In a world that too often sacrifices people’s well-being for success, Quan wants to change that. Their vision is to be the tech-driven game-changer who empowers companies to think of employee well-being as another business KPI and driver of a more sustainable kind of growth.
How Quan came to be.
Co-Founders Arosha Brouwer and Lucy Howie first met in 2018 when they were introduced through a mutual colleague. The combined power of their very different professional backgrounds (Arosha a former management consultant, and Lucy a former tech executive) allowed them to immediately see eye-to-eye on the growing need in the business community to rethink its approach to employee performance. Inspired by the research Arosha has done previously on the ways of working in Silicon Valley, where the combination of data and psychology is used to improve work systems, the two chose to start exploring how tech could play a key role in positively impacting employee well-being as a way to measurably improve performance at work.
The Impact of COVID-19.
With the rise of COVID-19, much of the business world was thrown suddenly into a forced blending of work and home which presented the Quan team with a unique opportunity. The Quan team was not only able to analyze the impact the pandemic had on mental health thanks to the heightened attention that this was receiving in business, academia and in the media, but also saw many of the corporate clients that Arosha had been consulting with over the past years finally be receptive to considering tech as a potential source of support.
The team took all the research they had already done on the topic of well-being and for eight weeks straight focused on developing a working beta of their digital employee-wellbeing solution - one that takes a holistic view of wellbeing across five dimensions:
- social connection,
- and self-fulfillment across both individual’s work and personal lives.
How the app works.
Ease of use was a key goal for the team, so once someone completes the 5-7 minutes assessment they immediately receive their results in the app - a personal well-being index, which highlights their sources of strength and potential pain points at work and at home. As a first test of its own scientific framework,Quan was the first team to do the assessment and make concrete decisions on ways of working based on the results. For example, they decided to reduce the number and standard length of team meetings and rely more on all the collaborative features built into their work environment so that people could more effectively set up their focus time and not be distracted by as many interruptions to their days.
The Journey of Well-being.
While each team member’s past professional experience is unique and has affected their personal well-being journeys in different ways, Arosha and Lucy both agree that working at Quan, where the whole team is “living and breathing well-being” every day, has been a real eye-opener.
“We all know that startup life is a unique kind of hustle - raising funding, trying to land those first customers, building every aspect of your company from the ground up - the work is relentless and one of the biggest, and most rewarding, professional experiences of my life,” notes Arosha.
“And I am amazed everyday by the little ways that our team, under so much pressure all the time, holds that space for each other's well-being.”
The Quan team is convinced that it’s not just big corporates that can and should build well-being into their success story - startups and scaleups can benefit from a platform like Quan’s because it establishes the foundation for building a company culture that sets them up for success.
As female co-founders one of the biggest challenges Arosha and Lucy have experienced first hand is the positioning of female leaders within the Netherlands. In 2020 only around 1% of funding went to female-led startups, and their own experience only confirms the impact that has on the experience of raising seed funding. Finding the “right” investors within a predominantly male industry is decidedly one of the most frustrating parts of their journey.
“You hear, your numbers aren’t ambitious enough from one, then your numbers are too unrealistic from another… if we listened to all the conflicting advice we received over the last year we would not have achieved anything.”
Opposites Definitely Attract.
There might just be something in the saying that opposites attract - Arosha and Lucy are the first to admit,
“even at Quan we don’t always get our own well-being right every time, but we’re just at the beginning of our success story, and we’re 100% sure we’ve got the team behind us that will figure out how to put well-being at the heart of success.”