People experience and employee engagement at 9fin
- Megan Trotter
- +Jen Speirs
At 9fin we’re proud to be building a unique product to fit our clients’ needs. We match this with an exceptional culture and we’re passionate about making 9fin a great place to work. This article explores how we do that through our people experience team.
What is People Experience at 9fin?
We are intentionally building a people-centric company. To us, that means creating something that is bespoke, intentional and constantly evolving. People Experience leans on principles from User Experience and Design methodologies to uncover insights on our employee’s needs, expectations and/or pain points in order to build co-creative solutions. In other words, people-centricity is the underlying principle of People Experience (PX) at 9fin.
Employee Engagement as a key metric
One of our main priorities at 9fin is giving our people a voice and an opportunity to share feedback on their experiences. Along with speaking directly to our employees through focus groups and 1-to-1s, we also run an employee engagement survey twice a year. Our employee engagement survey consists of a number of statements that our employees - we call them 9finners - rank on a 5-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. We collate the scores of these questions into themes to help us track 9finner satisfaction with their experience of working at 9fin. We analyse this data by exploring differences in scores across teams, demographics, tenure and seniority to identify which areas of the people experience can be improved. This data is used to inform and help prioritise our People roadmap.
The actions we have taken so far and the impact on our employee engagement
We’re proud that our overall employee engagement is very high. This is reflected in some of our scores and themes, for example, 88% of 9finners say that they talk up 9fin as a great place to work (we call this OrgFit and you can read more about this metric here) and our overall engagement score is 78%. We have exceptional scores (80% and above) in 11 of our 16 themes, with our lowest themes receiving further work and review. We use this information to put solutions in place that respond to the feedback we have received.
Below are some examples of work that was completed following the three engagement surveys we have run since they were introduced in June 2022.
Over the past year, we have been developing and iterating solutions to support our people with their professional development. In the June 2022 survey, we heard that some 9finners didn’t have clear role expectations and were unsure how to progress their careers at 9fin. The People team worked closely with each team to develop bespoke career progression matrices, with clear levels, expectations and competencies to help our people path their careers at 9fin. To support managers in having good career progression conversations with their team, we also implemented manager training. We iterated our career progression paths in response to further feedback received during the January 2023 engagement survey by developing 9Grow, our unique framework that enables meaningful progression at 9fin. We track progress against the engagement survey themes and as shown in the above image, our career progression theme score has increased by 2% from January 2023 and the scores for two key questions have significantly increased. We haven’t yet finished here as there’s further work to do on performance measurement and 9Grow adoption and we’ll continue to track progress on this theme through our engagement survey.
Compensation and benefits
Another focus area for our People team has been to evolve our compensation philosophy and benefits package. Feedback from the engagement surveys highlighted the need for greater transparency in our salary review process and a better benefits package. As a result, we have implemented a completely new salary review process, which you can read about here. We have also enhanced our benefits package by speaking to our people about what benefits would support their wellbeing, you can read about our benefits review here. We’re proud that the work we’ve done so far has increased the question about benefits by 13% and about understanding of how compensation is determined by 9%. Our comp and benefits theme also asks about performance evaluation, which is our lowest-scoring question in this theme, which we will be working to address next.
DEIB & SLT
We don’t only focus our efforts on improving low scores. As you’ll have read above, we have a lot of areas that we’re already doing really well in. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) and our Senior Leadership themes both continue to score highly in our engagement surveys. Despite this, we’ve invested in improving both these areas further to ensure we’re building and scaling 9fin in a way that feels authentic to who we are and who we aspire to be. In May 2023 we set up our Senior Leadership Team (SLT), a group of senior employees - including the founders - that is responsible for setting the direction of 9fin by aligning all teams to the overall strategic vision by bringing alignment and accountability to teams across the UK and US. One of the first two objectives that SLT agreed upon is to show commitment to DEIB by creating an employee-led DEIB strategy. Since then, we have run diversity initiatives for Ramadan, Pride Month and Disability Pride Month (with more to come!), set up a DEIB committee, and implemented processes that reduce bias in our recruitment activities and increase gender diversity in our teams. We’re aware that there’s a lot more to do and we’re committed to meaningful change.
What we’re focused on next
We are really proud of the work we do in the People team and across 9fin to make our company a great place to work and this is reflected through our continued exceptional engagement scores. We’re excited to continue to focus on culture and engagement as we scale 9fin.