If eHarmony.com doesn’t appear on the top ten list of best places to work in a America, it surely should. The 230 employees at the online matchmaker bask in the glow not just of the company’s stunning business success but also the knowledge that it brings real happiness to its customers.
eHarmony was founded by psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren, who observed after 35 years of marriage counseling that happy unions were composed of compatible people. His vision for eHarmony was to match couples on key dimensions of personality that could predict compatibility and lead to more satisfying relationships.
eHarmony launched in 2000 after three years of research to determine these key dimensions. Today, it is a solidly profitable enterprise growing at about 30% a year with over 20 million registered users in all 50 states and 191 countries. A mind-boggling 236 on average say ‘I do’ to their eHarmony matches every day.
Now ThoughtFarmer is helping make eHarmony an even better place to work, says vice president of human resources Jim Lambert. “Of all the things we do for employees – and it’s pretty wide and varied – I think ThoughtFarmer has been one of the biggest hits,” Lambert says.
His HR group knew from surveys that employees wanted to be kept in the loop and up to speed on what the company was doing. eHarmony did have an intranet, but it required knowledge of HTML coding to make changes. Result: not enough employees participated in making changes to the site.
“What ThoughtFarmer did was provide a vehicle we could use to communicate with employees on the fly,” Lambert says. “And it allowed HR to manage the flow of information, while at the same time letting employees customize their own intranet pages and share information with others in their department.”
The HR group regularly posts current and upcoming events, monthly updates on company performance, messages from the CEO and COO, pictures from the latest company event, and changes to the employee manual.
“We’re trying to avoid clogging everybody’s e-mail box by making ThoughtFarmer the central repository for everything,” Lambert explains. Broadcast e-mails only include links to ThoughtFarmer now.
ThoughtFarmer ensures the security of the intranet so only employees can access the information, something that is important to eHarmony. “We have been pleased wth the level of security and flexibility to create various levels of access to the system,” Lambert said.
Departments can create their own private intranets – but also post information for everyone. Employees are encouraged to include personal information about themselves on their pages and keep them up to date.
“We also like to use ThoughtFarmer for recognition when an employee or a department has done a fantastic job,” Lambert says.
He believes future employee surveys will show ThoughtFarmer is contributing to improved employee satisfaction. He already has anecdotal proof.
“One of the things employees almost always express to me [during weekly round-table sessions] is their appreciation for ThoughtFarmer and the intranet – the fact that they’re getting quality, timely information.”
As more and more departments put their information on the intranet and canvas employees at large to contribute ideas and thoughts, it will also result in product improvements and cost savings, Lambert believes.
The product and its maker have done everything he expected and more, he says. He was particularly impressed that his input resulted in changes to the ThoughtFarmer product. Questions and issues, he adds, are always responded to immediately.
“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a vendor that has been more responsive. The support is fantastic.”