2000 Innovation Optimas Award Profile Jellyvision

Awarded to a department that has seized an opportunity to expand or improve its role. The innovation marks a departure for the winner and the HR field.

July 28, 2000

Real HR: Jellyvision is a production company at the leading edge of the new economy.

The company creates fully interactive entertainment experiences -- its products include the popular interactive game, "You Don’t Know Jack" – and likens itself to film studios more than software developers.

The company’s success depends on the creativity of its writers, composers, programmers and others that create the experiences.

Jellyvision has been very successful, more than doubling in size from 30 to 65 people in just over two years.

Although such growth is generally positive, it also makes it tougher to maintain creative momentum. Keeping those employees is another challenge.

The HR function at Jellyvision was created when the company had just 30 employees specifically to address employee concerns (dissatisfaction with compensation and benefits, lack of feedback, staffing issues) that threatened workforce stability.

Real Impact: HR first addressed "traditional" issues. Salaries were adjusted, a bonus system created, a 401(k) plan added, a mentor program developed, and a performance review system implemented.

But in other ways, HR at Jellyvision has been as unconventional as the company’s products.

As these changes were made, HR has helped the company grow and has successfully brought two functions previously outsourced (engineering and graphic art) into the organization.