Evidensia was formed in 2012 when four Swedish animal hospitals joined forces. Today, there are 60 clinics for healthcare for horses and small animals in Sweden. For a company that grows through acquisitions, it is important to create a sense of community. Meet Pia Madsen, HR Manager, Evidensia Sweden.
Tell us about your business!
Evidensia Animal Health Care is present in eight countries and started in Sweden in 2012 when four animal hospitals joined forces. Since then we have expanded and today we have 60 clinics in Sweden ranging from small receptions with just a couple employees to large, advanced animal hospitals with more than 160 employees. Overall we have about 1400 employees in Sweden.
What challenges are you facing?
As we grow through acquisitions, we have a need to find a process that consolidates us as a company. We need to get our 60 geographically dispersed entities to feel like one. Everything from changing work clothes and logos to changing daily routines, things that make everyday life feel secure, can be felt as difficult when a business is accuired. At the same time, we also want the individual clinics we acquire to feel that we learn from what they alreay do well and implement it in the rest of the organisation.
What HR challenges are the industry facing?
Lack of competence in the market is a major problem. To a certain extent there is a lack of veterinarians, but above all it is difficult to find trained animal nurses. It is a huge challenge. Therefore, it is important for us that our employees feel so welcome that they recommend others to apply with us. Our employees are the best ambassadors.
You just started working with Heartpace, why?
First we started working with Draftit who tipped us off about Heartpace. Draftit is a digital executive and staff portal with great guides. Draftit is the reference book for us and Heartpace is the tool for performing what you want to accomplish. Last year we performed a lot of work on developing core values that will permeate all our activities. Through Heartpace, we can ensure that our core values become part of the employee review and that we receive the phrasing about both soft and hard values in the conversations, regardless of which of our clinics you are working on.
How do you work with employee reviews?
An important part of having engaged employees is to enable people to develop, so we focus on objectives and objective outcome. We conduct an review and at least two follow-ups of that talk each year. We want to find the points of contact between the company's strategy and the individual employee's development and objectives. The talk provides a good opportunity for the employee to identify their objectives, plan their own development and work actively to reach the business's business plan as a basis. It is important to us that we successfully communicate our business plan to all employees and that they are aware of how their individual goals are linked to it.
What is the role of Heartpace in that work?
In this process, the Heartpace system makes it aligned, it adds transparency and clearly shows where we are heading. Heartpace ensures that we talk about the same things at all our clinics and hospitals. We also get a better structure of the evaluation, connecting the questions in the review module to our business objectives, thus ensuring that the employee's individual goals and objectives of the business are consistent. In most businesses this is an aim but with Heartpace we can make sure we really live up to it.
What other benefits have you discovered?
It's easy to use for both manager and employee. As HR Manager, it's easy to make the mistake of choosing a very advanced software, which then becomes so time-consuming that you can not work with it. Heartpace is easy. It is great that both manager and employee prepare for the talk in the system to provide good quality. Also everything is saved in the tool so that there are no doubts about what you have talked about and what has been agreed and that you have a common vision forward. When changing manager, it is easy for the new manager to understand what has been agreed and what promises are given.
Can you imagine using more Heartpace services in the future?
Now we have just started with review talks, but in the long run we can definitely use more modules. Heartpace is the stable bookshelf I can fill with what I want, as opposed to, for example, buying a complet survey where I can not influence the questions. Heartpace is the backbone of our HR work, without limiting ourselves.