Empowering Employees & Elevating eNPS: SOLTECH's Incredible 60%+ Growth Story
SOLTECH offers award-winning custom software development and IT staffing firm services to a global client base. Their employee-based model has allowed them to adapt while honoring the needs of their 100+ employees.
I. Introduction to SolTech
Since 1998, SOLTECH has offered its award-winning custom software development and IT staffing firm services to a global client base. SOLTECH’s employee-based model has allowed the organization to adapt to changing times while honoring the needs of its 100+ employees.
Veanne Smith is Co-CEO of SOLTECH, where she’s spent 25 years growing the business and developing client relations. We spoke with Veanne about SOLTECH’s adoption of Cooleaf and how the platform has transformed its employee experience over 5 years.
II. The Challenges
Before adopting Cooleaf, SOLTECH leadership knew it was time for a culture shift. They already had a set of core values and a commitment to employee well-being, the challenging part was figuring out how to bring a plan of action to life.
SOLTECH’s team was flexible long before the pandemic hit, which meant that they were challenged with uniting a distributed team at a time when many organizations weren’t yet. It also meant that there weren’t many solutions available to help with their unique business model. “We tried bringing in a more grassroots approach and working with a strategist, but it just didn’t work for us,” says Veanne.
Another challenge was figuring out the right employee incentives. Because of SOLTECH’s size, offering the kinds of perks multinational corporations offered just wasn’t feasible. “It's hard to compete on the benefits front,” adds Veanne.
Finally, Veanne and her team wanted to meet team members where they were to understand more about how coming to work actually made them feel. “We wanted to get a better idea of the state of mind of our team members,” says Veanne. SOLTECH leadership wanted to drive employee well-being in a scaleable, transformative, real way.
In June 2018, SOLTECH decided to give Cooleaf a try. “We were searching for a tool that would give us an all-in-one solution,” Veanne says. “Once we spoke to John [Cooleaf Co-founder], we knew we wanted to try Cooleaf.”
III. An Overall Culture Transformation
After 5 years on Cooleaf’s platform, SOLTECH's leadership and core values have become increasingly visible to their employees. The clear channel for communication from every level has created an open forum; leaders and team members can connect from anywhere, at any time. Veanne says that once the investment into Cooleaf was made, leadership wanted to be as involved as they could. “Leadership became very involved on the platform,” she says. “What started as a way to ensure there would be a positive return on investment became an incredibly positive team-building experience.”
Cooleaf’s open-ended platform has also lent itself to a culture of authenticity. Veanne shares that the safe space for communicating with SOLTECH’s team has fostered an environment where transparency is the norm. “I believe in telling our team the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Veanne says.
“Communication allows us to give truth to our employees.”
With a genuine culture in place, SOLTECH could hold space to change what wasn’t working for their employees. Once the platform was implemented, they decided to cut down their 9 core values to make things more straightforward.
Now, SOLTECH focuses on 6 core values: Nothing But The Best, Do What We Say, Sense of Urgency, Honesty and Integrity, and Strive to be Trusted, Respected and Admired Leaders.
Veanne shares that they’ve been able to run a Core Values Challenge through Cooleaf that’s helping to cement the core values. “Everyone knows the core values in part because of Cooleaf,” she notes. “At the end of the year, we give a special recognition to the top 10 people living out the core values most consistently.”
IV. A Protective Shield in Difficult Times
Cooleaf has provided a safety guard for SOLTECH’s culture through some incredibly challenging times. The pandemic and its lingering aftereffects created new, unexpected challenges for every organization. Luckily, SOLTECH had Cooleaf in place to support its transition to a fully remote workforce. Part of that support meant Cooleaf became a part of their plan for nurturing employees’ mental health.
Like so many people, SOLTECH’s team members faced various personal challenges and increased stress levels once the shift to fully remote came about. Veanne shares that without a central communication hub, the lack of visibility would’ve made it difficult to understand what people were experiencing.
“When you’re not seeing people in person, you don't always know what's happening until they tell you.”
Now, economic uncertainty and changing job markets are creating new challenges. Many organizations are downsizing significantly, yet others are continuing to struggle to find enough talent. In many cases, the decision-making process is more prolonged, and with the rapid pace of change, priorities shift on a dime.
Cooleaf has given SOLTECH the power of resiliency through all of these circumstances. Veanne says that the sense of transparency and positivity are invaluable. “On Cooleaf, we’re able to recognize people facing challenges and address them.”
Because there’s a central place within the work environment that’s dedicated to promoting well-being and core values, team members feel confident in their organization’s culture no matter what may be going on around them.
V. A Dramatically Different eNPS
Cooleaf’s employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) has provided SOLTECH leadership with incredible insight into their employee sentiment. The tool allows leadership to track and analyze employee satisfaction with a one-question pulse survey.
Veanne shares that their first-ever score was eye-opening. “We pulled sentiment for the first time in January of 2019 and our eNPS was 18. While this still meant more promoters than detractors, I was disappointed with the results and knew we needed to do better.”
Now, because of SOLTECH’s commitment to promoting engagement and fostering community through the platform, employee sentiment continues to climb. “Our sentiment has gone up every quarter,” Veanne says. “Now our score is now consistently between 72 and 82.”
Going from an eNPS of 18 to 82 is a reflection of SOLTECH’s commitment to driving results through Cooleaf. As core values become more transparent and culture expands their eNPS increases. And, as eNPS climbs, so does business success.
“As our eNPS has gone up so has our revenue. It's not coincidental.”
SOLTECH’s re-dedication to their employee experience has created a culture that employees feel strongly about, and want to share with people they know. “Turnover has been significantly lower the past 5 years,” adds Veanne. “When people feel appreciated, their overall quality of life is improved, resulting in better service to our clients and stronger financial performance for SOLTECH.”
VI. New Possibilities For the Future...
SolTech’s investment in its people has led to a dramatically different organization overall. By leveraging Cooleaf to create an employee-centric culture, SolTech’s employee experience has grown in ways that leadership never expected. Prioritizing employee satisfaction and joy has fostered a renewed sense of belonging, appreciation, and purpose at SOLTECH.
Since adopting Cooleaf, SolTech has been repeatedly recognized as one of the Top Workplaces in Atlanta, as well as one of the Best & Brightest organizations in the nation. Veanne says it goes well beyond the accolades, however; SolTech’s financial stability and revenue growth continue to exceed expectations in its 5th year on the platform.
Veanne says that SolTech's culture transformation reaffirms her belief that investing in employees is essential to business success. And as organizations navigate uncertain times, Veanne says prioritizing employee experience is more important than ever.
“We’re an employee-driven organization, like so many other well-run companies. As we’ve increased our focus on our team’s engagement and well-being, we’ve seen tremendous growth. It's not coincidental. You can’t grow your business if you don’t invest in your employees.”
Want to learn more about how Cooleaf powers top workplaces like SOLTECH? Talk to us!
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