Founder Stories: Kristina Rodriguez of OrgVitals Brings Humanity to the Workplace

Are your employees happy? This is a question that every employer should care about—not just to be a good human, but to be a good business leader. The lines between personal and professional life have been blurred during this pandemic. How we live and work is fundamentally different, and that is here to stay. 

To keep employees happy, engaged, and productive, they need to feel supported. OrgVitals can help you proactively adjust to the needs of the modern employee without friction. 

We chatted with the company's co-founder and co-CEO, Kristina Rodriguez, about the story behind her company's origin and mission. 

What is the mission of OrgVitals?

Our goal is to ease the weight of workplace transformation to improve the employee experience with scientifically backed human intelligence. Before COVID, we saw two very distinct silos— your personal and professional life. Now that they are combined, companies are struggling to adjust to the times because the needs of the modern employee are different. OrgVitals is an integrated data and predictive intelligence platform that delivers the missing layer of visibility so companies know how to best support their workforce, not just now but well into the future. 

How did you personally become interested in workplace culture and employee wellbeing?

How we live and work is not sustainable and has not been for years. To varying degrees, we have all experienced the impact of work stress on our health and personal lives. Work stress compounded over time doesn't just impact the person, it also impacts their family, their social circles, and the greater community they live in, and we have the data to prove it.

My firsthand experience with managing health complications brought on by work stress led me to co-found OrgVitals alongside Charley Miller and Dr. Brad Shuck. We joined forces to create a new layer of visibility to ensure health and wellbeing are at the forefront of the employee experience. ‍

What inspired you to co-found OrgVitals?

I've been in the startup world for over a decade. I've consulted and worked for startups of all stages across various industries. I also worked on the other side of the spectrum in a support role, gathering sponsorship for startup community programs, launching equity-backed startup accelerators, and spearheading partnerships in corporate innovation. 

The only thing I had yet to do was launch a startup of my own. I never wanted to launch a startup just for the sake of creating a company. I always felt the problem had to be compelling enough for me to go all in. 

Well, the data shows that work stress is a civilization-level crisis, with 9 out of 10 Americans experiencing unhealthy levels of chronic stress. That figure is insane! Just think of what life might look like 30 years from now if nothing is done about it. We launched OrgVitals so our unique intelligence and predictive technology can be leveraged to create better work environments with happier and healthier individuals. 

Tell me about your team: Who's on it, and how did you meet? 

I did some Startup Ecosystem Development work in Louisville. One of the folks working closely with local founders connected me to Charley and just said, "Hey, you're both interested in a very similar space. I'm not going to tell you much but just talk and see if there's anything there." We immediately hit it off. I started working in an advisory capacity before joining as a late-stage co-founder. 

Charley Miller is my Co-founder and Co-CEO. He is a product manager and game designer by background. He co-founded, Touchcast and has multiple patents in machine learning.

Dr. Brad Shuck is our other co-founder and Chief Data Officer. He's a world-renowned speaker and expert in human behavior and organizational design. He's a tenured professor at the University of Louisville and is leading the research on the "work determinants of health," which correlates work stress to physical health outcomes. Brad's unique research in this space inspired us to create OrgVitals as a tool that companies can leverage to get ahead of the pain.

Where do you see the future of work headed?

We're on the brink of a major workplace transformation. What we have seen so far is just the beginning. When you think of innovation and all the different eras that we go through, I think we're just approaching the earliest stages of the "era of the worker." These next few years are going to be focused on what people need. Not what the business needs, but what the humans that run the business need to succeed. 

It can be quite daunting when you think of the amount of change that will take place over the next decade or so. But I think this shift in tides is also really exciting. We've heard the term "The Great Resignation" and "The Great Reevaluation." I see this as the 'Great Revitalization."

Leaders have the opportunity to refocus on how they can help their employees live better lives. And we can help them navigate this change with enriched insight and predictive intelligence.   

To sum it all up, in the future of work, I see us refocusing on the importance of humanity in the workplace, supercharged by the best of technology. 

What are some examples of how OrgVitals will come in and make the workplace situation better for someone who uses your platform? 

Right now, the standard metric in this space is engagement. We know that you can be highly engaged and highly burned out at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive. OrgVitals can spotlight areas that need attention long before a resignation letter is submitted, an employee receives a poor performance review, or a major health complication threatens someone's life. 

The needs of the modern employee are different. Through enriched data, we help organizational leaders proactively adjust to the times. OrgVitals' intelligence shows leaders how to support each employee in the way they need to be supported, rather than just rolling out general solutions. Individualized attention goes a long way in improving the relationship between the employee and the organization.

OrgVitals specializes in the intersectionality of work and life stressors to spotlight elements that are not typically evident. In the workplace, we capture the compounding effects of the social and emotional side of work. For example, if an employee does not feel like they belong in their team, maybe there's a need to train their manager on the importance of team belonging, inclusion, and unity. Suppose an employee feels like they are at the end of their career growth within their current organization. In that case, OrgVitals can uncover these concerns long before they become a flight risk so leadership can promote L&D initiatives and lean into career growth options with that individual. 

We can also capture stressors in personal life that impact work performance, like juggling childcare, long commuting times, and other issues on the homefront. In some cases, we serve as a connection point, highlighting perks or benefits already available through the employer to offset these burdens. In other cases, we can gather this data in aggregate and make recommendations to the leadership team so they can create tailored benefits and perks that will alleviate these pain points so the employee can focus on the job at hand. the future of work, I see us refocusing on the importance of humanity in the workplace, supercharged by the best of technology.

Who do you empower to take the reins to fix that—the employee or the managers? 

OrgVitals is a B2B data intelligence platform. Typically, we work with three types of buyers. 

  1. Organizational leaders focused on improving the employee experience. 
  2. Contracted consultants hired by the company as outside experts to drive key initiatives forward. 
  3. Solution providers that leverage OrgVitals to increase their effectiveness by capturing, tracking, and measuring progress over time.  

In all cases, we not only capture the data but also provide actionable insights. OrgVitals reports help our partners identify key drivers and solution gaps to decide what they want to offer their employees going forward. 

What does success look like to OrgVitals in the short term and the long term?

We have over 50 partner organizations. In the short term, we are looking to work with more organizational leaders focused on the employee experience at enterprise-sized organizations. 

 In the long term, we want to build an ecosystem of support to ease the weight of workplace transformation. We want to ensure that leaders across industries and companies of all sizes can take the data we supply and feel confident about how to take action. 

I'd love to bring these leaders, consultants, experts, and solution providers together as a cohort so they can learn from one another and create a new age of management training. Think about it; this is not an angle of work we have ever really coached people on. Human capabilities and workforce wellbeing are not mainstream business school concepts just yet. We want to bring the best mind together to share best practices so that the next generation has the support they need from the start. 

Find out more about OrgVitals at Are you a startup based in or looking to relocate to Kentucky? Keyhorse’s current quarterly investment cycle is open until September 30th! Apply now.

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