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Digitalized HR practices to connect dispersed teams
Staffmatch, a new-generation temporary employment agency, gains success very quickly, with fifteen physical agencies opening throughout France. Uniting ever more dispersed teams becomes a challenge.
Staffmatch, a new generation temporary employment agency, created in April 2015, is taking on the challenge of revolutionising the market and breaking down the preconceived notions of “traditional” temporary employment agencies. Their approach is based on:
Staffmatch is now present nationwide, with a hundred permanent employees and over 50,000 temporary employees.
The company was an immediate success and the medium-sized company now has fifteen physical agencies throughout France, with new openings planned in the coming months. The problem of uniting increasingly numerous and dispersed teams quickly became apparent. The HR teams then defined 4 priority axes to meet the following challenges:
About 60 employees work at Staffmatch’s HQ, covering a variety of different functions such as sales, HR, accounting, customer service, etc. The other teams are spread over 15 sites throughout France. The HR teams therefore wondered how to get feedback from all employees regarding satisfaction with their work and the company and also how to best meet their needs to ensure talent retention.
HR was already in regular communication with employees via internal tools, emails, messaging platforms or by phone. However, they wanted to go further in supporting employees individually and strengthening team cohesion across France. This meant allowing employees to share professional and even personal information and allowing managers to measure the commitment and mood of their teams in real time. It was also important to be able to easily find this information to refer to during the monthly reviews, the yearly performance reviews or when there was a specific problem to solve.
We wanted to strengthen the cohesion between the teams scattered across the country and go further in supporting employees individually. We therefore needed a tool that would allow everyone to express themselves and share professional, emotional or personal information at any time.
Lauriane Jublot, Relation and development manager
Lauriane Jublot joined Staffmatch in 2018 as a recruitment officer and is currently the Relation and Development Manager in charge of various HR development projects designed to simplify the lives of teams. She therefore wanted an agile and ready-to-use tool that would quickly bring results without disrupting the organisation or the HR back-office. In other words, she wanted a modern tool to really improve the teams’ employee experience, that did not require too much investment and time from HR.
After extensive research into the different tools on the market, they chose Zest, allowing them to go beyond just listening and to create a virtuous circle of employee engagement via its three modular solutions: Listen, Perform and Share. Zest’s Customer Success team then supported Staffmatch’s HR team in implementing the online solution and shared best practices to exploit its full potential and adapt it to the needs of the company.
Support from the Zest team was very important. It was a true collaboration during which we felt listened to and free to ask all our questions to achieve a common goal: to be the best.
HR prepared employees for the arrival of the new tool, a crucial phase in its implementation. They communicated extensively about the benefits of Zest for employees: involvement in the life of the company and taking employee ideas and opinions into account and valuing them, among other things.
In order for everyone to gradually become familiar with the interface and functionalities of the online solution, the module Listen was the first to be offered, owing to its incredibly simple, visual and intuitive nature. A gradual implementation of the tool helped to create a positive dynamic regarding its use. Its intuitive nature also helped to facilitate its adoption. Moreover, it was very important that HR responded to questions and requests as they came in: regular follow-up was essential to facilitating acceptance of the tool.
The average age of Staffmatch employees is 28. These younger generations need to be listened to and solutions quickly found when a problem is encountered. The Mood module of Zest’s Listen pillar allows managers/HR to check-in on teams regarding how they are feeling and to detect difficult situations.
Lauriane Jublot notes that, if a problem arises within a team regarding a colleague or manager, it is easier for the employee to report it via a low mood than to send an email or even a message on Slack. Moreover, by indicating this mood via Zest, they know that the information will be directly forwarded to HR. This is reassuring for both employees and HR: employees know that their problem will be dealt with quickly and HR knows that they will be alerted in real time at the slightest problem.
Within a month, Staffmatch employees had gotten the hang of Zest and were used to reporting their moods on a daily basis, making the approach all the more effective. Some of them were even asking to use the other features!
Using Zest’s Survey module, Staffmatch was able to survey its employees on all sorts of topics related to the life of the company, such as choosing the name of a project for example. Response rates were between 75% and 90%, which emphasises just how important it is for employees to have the opportunity to express their opinions. When an idea from a survey is acted upon or a problem is addressed, the employee feels valued and appreciated.
All team results recorded in the tool are broken down by team, site, region, etc., according to the company’s organisation. Employees always have the option to respond anonymously, which is reassuring for many employees (depending on the topic of the survey). This was an important feature for HR to emphasise in communication about the survey in order to maximise the response rate.
Lauriane Jublot points out that, regardless of the tool, some people may not wish to give their opinion on certain subjects and this must be accepted: the tool allows everyone to express themselves, publicly or anonymously, but it is in no way an obligation.
Every three months, the HR team launches a campaign via the module Engagement Meter of the Listen pillar to measure the team’s levels of engagement. The tool displays a graphical representation (available in several possible formats) that illustrates this engagement based on different topics or themes: the relationship with the manager, the teams’ feelings about the new tools, etc. The information collected allows HR to assess themselves: to know if they are performing well and to understand the employee satisfaction regarding their role or working conditions.
The Engagement Meter provides a framework with axes of engagement that allow HR and managers to implement actions to improve employee experience and track their impact from a dashboard.
Zest is like an employee’s logbook. On its interface, an employee can find all the information related to their life in the company: their moods, survey responses or notes from performance reviews carried out with their manager.
After accompanying and training employees to use Zest to listen to employees, HR and Zest teams moved on to the second step: training managers in the administration of a space dedicated to them, in particular in the use of the pillar Perform of the Zest digital suite, to facilitate talent management in real time.
Just like HR, managers need to be able to collect and analyse the information expressed by their teams in order to respond. With Zest’s module Check-in, they can manage talent through monthly exchanges, allowing them to quickly identify sticking points and coach employees as they go along. As the content of these exchanges is centralised in the tool, it can then be used to enrich annual and professional reviews. Combined with the information collected via the pillar Listen, managers are able to conduct a 360° interview with each team member.
The more we use the tool, the more the data is connected to each other and, therefore, it is consolidated and useful.
Zest’s tool allows you to draw inspiration from examples of performance reviews, with different themes and different answer formats available: MCQ, scale, weather symbol, etc. Local managers could therefore use the rituals and conversation frames proposed by HR and easily adapt them to their needs. However, questions were deliberately left open so that the employee could develop the different topics in more depth with their manager.
Using Zest, HR has a global view of all previous and upcoming reviews along with their status. They can therefore follow up with managers who are behind schedule to invite them to complete the reviews within the deadlines imposed by law. This real-time monitoring, combined with automatic alerts informing HR of impending deadlines, saves them considerable time and optimises organisational functioning.
Before Zest, we were using Excel files for our annual and professional reviews. It was impossible to find the information we needed… In addition, we had no idea where we were in the process of completing these reviews, even though we had to meet the deadlines imposed by the legal framework.
Because of Zest’s modular nature, Staffmatch’s HR teams have chosen to deploy it in stages. Almost a year after its first implementation, they are now considering adding the module Objectives from the pillar Perform. In addition to Staffmatch’s internal performance measurement tools, they want employees to be able to see some of their objectives on Zest’s dashboard. This will allow them to evaluate themselves in terms of the different objectives they have set for themselves or assigned by their manager.
Most importantly, these objectives can be linked to the reviews so that managers and employees can discuss them during monthly Check-ins. This is a particularly interesting approach for supporting the professional development of employees and defining their career plans.
Zest allows operational staff, managers and directors to benefit from feedback from teams on various topics, and of course HR to optimise their organisation and employee development. Everyone wins.