As one of the first employees at Conexiom, Global Vice President, HR and Employee Engagement Jen Woudstra has influenced Conexiom’s culture over the course of her 20-year tenure.
Even during a pandemic, Jen interviewed and hired more than 100 people globally, doubling the size of the company in 2020. Today, Conexiom consists of more than 200 employees—a milestone that couldn’t have been achieved without Jen’s leadership.
In this Q&A, Jen explains how HR influences company culture and supports its employees to scale the business.
Explain your responsibilities as Global Vice President, HR and Employee Engagement.
My team and I are responsible for the execution of all HR projects. This includes training and development, health and wellness, recruitment and selection, onboarding, and opening new offices. In 2020, we opened US and UK offices and, this year, we are expanding into Germany.
Right now, we are focused on improving the entire employee cycle: From the initial interview to improving employee engagement to growing each employee’s career, we strive to hire top talent with longevity, offering them recognition and opportunities they wouldn’t find elsewhere.
How has the Conexiom culture developed over the last few years?
Just 3 to 5 years ago, Conexiom consisted of 30 team members. Everyone went above and beyond their specific job functions to make Conexiom what it is today. Many of these people have since been promoted into management positions and have built out their own teams with members who are also experiencing opportunities of growth. Although we have grown to over 200 employees, we continue to have an inclusive culture, and the people are at the top of the list of why Conexiom employees love working here.
“Jen’s interest in employee well-being is truly authentic. I have seen countless examples of Jen’s service-based leadership. Not only does she ask for employee feedback, but she listens whole-heartedly and passionately works toward finding ways to deliver on whatever our staff needs. With a rapidly growing organization, it’s no small feat that she continues to prioritize every single employee’s needs, the same way she did when Conexiom was made up of only 15 people.”
Kourtney Hughes, HR Manager at Conexiom
What are Conexiom’s values as an organization?
One of our values is to make our customers look like heroes by helping them succeed. We serve small, medium-sized, and enterprise-level global companies, and every employee at Conexiom works toward a common goal to help all customers overcome the business challenges they face.
President and CEO Ray Grady joined Conexiom last year and helped fuel our rapid growth, bringing top leadership in along the way. He helped us align on our core values, which I am completely committed to:
- We are problem solvers who do things the right way.
- We speak openly and are transparent.
- We are one global team.
- We like to compete and win.
- We are inclusive and want to make changes for the better.
- We are high growth and high energy.
- We make our customers heroes.
I am committed to helping employees achieve their goals, and I strive to make all employees’ voices heard, because they fuel the company’s continued growth and success.
“Jen has an unparalleled work ethic while showing empathy and kindness. She has taught me more than I could have imagined. I’m proud to call her my boss, my mentor, and my friend.”
Jennifer Oviatt, People and Culture Coordinator at Conexiom
How does HR encourage employees to live the company values?
We put our values front and center in our work. We recently launched an employee-recognition platform, which recognizes co-workers’ efforts. This helps promote and reinforce values, because employees are empowered to celebrate each other’s achievements.
We also model our values. We’re an established company in growth mode, so although we work hard, we want our employees to have fun and enjoy some flexibility. Our culture at Conexiom has an open-door policy, so if anyone has an idea they’d like to share with the CEO or management, we want to hear it. Everyone has an opportunity to speak openly.
How does HR help retain employees?
We recently started distributing an employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) to get feedback on our organization and measure our employees’ job satisfaction. This helps us understand what we’re doing right and where we can improve as a company.
Last year, 35% of our new hires were made through employee referrals. HR wants to maintain that momentum, because we invest in our employees and want them to thrive individually and as a team.
What would you say was a major company achievement in 2020?
In July, ICONIQ Capital invested $40 million to help accelerate Conexiom’s ability to grow rapidly during the pandemic.
In 2020, we also recorded our lowest customer churn rate and achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 72, which is incredibly high for a SaaS company.
We also expanded into the UK and doubled our headcount globally. We have hired and retained top talent that will continue to help us expand into the future.
If you could automate anything in your personal life, what would it be?
I have a 2-year-old Whippet, which is a dog breed that descended from Greyhounds. I trained my dog, Mr. Gary, to ring a bell when he wants to go outside. Unfortunately, he realized that he gets whatever he wants when he rings the bell, so he rings it for everything. If I could, I would automate answering his needs when he rings the bell during my Zoom calls.
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