How Secret Escapes Top Their Industry for Employee Engagement

Michael Dean

Visiting the London offices of Secret Escapes, you instantly get a feel for the company’s culture. While any business can plaster it’s walls with branding, everything here felt genuinely fun and thoughtful, a great first impression on our trip to learn how Secret Escapes approach employee engagement.

Chloe Palmer is the company’s global head of human resources. “When I joined just over two years ago, we had hired more than 240 people globally but there was no HR,” she explained. “So essentially I was brought in to set up HR. We’re now a team of 16, and it’s a great story – particularly in the startup world – that really shows when you invest in good HR you see the returns.”

Now with more than 510 employees, the company sits in the top 10 percent of its industry for exceptional employee engagement. We caught up with Chloe to learn more about the challenges and achievements she’s been part of on this journey so far.

One of the things I love about Peakon is the ability to just pulse survey particular teams, that flexibility is second to none.

“For me, to be a successful HR person, you need to be really informed, and really be able to quantify what your business is looking like based through people data,” said Chloe. “When I’m looking for an engagement platform, I want something that’s well tested, that’s valid, that the analysis behind it is strong and is going to stand up to my standards but also my execs high standard.”

This approach has enabled HR to collaborate with the company’s executive team, make targeted improvements, and objectively demonstrate the impact these initiatives have had on the organisation.

From designing manager training programmes to changing how the organisation communicates reward decisions, Chloe and her team have used the insights from Peakon to identify focus areas, gather ideas for what can be done, and use benchmark data to measure success. In doing so, they’ve seen key engagement drivers improve, not only in comparison to previous survey rounds, but moving them from below to above their industry benchmark.

Watch the video above to hear the full story and learn how Secret Escapes build and execute their data-driven engagement strategy.

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