Assent team in front their office

How Assent used Officevibe to launch new EX programs

Success Story

8m

Jillian Mitchell, Human Resources Business Partner at Assent, spoke to us about why the company of 1,000+ employees uses Officevibe and how it helped them launch new employee experience programs.

Assent is a supply chain management solution company that serves the world’s complex manufacturers.

Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Company size 1,000

Industry IT Services

Fostering a healthy and positive workplace can be challenging when managing large teams across the globe. It can get even tougher to offer a genuine employee experience when you’ve hired your thousandth employee.   

For enterprises like Assent, an Ottawa-based supply chain management solution company that recently hit the four-figure employee milestone, rapid growth and expansion bring about inspiring new opportunities, but can also come with their fair share of engagement challenges.   

To ensure their culture and employee experience remained intact, Jillian Mitchell, Human Resources Business Partner at Assent, sought out a more efficient way to check in on their teams and create a supportive and open communication channel between employees and management.   

“Officevibe is the bedrock; it’s the foundation for understanding our employee sentiment.”

Jillian Mitchell, Human Resources Business Partner at Assent

We sat down with Jillian to dig deeper into why Assent implemented Officevibe and how the enterprise uses the software to launch new employee experience programs and keep engagement high across their distributed teams.   

What is the biggest challenge in your role as an HR business partner?    

Keeping a pulse in real time of employee engagement, sentiment, and motivations is a constant part of my job. Everybody has their own perspective and lens, which they look through every single day.

“You can’t read people’s minds. That can be challenging as it poses a potential gap that you can’t fill by assuming you know what people want.  You must be curious. And you must be backed by data. That’s where a tool like Officevibe comes in—to help bridge the gap.”

Jillian Mitchell

Since the onset of the pandemic, where we continue to work in more hybrid and distributed ways, this has been even more apparent.  

How did Assent start using Officevibe?   

We implemented Officevibe in April 2021, but it had been on my radar for a while. When I was in the HR coordinator role, I reviewed a ton of tools to determine what would make a smart addition to our repertoire of resources as a growing company to help us work better. I wasn’t always sure it was the best fit for us before, but during the pandemic, I knew it could help us check in with our employees, so I had my business case for Officevibe ready to be presented to management.   

Fortunately, it was an easy buy-in from the leadership team because they immediately saw Officevibe’s value. They saw that there was a gap in gathering data and in understanding employee sentiment. It especially made sense at that time to introduce the tool as we were a growing global company. I couldn’t be happier with the results now.   

How was the tool received by your employees?   

It was well received by employees, and we had a participation rate of over 70% right away. We followed Officevibe’s implementation guidelines to communicate to the team ahead of the launch how we would use the tool, conducted multiple training sessions in different time zones, and tailored sessions for employees and managers. This really helped streamline the process and ensured team members knew what to expect when they received their first survey request. We also have a feedback culture in general which eased the implementation of Officevibe.   

Feedback is a gift; most managers were excited to have actionable insights and feedback from their teams, but some were more anxious: what if they learned something they didn’t know how to tackle? How could they process this information as they feel personally responsible if their team isn’t responding positively to the surveys?   

This meant that the HR Business Partners had to be all hands on deck to support their leaders and front-line managers. We had to be available to help respond to sticky feedback, be ready to review survey data during one-on-one sessions, and use insights gleaned from Officevibe in other decision-making or brainstorming sessions. It’s been 18 months and we are still nurturing the tool to ensure that team members and leaders continue to see the value and keep using it!  

How do you use the tool?  

I populate a high-level EX dashboard that is presented to our Executive Leadership team on a monthly basis, pulling in our overall engagement score, participation rates, employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), and any trends that might need attention or celebration.

I also use it on a daily and weekly basis in my recurring meetings with members of management in my partnered departments. To prepare for those meetings, I pull up their Officevibe data and see if there is anything to be addressed and use the score to drive conversations with questions like “how are things going?” and “have you seen this piece of feedback?” or “what do you think is driving this metric to be so high?”  

Assent team volunteering at a food bank
Assent employees volunteering at a food bank.

How does Officevibe help your organization? Can you share an example of an initiative that came from the Officevibe data you collected?  

Honestly, Officevibe is the bedrock; it’s the foundation for understanding our employee sentiment. We use data collected from anonymous surveys to support our EX initiatives and programs. We’ve used the custom polls feature to learn more about specific topics, like what our teams think of our Total Rewards Program, for example. We asked them what they liked about it, what else they were looking for, and if the program was aligned with their values. Through the feedback from these tailored surveys, I’m proud to say that we’ve rolled out multiple total rewards and employee experience programs. It’s exciting to see all that we’ve accomplished in such a short time.  

We rolled out an initiative we call “Well Style,” which combines a wellness and lifestyle allowance and is aligned with Assent’s flexibility principle. We heard from our people that we offered great benefits, but that they also would like a budget to support their healthy lifestyles to purchase things like athletic gear.    

“Ultimately, we’re always trying to evolve to market needs. We really believe in proportional implementation; we want to be incrementally providing value to our team members over time, and using Officevibe to drive that continuous improvement has really helped us step up our game in this realm.” 

Jillian Mitchell

Which metric do you watch more closely?  

We’re extremely proud of our Relationship with Manager metric. It has stayed consistently high, and we noticed in our dashboard that it’s higher than the industry standard. But the reason why I really like it is that when you think about the reasons people leave an organization, the relationship (or lack thereof) with their manager is usually at the top of their list and a main reason why they’re dissatisfied with their job or with the organization. So to know our managers are embodying our company values, we see that they’re living in this people-first reality when leading their teams and then seeing the data to back it up.   

What advice would you give someone looking to implement Officevibe?  

I mentioned earlier that I had immediate buy-in from upper management because the timing was right, but you must have buy-in at all levels, especially from the people that will be using the tool daily. You need to ensure that when you’re implementing the tool, your employees have a clear understanding of what’s in it for them and how it fits into the larger communication plans. It’s also important to set your expectations from the get-go. We followed many of the Officevibe templates to help guide us and we reiterated how important it is for managers to respond to feedback.

“You need to look at your metrics and make transparent decisions based on them. It’s really important to keep the momentum going.”  

Jillian Mitchell

Another piece of advice I can offer is to be ready to support your managers. Sometimes team leaders get feedback that’s directed at them and is taken personally, and I don’t blame them. It will be important to use this as an opportunity to take action rather than seeing it as a personal attack. It’s about getting people into the right mindset. 

Is there a feature you’d like to explore in Officevibe that you haven’t already?  

We’ve encouraged team members to set up individual goals, but we’re looking at setting up corporate-level OKRs. From there, we’d like to tie the high-level goals to team goals, and ultimately down to individual goals (more officially) as part of our performance management system and review process.   It’s exciting to be able to incorporate this into a tool that’s already being used by Assentees globally, which should help with change management and adoption. 

What’s next for your employee experience team? What do you hope to achieve in the short and long term?  

We had a full rebranding at the beginning of the year where we reassessed and shared our company values. We would like our people to be aligned with these values and live them daily as a team. Ideally, we would tie this all back to our OKRs.  It’ll be the first year that we’re going through our performance review process with these newly released values and OKRs. To hit our milestone goals, we’ll be using many kinds of resources and programs to tie them all together with one big bow. Officevibe is helping us with that, too.   

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