AITech Interview with Sean Nolan, CEO and Co-Founder of Blink

What’s the overarching vision that drives Blink’s mission and development?

Our mission is to create connected workforces in which everyone thrives. Put simply, that means helping frontline-centric companies to become better and more effective places to work, which is precisely what they need to do to become a more successful company overall.

Culture and productivity are the top priorities for most CEOs – Blink directly transforms both for the largest part of the workforce.

Technology is the driving force behind making this possible – and by harnessing tech that is specifically designed with frontline workers in mind, we can continue to improve the working lives of individuals the world over. That is the vision that gets me out of bed every morning.

Can you highlight some distinctive features that define Blink’s platform? How does Blink distinguish itself from competitors in the market?

First, this is about simplicity. You won’t find a better mobile-experience in the enterprise. We’re the only platform to bring together all the elements workers need, and securely make them available through one app.

Another thing that makes Blink unique is our ability to collate a vast array of data points on a company’s workforce – such as how its existing technology, systems and tools are used by frontline workers – and how staff are feeling and behaving. We bring all this together with turnover data, cohort analysis and even new-joiner surveys, to tell leaders exactly what they can do to improve their operations.

What are some prevalent pain points customers approach Blink with?

It’s interesting because so often customers come to us and say they have an ‘engagement’ problem – but they struggle to put their finger on what that problem actually is or how they can address it. All they know is that their teams feel disjointed and dissatisfied, which is ultimately impacting their overall culture and performance.

And yet, when I talk to frontline workers, no one tells me they want to feel more ‘engaged’ at work. What I do hear them say is that they want to feel more involved, have more transparency and more autonomy. They want to feel that their employer understands their needs and has their back – even if they’re not physically seeing them on a day-to-day basis.

But they also want more convenience – by providing convenient and easy to use technology people feel more valued and empowered.

It seems to be that ‘employee engagement’, at least for frontline workers, has been misunderstood to be mainly about culture initiatives, when actually it’s largely about how people interact day-to-day with the company.

And in most cases, there’s no single issue to blame. It’s a combination of factors – poor communication, outdated processes, a lack of 360 feedback – that lead to an overall sense of frontline disconnection and discontent. So what Blink does is take all the challenges and pain points felt by frontline workers, and provides technology-driven solutions that ease these points of tension.

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