How Employee Engagement Data and Strong Managers Led to Success for Mimecast
Just a few short years ago, Mimecast, an email and data security provider, had the quintessential startup vibe. People were used to making quick decisions in response to rapidly evolving events. But as the organization nearly doubled in size over the next two and a half years, it started feeling growing pains. One particularly acute issue was its employee engagement, which is especially important in the hypercompetitive tech industry.
With the non-stop rise in new cybersecurity threats, security companies face mounting talent pressures. By 2021, there will likely be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity job openings.
Among Mimecast’s highest priorities: Empowering managers with data on employee engagement so their teams could reach their full potential. But this was challenging without a formal process and tool.
“Many of our leaders are focused on the infrastructure pieces—including processes and tools—that will help us scale effectively,” says Julie Thomas, Mimecast’s Senior Director of Human Resources. “We are thinking about the long term and not just fulfilling short-term needs.”
Struggling to Gather and Act on Employee Feedback
Employee engagement has always been important to managers at Mimecast, but they weren’t always properly equipped to act on it.
Initially, Mimecast’s HR business partners would do their best to gather feedback from teams, whether through focus groups or other feedback loops. However, this approach didn’t scale well and put undue pressure on the HR team. “The information people were willing to share was only as good as the formats in which we sought it,” Julie says.
Managers instead relied on anecdotal evidence or what they gleaned in one-off conversations with employees. As a result, they weren’t sure of the key themes and trends impacting their teams.
In turn, managers weren’t empowered to focus their action plans or think through how to operationalize them. Plus, without a follow-up pulse survey capability or feedback loop, they weren’t sure their actions were having an impact.
Democratizing Engagement Data and Insights
To solve this challenge, Mimecast implemented Glint’s employee engagement platform that allows the organization’s leaders to gather anonymous employee feedback at scale and makes it easier for managers to act on it. The HR business partners work with Mimecast’s employee engagement team to determine the pulse-survey schedule. Then they communicate with the leadership teams to make sure they’re aware of the pulse and encourage participation across their teams. During the survey, HR sends a reminder to drive participation rates that meet their expectations before the survey closes.
Now the HR team has access to large quantities of information for partnering with the entire organization, and each department can access and leverage its results for action planning.
Managers Are Taking Ownership of Employee Engagement
Because the Glint platform provides the managers at Mimecast access to survey results in real time, they now have a live view into employee pain points and wins.
“Glint gives our managers access and insight into consolidated information that is representative and reflective of the entire population,” Julie says. “It helps us gather and digest that information, and figure out what to do with it. It also reminds managers to check back in to see if progress is being made against the areas of focus.”
At Mimecast, it’s important that managers have a sense of accountability and ownership for employee recognition and overall employee engagement. According to Julie, Mimecast’s managers are very interested in taking ownership of the results. “They are more aware of what’s happening with their respective teams in real time through the survey results,” she says.
Gleaning Employee Engagement Insights That Trigger Change
Mimecast Vice President of Global Customer Success, Neil Senior, says the organization has used the last few quarterly pulses to launch initiatives to improve employee engagement.
Feedback about cross-functional collaboration has been a catalyst for teams to collaborate to improve their working relationships. The HR team has been involved to help figure out how teams can work together more effectively, define expectations for these engagements, and set up charters and service-level agreements.
Their employee engagement surveys also exposed the need to provide clarity around career-development opportunities. Managers understood the urgency and importance of this feedback and took the initiative to work with their teams to better define their career paths. Through the organization’s new Competency Model, clear career ladders and opportunities are widely shared and accessible. The model provides details and outlines the competencies needed to be successful in all roles across Mimecast. Additionally, managers are equipped to guide their employees in understanding and shaping their individual journey at Mimecast.
Positioned for Future Employee Engagement Success
As Mimecast continues its rapid growth, Julie underscores that the company’s employees working as one has been key to success. And she is excited about what the future holds for Mimecast and its more than 34,000 customers around the world. “We are developing new product offerings to further our cyber resilience strategy,” she says. “I was affected by a cyberattack before joining Mimecast, [so] I’m personally motivated by our mission every day.”
Looking forward, Julie sees nothing but potential. “I’m really excited about Mimecast’s growth trajectory,” she says. “We have shifted our focus to more of the employee engagement and learning and development,” and “we’ve brought in many experienced leaders who are passionate about the work we do. The focus on building out our infrastructure, including Glint, positions us for future growth and success.”
Watch our latest video to learn more about how Mimecast uses Glint’s People Success Platform to lead its employee engagement strategy: