The 1 Star status has been awarded to Clearswift as a result of the efforts made to improve employee engagement. This positive leap forward, following being named as ‘one to watch’ for the last two years, is very pleasing and reflects how Clearswift has delivered on a commitment made to its employees.
Best Companies have been striving for ‘organizational clarity’ through producing and publishing the 'Best Companies to Work For' lists since 2001, in order to measure and acknowledge excellence in workplace engagement. Each year hundreds of organizations from a wide range of industries use their employee survey to measure the engagement of employees. The responses from these surveys are collated and combined to produce an overall engagement score for each organization. This score represents a robust, transparent measure of employee engagement enabling progressive employers such as Clearswift to attain a representative star status and benchmark themselves against other companies keen to gain competitive advantage by measuring, recognizing and improving employee engagement levels.
This year, Clearswift was proud to be accredited as a 1 Star Company – but what does this mean to Clearswift, its employees, its prospective employees and where to next? Clearswift’s Global HR Director, Jacqui Summons has a candid Q&A session with Chief Executive Heath Davies to find out more.
JS: As Chief Exec of Clearswift why is employee engagement important to you?
HD: Employees that are engaged are much more likely to stay in an organisation. Salary, job role, benefits etc all play a part but it is engagement that has the biggest impact
JS: You joined the company just over two years ago. What immediate steps did you take to identify areas for improvement upon joining?
HD: Face to face meetings with each employee
Themes from those meetings led to 3 clear focus areas:
1. No company vision – we now have a strong vision to which every employee is aligned; Clearswift enables secure collaboration by delivering 100% visibility of critical information, 100% of the time.
2. Communication – continued some of the effective employee communications, such as a monthly newsletter and considerably improved the content of quarterly updates. After every event we survey our employees to take feedback and to ensure that the meeting is as relevant and effective for all functions. We have also improved the induction process for new hires with regular follow up meetings and a buddy. When people do decide to move on exit interviews are rigorously held and feedback on issues goes back to the relevant team manager.
3. Management – We have invested heavily in training to improve the level of management skill across the business. Each manager has a personal development plan and undergoes a 360 feedback process.
JS: How does this achievement support your overall business plan?
HD: Myself and the Executive team have agreed an ambitious 3 year plan for the business
1. Double the size of our business
2. Deliver 100% of our business through channel partners
3. Become synonymous with Data Loss Prevention and be a recognized industry leader
In order to achieve these ambitious goals we need to be able to attract and retain the best possible talent. We need to be a great place to work.
JS: You and the Executive Management team have obviously made many positive changes during the last two years. What has been your most significant achievement?
HD: When I joined retention was very poor outside of the UK headquarters and engagement levels significantly lagged behind. We were very much a UK business, with a few countries “bolted on “. Now we operate as a global business, with an internationally focussed Executive team and engagement levels, as demonstrated by our recent Best Companies survey, have significantly improved and are on par with the UK
JS: Where are the areas that you still consider need focus?
HD: We need to continue to focus on building an effective middle management team. Using data from the Employee Survey, we have clear feedback on who are our better managers and who could improve and our focus now is on supporting all of our managers to reach their potential. This is critical as we know that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.
JS: What are your plans to continue to improve Employee Engagement across the business?
HD: As in previous years we will do a very thorough “deep dive” into the results of our survey and particularly at the many constructive comments made by employees and we will build action plans that will address areas for improvement. Each department head will work with their individual teams in order to look for improvements based on the responses we’ve received. We will also being using for the first time the detailed manager feedback that will enable us to support the development of our management team. All of these improvements will help us to sustain our 1 star status and ultimately move us into a 2 and 3 star company in due course.