Instead of a Google calendar over here, a group email over there, and that important HR paperwork buried somewhere in your inbox, customer experience agency Basecraft is creating a tidy home for the inner-workings of small companies with Middle.
The new take on a company intranet is the first product the agency has built for and by itself. The entirely self-funded project filled a gap other services just weren’t providing.
“Before our own team had Middle, Basecraft didn’t have a single place that our employees could lookup someone’s phone number or birthday; or a place to share progress on our team goals, even though our culture is very goal-oriented,” CEO Chris Hamrick says. “We were guilty of being a successful company that was highly disorganized.”
As the agency grew, so did the need for a tool that connected employees and created a central touchpoint for company information – all while appealing to Basecraft’s largely millennial workforce. Development began in September of 2015 before an internal launch in January of 2016. By summer of that year, beta clients came on board, followed by a public launch last month.
Middle’s robust features are suited for smaller businesses with five to 99 employees. Prices start at $50/month for the entire team, with no per-use charges or fees. And, there’s nothing to install. Middle’s cloud-based solution is accessible via web browser or iOS and Android app.
When it comes to functionality, Middles presents nine categories: sharing, things, check-ins, events, goals, polls, pins, people and badges. It all adds up to a better way to communicate and store files. It’s also helping small businesses do more with less. Important facets that fall to the wayside when a team is focused on generating revenue, like HR and cultural policies, are apparent and organized.
A colorful dashboards greets users with a snapshot of important information. There’s a lineup of who is in and out of the office (check-ins), important notes (pins), company goals, upcoming events, and a stream of shared content from employees. That stream could include everything from polls about where the office should go to lunch today, to articles users find interesting.
Another tab curates a list of events, employee birthdays and work anniversaries. Each user also gets a profile with a few fun facts about themselves and important details like contact information. Things is a place to store documents – HR policies and information, logos, WiFi passwords, tools and more.
Badges encourage employees to interact with a company’s middle platform. Hamrick sites research that shows the benefits of employees having a tool where they feel connected and engaged. A Forbes study found younger generations value transparency and sharing in the workplace. Another found that companies with engaged employees outperformed those without by over 200 percent.
“With millennials now being the largest demographic group in the workforce, companies will have to think differently,” Hamrick says. “To a millennial, work is as much a lifestyle as it is a place to make money. They perform best when they feel included, bonded with their team and receive frequent recognition. Middle was designed to help companies hit all of these engagement triggers.”
For businesses interested in Middle, trial-runs are available. Hamrick also says they plan to release a new feature for the platform each month in 2017.
For more information, visit middleapp.com.