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How we went from hosting parenting classes in grocery stores to serving over 7 million employees.

Much like with people, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember what an organization was like in its infancy after a decade and a half of growth. There’s an enduring myth, fed in large part by Silicon Valley, that corporate expansion happens overnight. Most people don’t recognize that most companies’ journeys from fledgling startup to established enterprise are not a straight path. In honor of Small Business Month, we, therefore, take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come in the past fourteen years.

Helping parents, right from the start

Believe it or not, LifeSpeak began as a series of in-person parenting courses called mothering n’ more! back in the spring of 2004. We knew from firsthand experience how hectic parents’ schedules are, so our idea was to bring the classes to the parents. Grocery stores seemed like a natural fit, and we were fortunate enough to find a few locations that kindly allowed us to set up on-site. We hosted sessions a few times a week and covered all kinds of parenting topics ranging from children’s nutrition and fitness to cognitive development and bullying.

Going digital allowed us to expand

It wasn’t long before we realized we could help so many more people if we were available when and where they wanted the help, not just where we were providing the help. Hosting in-person sessions, though helpful and convenient for parents, had its limitations.  Fortunately, these challenges were easily overcome by making our lessons available online. Parents would no longer have to wait to attend; they could access any and all of our materials 24/7/365 wherever they happened to be.

Bringing the experts to our users

Our digital content library began to grow in the ensuing years, encompassing a wider variety of subjects like preventative health, career development, and relationships. Parents weren’t the only ones benefiting from our services anymore, so we pivoted to focus more broadly on employee well-being and engagement. As valuable as our product was, we felt like our users users wanted an even more direct access to the experts whose advice they were seeking. That’s why we decided to start offering live Ask the Expert web chats. This way our users could have their personal questions answered anonymously by a professional in real time.

Total well-being for all employees

We had 500 expert trainings in March 2012. That number had doubled by the beginning of 2015, and as of today we have close to 2000 trainings available to our users. Our content spans eleven categories: Physical Conditions & Diseases, Preventative Health, Mental Health, Stress Management & Resilience, Relationships, Financial Health, Disability & Absence Management, Professional Development, Leadership & Management Skills, Children’s Health, and Parenting & Caregiving. We’ve been adding a steady stream of new features along the way too, including quizzes, personalization functionality, and integration with other employer resources to better serve our users.

Today, and beyond

It’s such an honor for us to be able to make a difference in the lives of 7 million employees around the world. The challenges facing employers have become radically more complex in the past decade, and we’re glad to play a role in helping HR look out for their staff, whether it means facilitating difficult conversations, bolstering training resources, or guiding employees toward healthier decisions. To find out how we can boost employee well-being and engagement in your organization, book a free demo today.