Craig Thompson: 'Mooqi aims to change the way the world works'

  • Mooqi is a mobile and web platform that “helps organisations evaluate the culture of working in their business” and is a product of Northern Ireland-based Vibrant Talent.

    Set up in 2015 by former talent acquisition and development executive Craig Thompson, the firm’s aim is to help companies become great places to work, to benefit both employer and employee.

    If necessary, Vibrant Talent will help “to transform workplace culture for higher levels of employee engagement and better business performance”.

    “I used to be responsible for managing training and recruitment in an outsourcing company,” Craig told Sync NI.

    “To be honest, it used to frustrate the life out of me. I used to be responsible for bringing people in and developing them. It was a conveyor belt of staff where I would hire people, train them and they would leave – over and over again.

    “It obviously didn’t benefit the employees, but the company was also spending so much money hiring new people.

    “That happens in so many places. I’ve worked in so many industries, and everywhere I’ve worked, the approach is that people are expendable. It wasn’t benefitting the business the individuals or me.”

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    In 2014, Craig quit his job to do some ‘soul-searching’ in Spain, and when he arrived home a year later, Vibrant Talent was born.

    “With better work culture, the best candidates will take jobs with you if you’ve built up a good reputation, they’ll take less sick days, perform better and stay longer with the company. It’s also better for client retention as our clients want to be serviced by people who are happy and doing their best work,” he continued.

    “A few years ago, the British government put together an Employee Engagement task force. They wanted to understand why British companies worked more hours, but were performing worse in comparison with their counterparts in France and Germany etc.

    “One thing they identified was that high performing businesses typically have highly engaged workforces – people want to be there and are committed to helping the company be successful.

    “What enabled a business to have this?  They found four enablers – engaging managers, a strategic narrative with clear purpose such as the feeling that their work matters, an employee voice and integrity.”

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    Craig said Vibrant had been working with organisations to develop their managers into leaders, to help them clarify and communicate their strategic narrative and to live their values but felt giving employees a voice was a crucial piece of the puzzle that was missing.

    He explained: “In certain Asian cultures and martial arts, ‘qi’ refers to an invisible life force that influences everything. I thought, what is the invisible force that influences everything in a business? And it’s the mood of the workforce. So out of ‘mood’ and ‘qi’ – Mooqi was born!”

    It sends out a pulse check to a firm’s employees towards the end of their shift each day and asks them, ‘how was your day?’

    They get to say whether it was great, good, ok, bad or terrible, and what made it that way via a selection of ‘mood factors’, in which employees can express the type of day they’ve had and that can be down to i.e. meetings, managers or co-workers.

    Managers have access to charts and reports that allow them to track the company mood, with anonymity protected, throughout the different areas of the business.

    They can learn in what areas people are happy and where they aren’t.

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    Craig said: “It was important for me that this be an ally for employees, but I also wanted it to be an ally for the management team.

    “There’s a lot of bad managers but there are also a lot of good ones. Many can feel overwhelmed that they’ve tried everything for their team but still people are not happy.

    “I was conscious that I want a manager to see Mooqi as something that can help them and not be a burden.

    “We built in a digital catalogue of bite-sized learning videos, so that a manager can access that and filter it down to learn different leadership styles, feedback models etc so that without disrupting their day, it can potentially allow them to learn something there and then they can use to hopefully solve the problem.

    "We shouldn’t forget, and we often do, that managers are employees too and so we encourage them to share their experience of work through Mooqi also.”

    Craig added that on a monthly basis they provide a Vibrant Workplace Facilitator as part of the Mooqi package to help companies closely maintain high employee engagement levels.

    “We only work with organisations that we believe truly want to be better, vibrant workplaces and want to improve the experiences their employees have because they understand that it’s better for the employees and better for the business if they do.”

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    If you want to find out more about Mooqi or Vibrant Talent Development, visit their website for more info here.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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