You’ve had Wotter for a year now. What was Sleeping Giant Media like before Wotter?
I joined the HR team at Sleeping Giant Media about 18 months ago, and I saw this wonderful business where the culture was people-first with business needs in mind.
But we were very busy with surveys. We were using Google Forms for everything – Google Forms for our eNPS, our pulse surveys and even our cultural surveys. You can imagine all the paperwork.
Then I met some of the Wotter team at a CIPD event, and I thought: this is life-changing for any HR professional running engagement surveys. I wanted to invest in it and see more of what it could do.
We launched Wotter 6 months into my time at Sleeping Giant and it has just been a game changer.
Could you tell us more about your process with Google Forms?
We used Google Forms to get the people perspective data our existing HR platform couldn’t gather. Some were anonymous, some you could opt-in to share your email, others you had to share your email for certain reasons.
It was a very laborious process. Whilst you could change questions within the Forms, to send them to a different group of people, you would have to allocate a different folder or allocate a Form to a different team. And then you had to get all that data back and analyse it.
It was hugely manual, but also very time-consuming in that you couldn’t just look at an overview; you would need to sift through all your data to find that one response or that one specific Form.
The Forms would only be timely for a certain period, too; we’d need to send them out every year and ask employees to spend time doing multiple questionnaires to keep our data up to date. Getting the buy-in from employees was a task in itself. Each Form takes 10-15 minutes, but there would be four of them, and people would need to fill out all their data in each Form because we didn’t want to combine them and make the questionnaire so long people would lose interest…
When we saw we could do all of this in one place with Wotter, it was fantastic.
You’ve recently upgraded from Wotter Lite to the full Wotter package. What made you upgrade?
It’s great having all your data on your own staff, but there’s nothing quite like seeing a benchmark. I loved the idea that you could see engagement in context with a bit more about how other people are getting on.
Because feedback is wonderful – it is a gift. But sometimes, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. For example, when your team’s going through a change, their answers are going to be different to a team that’s more settled in; being able to benchmark adds an extra dimension of understanding.
Right now, our feedback is even better than I’d hoped it would be. But then, if it’s not, or if it feels negative to us, I want to know what it’s like in the grand scheme of things.
For example, our Wotter score’s fluctuated quite a bit – but being able to see where we are in relation to the average company’s overall engagement means we can get that reassurance even when we’ve dipped. And that gives you more confidence to keep going, keep doing those initiatives and keep making progress. For me, that was a real winner.
Which benchmarking categories do you find most helpful?
I would say the financial benchmarking. There’s the cost of living crisis, and we’re in such a big period of uncertainty – we probably have been ever since COVID.
We’ve been making initiatives to try and give as much financial safety as we can to our staff, but we can’t always afford to do everything. Some of our feedback was saying we’re not doing enough, and sometimes we need to wrack our brains and figure out what more we could be doing, but actually, Wotter’s benchmarking shows we’re still doing much better than other companies.
It just puts into perspective that we’re doing what we can as a business in the current climate. It’s never going to stop us from striving to be better or giving more to our staff, when we can, but it does allow me to feel a bit more at ease with some of our feedback.
As you’ve upgraded from Wotter Lite you’ve been able to switch on the ED&I feature. What are you hoping to gain through this?
So we’ve only had Wotter’s ED&I for a few weeks now, but, we do have something in Sleeping Giant Media called the N.O.T squad, which is “nothing off the table”. It’s a purpose-driven focus group that pushes out EDI initiatives. They have conversations about absolutely anything, for instance how we support local pride or make our onboarding process better. Switching on ED&I should help us gather some more information about how we can do these things best.
We’ll be able to do that bit more. We already do a lot – we celebrate lots of different national days, and we always put something together if a team member mentions a day that matters to them, even if it’s last minute. But we always know that some people are in the background not speaking up; we’re hoping this will open the gates a bit more.
What’s the most impactful change you’ve made so far with Wotter?
We’ve made a lot of smaller changes which have added up to a significant shift.
People trust the anonymity of the feedback, so they’re open to giving more of it. People felt open to giving feedback through the Forms, interestingly – because we’ve got that open culture – but I think the notes coming through Wotter are more heartfelt. People are coming forward with more personal gripes or more personal issues.
And it’s been lovely to get suggestions that people maybe wouldn’t have felt confident giving beforehand – now they’re more likely to give their idea, no matter how crazy it is! So I think the biggest impact is allowing us to have a true voice from our staff.