A conversation with Melis Abacıoğlu, founder of the Employee Wellbeing Platform: Wellbees

Wellbees is a one-stop shop for everything related to employee wellbeing. HR departments that have implemented Wellbees in their organizations report 82% savings in time and money.

What does it mean to be a one stop shop? For us, it means addressing all comfort zones and all levels of the organization, allowing in employees who are willing to make change and those who want to learn a little more.

1. As each team member is unique, their needs will be unique as well. Mental health may be the most popular wellbeing topic today, but individual needs will constantly change, which is why we address all eight segments of wellbeing: physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, social, environmental, intellectual, professional

2. We do not believe that getting “well” is the sole responsibility of the employee or HR. It should be a collaborative effort where line managers, C-suite and the board should come together to create an environment that can create a culture of wellbeing within the organization. Because of this, Wellbees is a 360-degree platform. Employees can open challenges, events and clubs for each other to promote this culture

3. After all, it is about accompanying people on their way. Not everyone will be in the same place in this behavior change adventure. Therefore, giving employees only access to coaches or only meditations will not work. A multi-layered approach is required. Wellbees serves the entire change funnel: helping people from “clueless and unwilling to act” to “ready for change” by offering various features including but not limited to feel-good content, social interactions, experts and more!

Wellbees - platform for employee well-being

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Rewind to 2012. I’m overworked, miserable and looking out my window in Frankfurt, where I’m opening a hospital for a chain. I suffered from depression for about a month and wasn’t sure where to start to address the issue. I figured going into healthcare and “curing” people would be right for me. It was not. I wanted to help people thrive, not just be okay. That’s when I started looking for a way to help myself.

I’ve always loved movement. It was a way for me to recharge. So I started preparing for a marathon. That got me out of the state I was in. Sport helped me, so I was sure it could help others. So I imported pedometers from Holland. Pedometers were hot back then! I thought I would give my very own “cure” to everyone by selling these pedometers. But… nobody bought them! Literally not a single pedometer was sold.

Day after day I thought my entrepreneurial life would end before it even began and I had to find a solution. I thought why not try selling these to a company and explore that avenue. The first meeting I held was with a large bank. Today I’m still thinking about how on earth they gave me a chance with the email I sent them.

When I went there they said, “Melis, that’s great, but can you organize a run for us? We don’t care about the pedometers.” So I organized this run. In the meantime I got other meetings with other companies. No one was interested in the devices, but they wanted coaching, on-site psychologists, nutritional counseling projects.

This is how Wellbees came about. There is a huge $40 billion market for employee wellbeing. I wrote my master’s thesis on this topic, received training from BJFogg, the behavior change professor at Stanford University, and now we’re here today with over 40 clients.

How has the company performed during the pandemic?

When COVID happened, we had already set up the platform with Product-Market-Fit. It was just a matter of making sure that HR professionals were also aware that this was the solution they were looking for.

Look and embrace it: In the last 18 months we have grown to over 40 customers in 14 countries serving their 100,000 employees in seven languages.

What can we expect from Wellbees in the future?

Wellbees is about to complete its investment round in the UK and is accelerating its growth. We want to become the one product that is synonymous with the category.

Our three most important goals for the immediate future are:

1. Improve our already great algorithm so that our personalized employee suggestions can help them even more. Currently, employees who are socially connected on Wellbees show up to 15% more positive mood levels and those who consult with experts feel up to 12% happier

2. Extend our reach further into the UK with upcoming social events like the LOOP Summit and the exciting cross-company Wellbees Challenge

3. Help HR professionals further quantify their ROI with our insights tool

https://techround.co.uk/interviews/a-chat-with-melis-abacioglu-wellbees/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-chat-with-melis-abacioglu-wellbees A conversation with Melis Abacıoğlu, founder of the Employee Wellbeing Platform: Wellbees

Fry Electronics Team

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