Press

Local tech startup GAGE going national

October 27, 2022
Gordon Jackson
The Brunswick News
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GAGE, the first tech platform created in the Golden Isles, is preparing to go national.

The GAGE app will enable employees and employers to communicate with each other in a way that is designed to encourage positive growth in the workplace.

There are 22 companies that are currently using the app, including 11 from outside Henshaw Companies that are in the midst of beta testing to identify any ways to improve the app before it goes national on Jan. 2.

“We have a product we want to perfect before we go to market,” said Justin Henshaw, creator of the Gage app.

The lack of an opportunity to advance a career is the No. 1 issue among workers, he said. Employers want accountability from their workers and employees want transparency from their bosses, he said. Both sides need to communicate, and that’s where the app comes in.

Scores for workers and bosses measure how employable they are.

The app will be as universal as a credit score that can be taken from workplace to workplace if enough employers of all sizes nationwide use it. That has already happened at the local level, Henshaw said.

Henshaw said he recently lost one of his employees who was hired by a local business using the Gage app. When the manager learned what his former employee’s Gage score was, she was hired immediately, he said.

So far, no money has been spent on marketing, but Henshaw said that will change in early December with a marketing campaign.

To date there are 182 businesses, mostly local, on his waiting list for the app.

“Gage is more than a platform, more than an app,” he said. “We want to create a better way moving forward.”

The app is especially popular among younger workers, many in entry-level jobs.

“They love it because every day matters,” he said. “It is about rewarding those that do good work every day.”

Henshaw has made the presentation 22 times to explain the app, with positive feedback every time. According to an evaluation of a survey by the College of Coastal Georgia, those younger than 25 years old were supportive of the app.

“It’s the employees we are here for,” he said. “Only a small portion of the score is based on human feedback.”

The way it works is when someone does a good job, peers and supervisors can give each other high fives. These reinforce good behavior and move the needle up. A nudge is not so much a reprimand as it is a reminder or suggestion and is intended to help an employee understand where they fall short and to improve.

The app also evaluates soft skills such as communication, leadership and the ability of being a team player.

“Ideas such as Gage are being compared to a Fitbit, Gage replacing the resume and the motivation factor that Gage provides are all selling points,” the study said. “The main concern for Gage is the worry of management showing bias towards certain employees by giving them a higher amount of high fives, while giving others a higher amount of nudges.”

Henshaw has high expectations once the app gets marketed.

“This could be national very quickly,” he said. “We see this changing the world. Young people need purpose, guidance and meaning to their work.”

If the app takes off the way Henshaw anticipates, he said a local team will be built, but many employees will work in different locations across the country.

“The type of talent we need is all over the country,” he said. “Customer service has to be paramount.”

Henshaw said regardless of how successful his start-up will be, the headquarters will always be in the Golden Isles.

“This is my home,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

For more information or to get on the waiting list, visit www.gagework.com