Marketing and advertising
Founded in 2007 by a group of ex-advertising executives, Zeus Jones help brands ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies lead their industries into new territory by creating products, brands, and experiences that move culture forward.
Zeus Jones is a next-gen agency that exists at the intersection between creative and business, and specializes in brand purpose and perspective, experiences and emotion, and products and platforms.
As an agency that prides itself on running a flat agile organization, each individual has a lot of autonomy to enact change within the organization. But to pitch a new idea, it's not as easy as convincing your boss (you don’t really have one) - instead, you have to pull together a group of stakeholders and get them invested in your idea or initiative.
In 2018, a small group including Alex Cutler (a Producer at Zeus Jones) found that when kicking around ideas on improving workplace flexibility, everyone in the office had very different ideas of what the current state of workplace engagement was and what the impact of any new flexibility practices would have on those levels of engagement. "Getting consensus is really important, and with a lack of any sole senior decision maker to make decisions for you, there was sometimes inability to get a group to align on a solution quickly", Alex mentions. At the time it was making internal innovation more difficult than it needed to be, with ideas getting stuck in development and not rolled out. And since it was a challenge with 50 employees, they knew it may only going to become increasingly more challenging as Zeus Jones continued to scale in size and complexity and geographic dispersion.
Alex and his colleagues collectively decided to pilot a weekly pulse survey to develop a consistent shared perspective around employee sentiment across a few key dimensions. In addition to getting everyone on the same page on the current state of the business, the pulse survey would also serve as a mechanism to measure whether any particular initiative contributed positively or negatively to the cultural dimensions being measured -- making it easier to quickly make decisions about how to proceed.
From the beginning, Alex and team needed a solution that's light-touch, easy to understand, and provides a consistent snapshot across all the different dimensions. "There were a bunch of other tools I looked at, but Polly seemed to come in at the right fidelity across some combination of ease of survey creation, distribution, and backend analysis. Nothing else I looked at was going to be as perfect for our use case," Alex says. Especially for their growing company, it was equally important to find a tool that could scale and grow with them.
Polly’s survey interface that starts and ends in Slack for all Zeus Jones team members.
"There was a big emphasis on the ability to integrate into a place where people are interacting – Slack in our case – which dramatically reduces friction of the experience," Alex speaks of Polly's native experience in Slack. He adds, "If this were a Survey Monkey existing on some landing page, I don't think people would've been as likely to engage with it."
Alex Cutler initially started off with just a weekly pulse that asks a series of 7 quantitative (1-5, Agree/Disagree) questions to the entire company around employee sentiment and engagement. From there, usage has grown quite a bit organically. On top of the weekly pulse, Alex also runs a longer quarterly survey that's more qualitative. Other members of Zeus Jones have also started using Polly to do a time audit for projects that the team works on, in addition to ad hoc polls/surveys the team runs for whatever the need might be.
Since implementing the weekly pulse survey, Alex has seen a pretty consistent level of high engagement from his team. After running the survey for a few months, Alex and his team went back to the drawing board to re-invent the pulse survey. "It was a culmination of months of locking in the questionnaire, running it, analyzing it, and realizing the gaps that we had within our own methodology," he adds.
Sneak peek of Zeus Jones’ new and improved pulse survey questions sent out weekly on Fridays.
While he's only been running the new and improved version for a few weeks, he got really great results from the first iteration of the pulse survey, as well as the first quarterly one that they just completed. He shares that "we've had one big share-out of the results to the entire company, and people found it really interesting – the data certainly challenged some core assumptions, but reinforced others. So far, it's been really helpful because it allows us to align an action plan based on the results, and then in 3-6 months we can actually measure against those."
Because of Polly's lightweight look and feel, and its native experience inside Slack where Zeus Jones does a fair amount of their communicating, ease of engagement and ease of use has been really huge for the team. "Not only are people actively responding at a high rate, but they're creating their own polls and surveys to measure their work," he comments.
As a result, "I don't think we've ever used it as much as we currently have – but we are loosely exploring integrating Polly data into other systems or dashboards, so that we have closer to real-time reporting," when referring to how integrated Polly is in their workflows. Alex is super pleased with how flexible and easy Polly has been to date, and he can't wait to see the results of his new and improved pulse survey in the coming months.
A few members of the Zeus Jones team gathered around for an informal chat and some cups of coffee.
Check out the Zeus Jones team and their work at: