Our employees are our greatest asset, so efficient and effective two-way communication is critical if we’re going to meet the needs of our business and grow!"Eric Waxman, Spark Power Cofounder and Chief Investment Officer/Head of People and Culture
Spark Power is the Trusted Partner in Power™ and leading independent provider of end-to-end electrical contracting, operations and maintenance services, and energy sustainability solutions to the industrial, commercial, utility, and renewable asset markets in North America.
Founded in Canada in 2010, it is a high growth firm that has expanded from a single office of four people in Ontario to more than 35 locations and more than 1,000 employees across Canada and the United States.
As the company has expanded its footprint and power solutions offerings through organic growth and growth from acquisitions — most recently with the addition of 3-Phase Electrical Ltd and One Wind Services Inc in the latter half of 2019 — Spark Power’s internal communications strategy has required continuous attention in order to keep their growing and dispersed workforce informed, regularly updated, and fully engaged.
As low-engagement email communication and the increasing challenges of coordinating executive leadership visits to new brand locations continued to prove unsustainable with their scale (both from a responsible financial and operational perspective), Eric Waxman, Spark Power Cofounder and Chief Investment Officer/Head of People and Culture, realized that the company required a tool that would culturally and operationally work to unite their teams and workforce across Canada and the United States, as one Spark Power.
Staffbase sat down with Eric — along with Blaine Ornburg, co-founder of HR Cloud, the employee ERP housed within SparkLife — to discuss SparkLife. Co-developed between Staffbase and HR Cloud, SparkLife is Spark Power’s branded employee app implemented in order to address proactive communications outreach and engagement concerns.
Listen to the snippets below to learn about how Eric was able to scale his employee engagement platform in tandem with Spark Power's rapid growth on his quest to make SparkLife the single point of employee reference.
What was their main challenge?
We have a bunch of people who are out in the field and a bunch of different companies that we’ve acquired as well as grown organically . . . but if they aren’t ever connected and know what’s going on with the larger vision of the organization, you’re not going to get alignment.”Eric Waxman
With most of these acquisitions, 80% to 90% of your employees are remote, they’re in the field. They might not even go into the office on a daily basis, so you have to have the ability to develop systems that are employee centric from a communications perspective and that communicate very rapidly as well as accurately in multiple languages.”Blaine Ornburg
How did they find a solution and what did they learn before deciding what to do?
We looked at a lot of large, massive software companies and quite honestly they weren’t for us. We want to utilize tools that . . . are flexible enough that allows us to achieve the vision that we have for SparkLife.”
We looked at a lot of large, massive software companies and quite honestly they weren’t for us. We want to utilize tools that . . . are flexible enough that allows us to achieve the vision that we have for SparkLife.”Eric Waxman
How are they going to measure success?
We’re constantly monitoring how SparkLife is performing and how we can continually improve it. . . . Before SparkLife, we’d send out email communications and we’d track how many people opened it, spent time on it, and clicked on it or went somewhere else. With SparkLife, we’re into the 80% range in terms of employees who are utilizing SparkLife.”Eric Waxman
What does the future look like for SparkLife?
The vision for SparkLife, supported by Staffbase and HR Cloud, is really going to be the single source and single point of reference for anybody from before they’re hired or just as they’re being hired into this company through to their time of retirement.”Eric Waxman
[New employees] will be able to . . . review their employment agreement, any online training that we need from either a health and safety component, or other type of training that they would require before they start their first day of work. That can all be accessed through the SparkLife app that they will be able to access either through their cell phone . . . They will execute and complete all of that before they even start working with us so that when they do start working with us, day one they hit the ground running . . . and it’s really efficient.”Eric Waxman