around feedback and using that to develop skills and behaviors faster and better. On our dashboard, employees can either ask for feedback from colleagues, give feedback unsolicited or answer feedback requests. Through our tracker, employees and their line managers can track their progress in detail and easily spot strengths and areas for growth.
FAYE: Tell me a little about the team and how they work?
LUCIEN: We’re currently a team of five people. Mischa (Riedo) and I are focusing on the business aspects such as sales, customer support, marketing and speaking to investors. András, our CTO, is in charge of the development of our application and has two developers supporting him in that endeavor. We’re all very much involved in the product as we believe that ideas from all our different perspectives add great value to make the product as valuable as possible for our customers.
FAYE: What would you like to achieve out of participation at HR World Congress this year?
LUCIEN: We hope to show as many people as possible that we can add real value to their company’s bottom line with our approach to continuous feedback. Organizations across the world are spending billions of dollars in seminars, courses, etc. to develop the required skills in their employees to gain a competitive advantage and accelerate growth. These efforts are crucial and should continue. However, without regular application and specific feedback, these learnings will soon be forgotten. This is exactly where Quercus can add tremendous value and why we believe companies across all industries should know that we exist.
More about Lucien
Lucien is a co-founder of Quercus and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Bern. During his studies he founded his first startup. Before co-founding Quercus, Lucien worked as a consultant in a management consulting firm and as a digital strategy consultant in one of the leading online marketing agency in Europe. He’s a golf enthusiast and an avid reader.
For more information on Quercus check out these links and resources