Thommessen - Using employee listening to guide them through growth


Growing your organisation is always a positive, especially when it’s during a crisis period – like a global pandemic. But success doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax: it’s actually a critical time for you to listen even more carefully to what your employees are saying.

Thommessen knows that all too well. One of the largest law firms in Norway, they’ve welcomed more than a 100 new lawyers in the past four years – opening new offices in Stavanger, moving to new premises in Oslo, and navigating those changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with Qlearsite, they used employee feedback to make their growth sustainable.

The Qlearsite team has been really amazing. We get all the help we need, results come back quickly, and it’s easy to get hold of everyone - we’re really happy with everything.

Anne Therese Bogen

Head of HR at Thommessen

The challenge: getting meaningful data to navigate fast growth

  • Existing surveys didn’t deliver actionable insights
  • Response rates fell, as initiatives weren’t linked to results
  • Needed a new way to assess growth during the pandemic

Through success and failure, employee feedback matters. But for Thommessen, their existing survey solution was lacking – delivering the same scores every year, without providing any useful insights to work with. That led to survey response rates slipping – as both employees and department heads lost faith in the value of employee feedback.

Thommessen knew their engagement scores were thriving, as was the organisation itself. They’d seen significant growth during a turbulent period globally. But that had involved remotely onboarding 50+ new starters, while trying to stay connected as a firm. More than ever, they needed to keep listening to their teams.

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The solution: an engagement survey to tell them “why?” and “what next?”

  • Qlearsite’s Employee Engagement survey
  • Understanding of strengths and areas for improvement
  • Stats and facts to back up new business initiatives

Thommessen was introduced to the founders of our platform, who explained how Qlearsite’s surveys could help them – in particular our employee engagement survey.

What’s different about our engagement survey is you don’t just get a score. You also see the factors that influence it – the “why?” – and what areas you should focus on – the “what next?”. Thommessen liked the potential to find a clear focus, and get data to back initiatives.

What we find most useful is the level of insight: not only can we see the engagement score, but also what factors are driving this engagement - allowing us to focus on the areas that are most important to employees, and drive meaningful change

Anne Therese Bogen

Head of HR at Thommessen

The results: impressive scores, with one clear area to prioritise

  • 84% employee engagement score
  • 65% response rate – higher with Qlearsite compared to previous surveys
  • Lowest scoring areas were ‘leadership’ and ‘communication’

As they already knew from their old surveying methods, employee contentment wasn’t a problem at Thommessen. And after running their first engagement survey with Qlearsite, it was clear that was still the case – as they saw an impressive score of 84%.

That was positive news – but as they always strive to improve, they focused on the two lowest-scoring areas that came up in the results: ‘leadership’ and ‘communication’. That gave a specific focus that was particularly relevant mid-pandemic, with the workforce largely remote.

The next steps: new initiatives for a connected culture

  • Introduced ‘mini-teams’ to keep their people connected
  • Asked partners to run weekly catch-ups, not focused on work
  • Allowed new and existing employees a safe space to check in

When you join an organisation remotely, it can be hard to connect to other employees – and that can have an impact on company culture, morale, and communication. It also makes it more difficult to reach out to senior staff, as you can’t navigate the social structure as easily.

Thommessen prioritised ‘leadership’ and ‘communication’ by introducing the concept of mini-teams. Led by partners, this allowed employees to form closer bonds – and weekly catch-ups with partners allowed them a safe space to come with questions, concerns, and to chat generally about what was going on in their lives.

The report builder is a godsend - it’s so easy to make presentations. It’s helped us so much to break down the reports, copy the information, and share it with heads of department - showing them their highs and lows, and what to work on.

Anne Therese Bogen

Head of HR at Thommessen

The outcome: boosted scores and a competitive approach

  • ‘Leadership’ score was boosted dramatically, up by nearly 20%
  • 77% response rate, reflecting renewed trust in their listening programme
  • Department heads became driven by the desire to get the highest scores

Thommessen proved it: when you get actionable insights – that is, data you can base practical changes on – you can really make a difference in your organisation. After sending their second engagement survey, Thommessen saw their ‘leadership’ score soar. That attention, dedication, and consideration from partners had made their employees truly back their leaders.

They also saw enthusiasm grow for their listening strategy. Not just reflected in their impressive response rate of 77%, but also from their heads of department.

Here’s why: as our platform makes it easy to create report breakdowns, HR could share engagement scores for each team. It wasn’t long before department heads became competitive – as these scores were linked to their OKRs – and were motivated to take practical steps to improve them.

With that attitude, Thommessen is sure to continue its successful growth period – and we’re looking forward to continuing on that journey with them.

Qlearsite’s platform is a really helpful tool to push through OKRs - it’s easier when you have statistics and concrete evidence to back up initiatives.

Anne Therese Bogen

Head of HR at Thommessen

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