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About Us
Using Harkn

Our Origin Story

January 02, 2023   ·  

We started as a management consulting business focusing on working with leadership teams on their "good to great" style story. As part of our work, we'd run an exercise asking the group to describe their culture on its best imaginable day. As you can imagine, we'd get pictures and stories of truly inspiring workplaces. Then, we'd ask them to describe their culture today. The stories and images were less inspiring. Finally, we'd reveal the same exercise we'd already done with their people. The result was always the same – shock. The gap between the three versions was more significant than anyone could imagine and was largely down to a lack of insight beyond periodic surveys and informal mechanisms. 

To overcome this issue, we developed a product that would fill the gap between periodic surveys and provide a reliable and real-time picture of day-to-day life inside workplaces.

We launched under the name Happiness Lab in 2017 with our beta product - a simple daily check-in routine that asked employees two questions

Those two elements still feature in Harkn today, albeit they've been refined and enhanced along the way.

Harkn has been a multi-year experiment of testing and learning how we can help organisations to understand more of the day-to-day realities of their workplaces.  To do that, we've had to learn how to encourage employees to use their voices, what silences them, and how you can use anonymity (a fundamental of safety) whilst still achieving practical outcomes in matters of individual wellbeing concern. 

And, once we understand how to activate voices, what might we do with the new information we're hearing from people?

Over the years since, as we've learned, we've invested consistently in developing and refining Harkn to maximise the potential of this new approach to understanding workplaces:

We couldn't have predicted how important the features we were investing in would become in a post-covid workplace, but it's increasingly clear that we've developed a unique 'of-the-moment' tool that addresses many of the challenges presented by our new ways of working.

WellbeingHealthy companiesLeadershipEmployee engagementPurpose