It’s increasingly difficult for companies to reach hourly workers, and vice versa - and the disconnect is growing. About 80% of the workforce doesn’t sit at a desk, and often don’t have access to a computer or corporate emails - but most have a cell phone. Hourly workers are the backbone of many major companies, and communicating with them is key to productivity. The current system isn’t working - so Sheila Stafford and her team set out to fix it with TeamSense, a texting platform connecting hourly employees to their companies that actually works for both sides.
We’re thrilled to share more about our latest investment in TeamSense, which today announced its $4M seed round. Hear all about it from CEO & Co-Founder Sheila Stafford in the interview below.
TeamSense provides a text-based workflow solution for manufacturers that is focused initially on frontline hourly worker attendance, which is a major pain point. Today, the primary way to report, track, and fill absences is through phone calls, voicemail recordings, and manual spreadsheets. Shift managers can’t access these voicemails in a timely manner to allow for timely staffing changes, and they are subject to error as they re-key them into a system. TeamSense is changing this by providing an easy way for manufacturing companies to engage with their frontline employees - starting with attendance tracking and increasing levels of connection through additional product offerings over time.
Why You Should Pay Attention
TeamSense meets hourly workers where they are at a time where absenteeism is at record levels and employee privacy concerns abound. There are many kinds of workforce management software tools out there, but there are significant downsides for hourly workers - and in fact, many of these technological advancements are actually leaving people behind. Some may not have smartphones with the ability to download apps. Apps can be complicated to use and single out team members who aren’t comfortable learning and using new technology. Union agreements can also prevent the use of an app, period. Text, on the other hand, is common ground. 98% of text messages are opened—90% are read in the first three minutes. By leveraging text, TeamSense helps companies communicate in ways their teams already know and understand, without having to download apps or learn new tech. It’s compliant, easy, and effective.
The current manual process is risky, messy, and time-consuming for companies. TeamSense is a modern employee call out system that sees 100% adoption, zero disputes and immediate ROI by providing employees with a seamless way to call out of work. It helps management teams to efficiently oversee absenteeism without the added pressure of manual error in obtaining accurate employee numbers. The magic of TeamSense is just how fast and easy it is to adopt and implement across large hourly workforces. At HelloFresh, for example, it took just 48 hours to roll out to 4,500 employees, and now they’re enjoying 50% less time spent managing attendance at their distribution center.
How it Works
For absence management, the hero product, an employee sends a text message to report their absence and answers a set of customized questions to ensure the absence is properly coded. Their manager gets a status alert in real-time, and a copy of the alert is sent through email for employee records. TeamSense quickly adopted generative AI to make it even easier for employees to communicate with their employers with the right workflow. Rather than having to text a specific term to trigger the absence workflow, for example, employees can text in their own words something like “my son is sick” and TeamSense automatically knows which workflow to engage. That digital connection, and a system workers trust, is key. TeamSense provides several solutions to help bridge the connectivity gap between companies and their hourly employees, including engagement and pulse surveys: providing a platform for real-time feedback from team members; an employee portal: allowing remote ease of access to internal resources, and text to apply: a simple and effective way to attract new talent.
Why We’re Invested
The TeamSense team has deep roots in manufacturing - Sheila has led manufacturing teams at Whirlpool and General Motors - and understands their customers' pain point of call-offs and the harsh impact worker absenteeism has on overall plant productivity. Because the text-based system is so easy to adopt, it’s reliably used and loved by both frontline workers and managers alike - a rare feat in a traditional, established industry like manufacturing. As a result, they have created a strong wedge with some of the largest manufacturers in North America, like Anheuser-Busch, McCormick, DHL, and Hello Fresh - and they’re just getting started.
Watch Sheila and Haley’s interview below to learn more about TeamSense and her vision to put manufacturing companies in touch with their frontline workers. See TeamSense in action, request a demo, and try out the Absence Management ROI calculator.