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People First: Bethany Francis, HR Manager at SharpSchool

David Bator
by David Bator on September 2, 2014

People First

We're tracking down TemboStatus users inside the world's most amazing companies to discover their favorite tools, inspirations, pet peeves and the philosophy behind what makes them so awesome.

This month, we chatted with Bethany Francis, HR Manager at SharpSchool, an education service provider providing solutions at the K-12, regional, and state levels. Located in Toronto, SharpSchool was founded in 2001 with the goal of helping educational institutions improve communication and enrich student learning.


Why did you get into HR?

Early in my career I knew that HR was one profession that would touch all areas of the business and I liked the idea of being able to partner with different departments and learn how each piece of the puzzle comes together. I realized my strengths have always been geared towards building relationships and leading change, so the idea of becoming abusiness partner made sense and drove my career path from the start.

 

What separates a good HR department
from a great one?

Bethany quote

I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing HR leaders and there are two very important lessons that I’ve learned and want to practice every day with our team. The first is customer service. How we interact with our colleagues, our ability to answer questions, provide support, and help people navigate their way through their professional development is an important measure of HR. The second is the ability to bridge the gap between goals and performance. A great HR department knows the business strategy and is able to identify and align their goals to support it. 

 

What is your role at SharpSchool?

I’m the HR Manager at SharpSchool. I’m new to the role and the role is new to the company! I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on existing programs and try and find new and better ways to improve the HR function in a growing business.

 

What are the biggest pain points of your job?

SharpSchool is changing rapidly; there is a lot on the go. I have so many ideas I’d like to explore but with the speed of the business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day activity. I think finding the balance is a challenge for all HR professionals.

SharpSchool Employees 

What do you love about your people?

You can tell when someone really loves what they do. Our people have worked hard to learn their craft and it’s impressive to see what they are producing. I love to see this passion and how it resonates to everyone in the company.

 

What are the wider industry trends changing the nature of your role?

The use of technology and the ability to collect data beyond traditional HR metrics. There are new applications available that will help HR track skills and performance, manage compensation with relevant market data, and plan out HR initiatives that are important to the business. The fun part is learning about all the possibilities!

 

How do you use TemboStatus?

I was fortunate that when I joined SharpSchool, the TemboStatus survey had just closed. This meant that even on the first day, I had an immediate sense of how engaged our employees were.  Additionally, the application dashboard highlighted the three key areas requiring my immediate focus.

Since TemboStatus turns our employee feedback into to-do-lists, it’s been easy to action on the areas employees care about most. As an example, our employees told us that communication was an issue. We instituted a Town Hall series, led by our CEO where we share high level information about what we’ve accomplished over the past month, what we’re working on and what we’re all driving towards. The Pulse tool from TemboStatus lets me go back out to employees to measure progress.

TemboStatus will continue to be a strategic tool for us to understand what our employees care about and identify and make the changes required to sustain SharpSchool's reputation as a great place to work.

sharpschool employees


We thank Bethany for meeting with us and answering our questions. Look for another People First feature next month! Learn more about the TemboStatus Dashboard by visiting our product page here.

 

 

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David Bator
Written by David Bator

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