Want to know what it takes to build an award-winning workplace that is also recognized for four consecutive years as one of Inc. Magazine's fastest-growing companies? The co-founders of Alight Analytics in Kansas CIty, would likely tell you just what they tell their customers: it's all in the data.
Since 2007, Alight Analytics has built a name for itself by surfacing data insights about the marketing campaigns of customers like Maui Jim, Mattel, Adidas, and the Memphis Grizzlies. A combination of its proprietary ChannelMix tool, a full team of data solution experts and an insight team helps its marketing and brand customers understand what is working and what needs to change for their customers’ buying experience.
Founders Michelle Jacobs and Matt Hertig started their two-person analytics company with a clear understanding of client needs. Well versed in marketing and data strategy expertise, the pair have built industry-wide recognition as subject matter experts — and built a thriving business. To stay ahead of the organization’s subsequent and steady growth in business and staff, Alight Analytics needed an HR solution that would move them beyond manual processes and reflect their commitment to accuracy, efficiency, and technology.
In 2018, Alight Analytics had doubled in size to 51 employees and prepared to move its office to accommodate its team…for the fourth time in 10 years. In was a milestone that caused its founders to recognize that the company needed an HR solution that could handle the administrative needs of its growing team much more seamlessly than its office space could. Alight recruited Leanna Morken to assist with moving the HR process from an ‘everything in Google Sheets’ process to a more efficient online solution to cover hiring, onboarding and paid time off (PTO) needs. Alight had previously used an outside company to handle their HR needs; but Leanna discovered that Zenefits could allow them to manage and store everything in one place, themselves.
We are a data company. Zenefits helped us put all our people data in one spot and allows us to see information in a more visual, usable way.
Director of Business & Solution Operations
Not only did it help managers track the business, new hires in this tech-centric company were quite impressed with the new hiring process. The ability to sign and store all documents as well as share necessary identifications prior to their start date made their first day a breeze.
“Making our new employees feel comfortable: from selecting their benefits to finding out about how we operate from our handbooks is important. Many employees state they never had a tool like this: now they can upload everything,” said Leanna.
The Power of PTO
PTO was a real pain point for Alight Analytics. Before Zenefits, the organization used Slack or email to notify managers of scheduled time off. It was not conducive to team visibility and alignment. Using Zenefits PTO App has allowed the company to not only document PTO more efficiently but also award more PTO based on employee tenure.
Alight has also been able to implement and easily manage a new PTO perk: at the employee’s anniversary, Zenefits automates the time-off calculation. For each year, team members are awarded an additional week of PTO to use for the next 12 months.
“Zenefits allows us to set it and forget it for PTO,” adds Leanna
We do it for the Culture
Alight Analytics prides itself on being a company committed to its employees. As a multi-year winner, of the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies Award, Alight believes part of the reason for their success is the pride their employees take in the organization. To facilitate that feeling, Leanna, along with Nicole Laegeler, the company’s administrative assistant, make sure that new hires understand —straight out the gate— their commitment to company culture. Whether through welcome packages that include a complimentary NERF gun (there are often impromptu NERF wars on any given day) or through company volunteer efforts with the Veterans Community Project, a nonprofit that builds “tiny houses” for military veterans.
Taking a page from the New York Times bestseller, Primed to Perform, Alight Analytics believes play is an integral part of building company culture. One of their favorite ways to ‘play’ is creating an annual holiday spoof video debuted at their staff party. In 2018, Alight Analytics decided to have some fun imaging what their recently-implemented Zenefits tool might be like as a Siri-like assistant that could autocorrect any perceived HR violations—as they happened. The very creative and irreverent team cast Zenefits with the power to listen in on (and correct) the staff’s conversations and actions anywhere and everywhere in the office. The video is an excellent and hilarious example of why Alight Analytics was named the recipient of the 2019 Zennie Award for Company Culture.
The Future looks Bright
When discussing the future of Alight Analytics, Leanna believes Zenefits will grow with their organization. “As we continue to grow, we are looking at features like Performance Management, Payroll, and Compensation Management.” These features will allow Alight and its team members to take advantage of an all-in-one experience saving time with all the employee information they need in one place, with one sign in.
Leanna also appreciates the unexpected benefits of working with Zenefits, like access to new ideas and support from Workest small business resource center and the Help Center. When a fellow employee asked Leanna how to add his new spouse on his insurance, Leanna found the how-to article on Zenefits’ help center and was able to answer that employee’s question quickly. In addition, she taps Workest for tips, statistics and ideas on HR best practices.
As the organization prepares for its second annual Marketing Analytics Strategy Summit, MASS, increasing efficiency is a priority. As part of a nimble organization, Leanna and Nicole handle operations, HR and whatever else is needed. Zenefits makes it easier for them to wear multiple hats with one reliable ‘source of truth’ on their teams’ data.
Alight Analytics has established itself as a premier data analytics company. And its tight focus on driving actionable insight from data is building award-winning results across its customers and its own business.