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Contributed By Todd Richardson

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I’ve had some remarkable opportunities in my professional life. I’ve worked hard and been surrounded by talented, like-minded people, and we’ve done some damn cool things. But now—for the first time—I get to do something that aligns precisely with my passion. It’s unprecedented, and it’s awesome.

>When I started as a labor and employment attorney, I had to master the technical nuances of business administrative functions. When I transitioned to a legal role at homebuilder CP Morgan, I learned the flipside of that same coin—how to best apply those technical nuances in business. With ExactTarget, I took another leap closer to my passion. Throughout our seven-year whirlwind of exponential growth, I got to study firsthand the dramatic impact of our distinctive culture. Strategically maximizing our administrative operations—and channeling the full-fledged cultural explosion (#ForeverOrange)—played an integral role in our success, IPO, and ultimate $2.7B acquisition by Salesforce.com in 2013.

In the wake of ExactTarget, I’ve continued my cultural crusade. Through my business, Cadence Consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to advise, strategize with, and learn from organizations around the country, and I’ve kept my finger on the changing landscape of HR. I’ve been able to tap into my passion for culture and engagement, but faced the inherent scalability limits that impugn consultancy.

But now, with Emplify, my passion pinpoints the very crux of the business, and the scalability is unrestrained. My calling is to counsel and stress to businesses that back office operations are just as important as go-to-market operations and to enable those teams to achieve their full potential. Emplify created an innovative mobile culture and engagement platform that does just that. It’s simple, it’s comprehensive, and it’s ushering in a new age of HR.

The Emplify solution meets head-on the common pitfalls to culture and engagement—and does so on an innovative mobile platform, already relevant to and integrated with people’s daily lives.

The reality is this: mobile is the new internet. In 2014 and 2015, the average US adult spent more time accessing the internet via their phones than their laptops, and we’re still barely approaching mobile’s global exponential growth. From 2012 to 2015, mobile marketing grew from a $139 billion business to a $400 billion industry. People expect what they want when they want it, and it’s transforming the fundamental underpinnings of how we do business.

We already understand intuitively the power of social technologies to track consumer data, gather insights, and bolster customer support. But twice as much potential value lies in using social tools internally to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration—proven to raise productivity by 20-25%. Smartphones are time-critical, responsive, and accessible. We unlock and look at our phones 150 times a day and 92% of full-time US workers already use their smartphones for work purposes.

We’re seeing a radically disruptive shift in HR from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement.” It’s a re-purposing of software—from back office data automation to self-service platforms, and from static, one-way communications toward a real-time dialogue of engagement. HR is going mobile, and it’s working. Employees are two to five times more likely to access HR applications on their smartphones than their PCs, and they find them 60% more engaging. It’s the consumerization of corporate systems, which essentially means treating employees like we treat customers. Mobile, with its one-click, one-swipe ease, will become HR’s primary interface.

Emplify is harnessing the power of mobile to cultivate internal culture and employee engagement—real engagement that prompts material improvements in employees’ daily lives and enables them to do their jobs better. Emplify created its own company app to meet internal and cultural needs, to be a one stop source for all things company-related, and a month later it’s been a wild success. We’ve seen a 100% download rate, increased participation in events, and a record number of submissions for our recognition program (more submissions than number of employees last quarter). It works because it’s a central, mobile place where employees can access useful information. It’s a focused, purpose-built tool for our internal communications team. It’s a way to gather feedback, promote recognition, boost productivity, increase alignment, and centralize resources. It’s a beautiful product that fits seamlessly with the reality of users’ lives—who, in this case, are our own employees.

This platform has enormous potential to meet the demands of the changing HR landscape and transform company cultures everywhere. In the past, I could influence the culture of my business. Now, I can devote my years of experience, learning, and insights to impact the culture of all organizations. This is where my passion and purpose collide. I’m thrilled to get to work toward a future I have long believed in alongside other hungry, centered people hellbent on changing the world.

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