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How FinTech Company WEX Uses Data to Drive Culture Forward

How FinTech Company WEX Uses Data to Drive Culture Forward

Fueled by a passion for people and technology, WEX is a leading provider of financial technology solutions that delivers insights designed to help millions of customers worldwide make smart, data-driven business decisions.

While company success relies upon many factors, Chair and CEO Melissa Smith believes a large part of WEX’s growth since going public in 2005 can be attributed to company culture.

For a company that sits at the intersection of data, payments and technology, it’s not surprising that WEX has found culture success by using people analytics data.

The Challenge - Finding Appropriate Benchmarks

Initially, WEX turned to Great Place to Work® for benchmarking data. The company had been administering internal employee engagement surveys, but found it difficult to contextualize results without understanding what success looked like for similar companies. 

Only Great Place to Work could show them how their organizational culture stacked up against the Best Workplaces™ in the US.

The Solution – A Partnership and a Powerful Culture Management Platform

WEX looked at multiple software solutions, wanting to ensure that the company and solution they selected aligned with their values of integrity, innovation, execution, relationships and community. They found a natural alignment between their values and the questions in the Great Place to Work Trust Index™ survey.

In addition, they knew that they would get deeper insights about their employees’ workplace experience and would be able to use their feedback to continue attracting, developing and retaining talent.

WEX earned Great Place to Work Certification the first year the company applied in 2017. Great Place to Work Program Manager, Katelyn Gendron, says, “While we were thrilled to get Certified the first year we applied, we really weren’t focused on the recognition benefits.

"Rather, we were looking for feedback that would help us set the course for our continued journey moving forward. We wanted to understand the voice of our employees and know what we could do to further create an environment where employees feel fulfilled and heard.”

Empowered by the leadership of Smith and the survey results data, the team went to work. WEX used the feedback from that first year to address three key focus areas across the entire company and influence key stakeholders. The first priority was the executive leadership team, since their alignment was crucial to driving culture throughout the rest of the organization.

Deeper into the Data

Last year, WEX made the decision to upgrade to the Accelerate tier for full access to Emprising, Great Place to Work’s culture management platform.

This enabled them to provide senior leaders with direct access to detailed survey results data, including employee comments.

Katelyn explains, “Our leaders use data every day in their jobs to make decisions about everything from marketing investment to product development. It makes sense to give them access to the robust data we now have to inform their people decisions.”

The results have been positive. Katelyn says, “By having direct access to their department’s feedback, leaders now have more targeted follow-up discussions with their groups and create more impactful action plans that truly address their employees’ needs. By sharing Great Place to Work feedback in this way, we also model a value that’s important to us: transparency. With direct access to the platform, they can see their feedback first-hand.”

This year, WEX expanded access to the data by including team leaders and managers. More than 400 people leaders now have access to their group’s valuable feedback and are required to take action based on the insights.

Today, feedback from Emprising is regularly referenced in discussions across all teams and informs new people practices and KPIs. It also helps leaders understand how their teams’ experience compares to others in the organization.

Katelyn says, “By upgrading to the Accelerate tier, everyone has employee feedback data at their fingertips through Emprising and Manager Access. It creates a foundation for us to have data-based discussions around the things that matter most to us. And, it gives us a quantitative way to measure the success of the actions we take.”