Technology

Interview with Dave Cherrie: How Can Software Increase Employee Engagement?

Interview with Dave Cherrie Employee Engagement
Jenna Van Schoor
Written by Jenna Van Schoor

Dave Cherrie is passionate about using data to improve employee engagement in the workplace.

We talked to Dave, founder of Arcade, to hear about his startup story, and why employee engagement is so critical to running a successful business.

How did the idea for Arcade come about?

Two and a half years ago, I was selling cellphones in a retail store. When I first started, I was really engaged, I had a good manager. But then we got a new manager, and after the first few months my motivation began to decrease. I didn’t feel valued by the company or that I was given the tools to really succeed. Before long, I became disengaged, which is when I noticed my own productivity and sales decline.

We then got another new manager, someone who brought some fun into the workplace, who recognised us when we did well and created contests for us to reach our goals.

It was everything we needed to be motivated again. We went from being in the bottom 10% of all the stores to being the top performing store nationally.

That’s when I thought about how powerful it would be for the company if every other team had this same motivation.

What are some of the challenges you have faced while building your business?

It’s definitely been an interesting journey, and I’ve learned a lot about the value of failing and focus. We’re faced with new problems that we need to solve everyday, whether it’s sales or technology. We try to stay solution focused and (as much as possible) approach challenges without fear of falling short.

For the first year of the business we didn’t really know what we were doing. We were working 80 hours a week trying to figure it out, trying to get a product, trying to figure out our market fit, but were just hitting roadblock after roadblock.

Even so, we kept persisting and eventually, 12 months later we got our first opportunity to go live with users.

How did you end up in Dallas?

We were accepted into an accelerator programme in Silicon Valley, and used that as an opportunity to validate the market. That was a big deal.

Once we got here, my mandate was to learn about the market and to prepare to house the company here in the US. I looked for investors who had grown companies in the retail space, and investors that knew about it, and that’s how I ended up in Dallas.

For the last nine months, we’ve focused on building a core sales team, to help get the product to a level that it can really satisfy growth and scale, while working with our tech team based in Melbourne.

Everything is a challenge, that is why I love what I do. I get to wake up everyday and solve complex problems, and be challenged, whether or not I succeed or fail, it’s just a part of the journey.

How does Arcade differ from other kinds of sales management and workflow software?

We are all about employee engagement, so our platform is unique in that it enables leaders to sustainably motivate their salespeople and identify clear sales impact. We use data-driven analytics to help lift workforce engagement, which results in improved customer service and increased profits for the business.

Our product makes it easier for team leaders to communicate, recognise, reward and equip employees for success. Alongside these benefits, we measure the engagement of the workforce and use this information to identify the dollar value that employee engagement has in the company.

How does Arcade differ from sales automation tools?

Sales automation is about managing the sale and the customer relationship. That’s not what we do at all. The only time we interact with sales data is to give people goals, help them achieve them and recognise them when they do.

Simply put, we’re helping people address the problem of disengagement.

How do you see Arcade evolving in a future of machine learning and AI?

Workforce engagement a really exciting space to be a part of. More business leaders are making it a priority to help increase the engagement of their people, because they see the substantial impact it has on their bottom line.

Machine learning is great when applied in the right way. Where we believe there can be incredible benefit for our customers is through using ML to understand which aspects of onboarding, operations and engagement are highly correlated to employee productivity and retention.

That’s where the ongoing value of the product will exceed the utility of the software itself and that’s what I’m really excited about.

About the author

Jenna Van Schoor

Jenna Van Schoor

Jenna is Chaos and Rocketfuel's researcher and writer on everything related to the future of work.

Passionate about travel and new ways of thinking, she believes there is so much to be discovered when it comes to new technologies, perspectives and design.

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  • Data can help improve engagement. Empowering employees to think and act like owners, driving and participating in the profitable growth of the company, is more effective at driving results and engagement. Industry leaders like Southwest Airlines, Capital One and BHP Billiton, (clients of mine), and hundreds of private companies treat their employees like trusted business partners, enabling them to make more money for their company and themselves. They consistently see both profits and engagement soar. This Forbes article provides more background: http://www.forbes.com/sites/fotschcase/2016/05/31/engage-your-employees-in-making-money/