You may not immediately recognise the name ZPG, but you will likely be familiar with some of the 18 digital brands that the company owns and operates. Initially founded in 2007 as Zoopla, the organisation has grown to become much more than just the property research specialist. In the last decade, ZPG has acquired multiple businesses such as uSwitch, Money and PrimeLocation, to become the leading service provider for consumers engaged in property and household decisions.
Keeping employee engagement high during multiple mergers
ZPG’s rapid growth is owed to its repeated acquisition of other businesses. However, this constant state of change can often lead to uncertainty amongst new and existing employees. To successfully bring multiple different cultures together under one roof, you need to have a clear understanding of how your people are feeling, and the pain-points that arise. Lorraine Metcalf is ZPG’s Chief Talent Officer. She and her team chose Peakon as their preferred engagement platform for uncovering this insight.
“During an acquisition I think it’s really important that we give a voice to our colleagues, and that we engage with them. People go through a lot of different emotions when there’s change in the business.”Lorraine Metcalf Chief Talent Officer
ZPG doesn’t believe in taking a « one-size-fits-all » approach to employee engagement. Instead, the company uses real-time insights from their feedback to identify the primary causes of employee unhappiness, and creates tailored solutions. Not only does this make it easy for the HR team to focus on the issues that matter, but when employees see that changes are being made in the organisation as a direct result of feedback they’ve given, they feel more involved in the decision-making process..
« For us, [Peakon] is a way of engaging with people and giving them a really confidential way to air their concerns. Which then means we, as an HR function, can build something really specific for each of the [problem] areas. »Lorraine Metcalf Chief Talent Officer
Giving managers the data to make a difference
A solid understanding of your company culture and clear action plans lie at the heart of every good engagement strategy. This can be difficult to achieve, especially when you have as many separate brands to manage as ZPG. That’s why Lorraine and her team make extensive use of Peakon’s manager dashboards, to provide leadership in each of their entities with an accurate overview of engagement in their teams.
This helps to break down the communication barriers that exist when feedback has to be passed back and forth between departments, and makes it easy for managers on the front line to identify and implement initiatives effectively.
“We’ve got so much more insight and that’s really helped us to make more data-driven decisions. Not only as an HR team, but also the leaders and managers within the business have been able to prioritise their engagement strategy more effectively.”Natalie Allen Head of Employee Engagement
The HR team at ZPG are now able to collaborate more efficiently with their managers, and the managers themselves feel more empowered to make the right decisions.
In the past, team leaders at ZPG relied on infrequent data to make their people decisions. Lukasz Zelezny, Director of Organic Acquisition, has been with the company for over 6 years, and has struggled to collect actionable feedback in the past using traditional survey tools. Now he’s confident that he has the data he needs to respond to his team’s needs, and understand how new initiatives are being received in real-time.
« I feel like Peakon is the first time in my career that [the engagement process] is very consistent and measurable. »Lukasz Zelezny Director of Organic Acquisition
Generalised approaches to employee engagement don’t work
Your employee engagement strategy won’t be successful if you just implement generalised initiatives, without fully understanding the issues that are relevant to your team. This becomes increasingly important when you’re trying to manage multiple different brands, or have offices split across several locations. Giving managers reliable data and tailored insights has helped ZPG to improve employee engagement across the company.
« Without Peakon I think we would probably still be in a place where we were applying generalised approaches to staff engagement, which I don’t think would resonate anywhere near as a effectively at team levels and entity levels. »Andy Botha Chief Financial Officer
Merging companies and cultures can be tricky, but Peakon has given ZPG the insight they need to keep employees across the business engaged, productive and ultimately, happy. That means ZPG can continue to focus on the success of the business, without having to worry about the risks of employee turnover and the financial impact of excessive recruitment.
« As a CFO… [improving employee engagement] means that your attrition rates go down, which obviously has a benefit in terms of the financial cost of recruiting staff. But also you know that as a result of what you’re doing, they’re much more engaged, much more productive, and much happier than they would otherwise have been. »Andy Botha Chief Financial Officer