Bridging Data and Belonging: Insights from the Head of People Data and Analytics at ISS UK

 Jackie Dyal, Customer Experience Director at THI, sat down with Clare Montgomery, the Head of People Data & Analytics at ISS to look at how they create a culture of belonging

ISS is a global workplace experience and facility management service that launched its ‘My Voice’ listening programme using The Happiness Index. Jackie Dyal, Customer Experience Director at THI, sat down with Clare Montgomery, the Head of People Data & Analytics at ISS to look at how they create a culture of belonging. 

JD: So Clare, what drove the ‘One ISS’ strategy?

CM: Our purpose at ISS is to connect people and places to make the world work better. In 2020 we launched our OneISS Strategy to deliver on that promise. OneISS is about harnessing the full benefits of working in a global organisation. We are improving our global operating model to make ISS stronger, simpler, and closer; we drive global excellence together, support each other, and work more collaboratively to make change happen across the ISS Group and across countries.

JD: And how would you say belonging is central to delivering on this? 

CM: ISS has always prided itself on being a people business since it was founded in 1901. Today, we employ more than 360,000 people worldwide and we want to do everything we can to make every person feel they belong. We have been explicit in this by stating our cultural ambition (and one of our strategic priorities) is to be the global Company of Belonging.

JD: How is a sense of belonging woven into the Employee Value Proposition, diversity & inclusion and ESG strategies? 

CM: At ISS our Employee Value Proposition is all about creating ‘A Place to Be You’. This proposition is based on three fundamental promises to our people:

- Be Who You Are

- Become What you Want

- Be Part of Something Bigger

At ISS, we know that people make places. And that every person belongs. Here, we want people to feel they are part of a valued and diverse team – a global community of colleagues happy to help each other find a place to be their true selves. A community where they can thrive in our positive, inclusive environment.

Everyone working at ISS is a ‘Placemaker’ who wants to make the world work better. People who care and want to give fantastic service and memorable experiences within facilities services. We offer our Placemakers thorough extensive development opportunities to build their skills and uncover abilities and aptitudes that open new career paths to explore – taking them across disciplines and even geographical borders. And we welcome ideas and suggestions from everyone which can influence change for customers, colleagues, our company, and communities.

We are dedicated to making customer lives easier, more productive and enjoyable.

We’ve set ambitious goals in championing sustainable workplaces, including how we reduce our impact on the environment, and how we better support the safety and wellbeing of our people. Providing the safety, recognition, and support our Placemakers need to thrive, be great at their job and make a difference. Whether they work in customer sites or support those that do.

As outlined in our DE&I strategy: At ISS, we want every employee to know that they belong and can fearlessly be their authentic selves.

To accomplish that, we are building an inclusive workplace where we call out implicit and explicit bias, ensure all voices are heard, all people are seen and know that their contributions are valued and that all have a chance to grow and develop. 

To become the global Company of Belonging, ISS is striving to be a place where it’s Safe to Be You no matter your gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, culture, ability, age, or background.

By being open, empathic, curious - and at times vulnerable - we create a safe and inclusive environment where we can be creative and celebrate the diversity of our company. 

We embrace and encourage diversity and inclusion in their broadest terms, including; ethnicity, race, age, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language and cultural and educational background. 

Our diverse workforce is recognised as a key competitive advantage and a vital asset in our long-term sustainable business success. Our inclusive culture empowers our people and makes us more creative, productive, and attractive as a workplace. 

Our Social Value strategy is a fundamental driver of our ambition to make the world work better. The world works better when people are supported, treated fairly and equitably. Our strategy, therefore, sets out our commitments as a responsible employer, an accountable corporate citizen, and a strong steward of the environment.

JD: So how do ISS UK and Ireland measure feelings of belonging and use employee insight to drive cultural change? 

CM: To help us achieve our ambition of being the company of belonging, we launched a new employee listening strategy last year – known internally as MyVoice – to get feedback from Placemakers about how they think and feel about working for ISS.

We chose to work with The Happiness Index to power MyVoice as we felt there was a huge synergy with the Neuroscience themes of their platform to help us measure engagement and happiness.

We were delighted to receive feedback from many of our Placemakers and with the help of The Happiness Index’s dashboard analytics and action planning tools, we have been able to share the results of the cultural assessment with them and involve them in prioritising the areas that matter most to our Placemakers – both at enterprise- and at local team level.

JD: So Clare, if you could summarise your key learnings for other HR professionals and leaders who want to make belonging core to their culture, what would they be? 

CM: The belonging agenda can’t be owned by a single department or function – it needs to be led and championed by the C-Suite, and part of the entire business strategy, but ultimately the success – or failure – of delivering this strategy sits with everyone in the organisation. For us, belonging is like a ribbon running through everything we do, and we are focused on continuous improvement. For example, within HR or People & Culture as it is at ISS, we look at the employee lifecycle and challenge ourselves every day to improve what we are doing at each of the key milestones – are we making new employees feel welcome and included from day one? Are we creating a safe place for people to be themselves, where they are recognised, rewarded for their efforts, and given the development they want and need?

So what now? 

If you want to hear more about ISS’ employee listening and DE&I strategy check out the webinar, and we’d definitely recommend looking at THI’s Employee Voice service.

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About The Happiness Index

The Happiness Index helps organisations measure the key employee engagement AND happiness drivers to power their people strategy.

Our unique platform offers the products, insights and tools to shine a light on your cultural health and empower management to drive thriving cultures.

Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.


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