Redefining 'work' at TomTom

Written by
Bart Bolger, VP of HR, TomTom

07 Sep 2020

07 Sep 2020 • by Bart Bolger, VP of HR, TomTom

Bart Bolger, VP of human resources at location technology leader, TomTom, discusses how the firm has been in close contact with staff to bolster employee wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We decided early on during the pandemic that everyone should work from home, irrespective of role or location. The focus for the HR team had to shift significantly, from creating a great office environment and work life to being responsible for 4,500+ workplaces and individual employee experiences — including their personal medical safety, emotional wellbeing, engagement and connection with us.

To achieve that, we adopted ongoing, company-wide check-in surveys with a modern employee engagement platform, so that we were learning constantly, about employees’ needs and concerns. Employee wellbeing has been top of mind during these unprecedented times, so knowing how we can help staff with areas such as emotional support, work-life balance and IT set-up from home, and respond to their concerns, has been very beneficial for us as a company. And based on the results of our regular pandemic surveying, we’ve been able to understand where our staff need us most.

We decided to adopt a modern engagement platform in order to help us find a better means of measuring employee engagement. Like many organisations, we were limited to a one-time survey and static report mindset; results would be cascaded, but slowly, and a response plan would be devised, but the time it took to complete the analysis meant the data lost relevance, and TomTom’s line of business managers struggled to keep momentum.

We want to offer a working atmosphere where staff can be themselves, have fun and do their best work, so a more continuous and interactive approach to employee engagement that could be embedded into the day-to-day routine seemed a closer fit. Looking for a tool that enables deep analysis into what employees are voicing, feeling and expressing, we eventually turned to Glint’s People Success employee engagement platform.

Creating a more meaningful and impactful experience

We also wanted our managers to be able to own their team’s engagement metrics and be the ones that are the drivers for change. With modern engagement technology, managers get a more meaningful and impactful experience by receiving faster and more focused insights, a user-friendly platform and customised action plans as soon as the results are released to them. 

Our new engagement tool also offers useful analyses and shows us how to improve our business. That means we are now able to tailor our initiatives based on employee engagement results that are much more easily accessible. With the analysis provided, we can see clearly and in depth what engages employees and where and how it needs to improve the employee work experience.

The pandemic is re-defining us

Now, we always refer to the survey results when we need to make decisions. As part of our COVID-19 response, we also run ‘Ask me anything’ sessions, webinars and workshops, plus a buddy programme for those who feel the need to meet colleagues from around the globe to exchange experiences in these unprecedented times. Our CHRO also made it a point to connect with five random ‘TomTomers’ each day, simply to check in with them and find out if there is anything they might need.

We will continue doing our surveys as often as we can to make sure we are keeping our connection to employees. All in all, we think this pandemic is re-defining the way we look at health, work, collaboration, remote teams, social interaction and psychological safety. 

As a result, we’re revisiting our definitions of all those elements — and, with all this new learning at the forefront of our decision-making, we’ll create an even stronger company post-COVID than we had before.

Bart Bolger is the Amsterdam-based VP HR Brand & Locations at TomTom, which is committed to creating a safe, connected, autonomous world free of congestion and emissions.



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