SL Controls was founded in 2002 in Sligo. We have four offices nationally now, one in the U. S. in Florida, we have over 100 employees and currently growing, which we hope to grow in 2022 to about 130 to 140 people. What we do is we integrate software solutions in manufacturing environments, pharmaceutical and medical advice multinational companies, and our aim is to increase the company's overall equipment effectiveness to make sure they get as much product out the door to make their global supply demands.
When did you start using Frankli?
We started using Frankli two years ago. We had a previous system that was very goals and objectives-orientated. We were looking to change the culture within SL controls to more of an engaging process. Where it was more regular, more regular 1:1s and feedback. We also needed to link the company's goals and objectives to the overall strategy where everybody felt part of that, which would waterfall down each individual's piece of work. Whatever site they may be on or whatever project they may be working on, that they could feel how they were inputting to the overall strategy of the company. And that was our reason two years ago, we looked at a number of platforms and Frankli fitted that need.
What did you feel was missing from your approach?
Our approach was an annual process. It was very labour-intensive. It was just like a task that you had to do and at the end of the year, it was a big deal to do the annual review, and people weren't engaged in it. We had to change that, we needed our people to feel regularly engaged, that it was all about how they were progressing throughout the year. More often than not, previously, you'd set the goals and objectives of the start of the year, and, halfway through the year, they were irrelevant, because they moved project or moved to different customers or the business needs changed. We felt it had to be more regular on a 1:1 check-in basis, but also check in with quarterly objectives, as opposed to making them annual. And that was a big change that we needed to make, to make the objectives quarterly as opposed to annually.
What has Frankli delivered for SL Controls?
Frankli has definitely changed the culture in terms of our engagement, in terms of our performance but also in terms of communication and how the managers and staff are reporting to each other and how they're having the conversations. It's very quick. It's snappy. There's a quick 15-20 minute check-in to see how you're going on your quarterly goals. We certainly have achieved that. But we've also achieved is, there's the praise function within Frankli. I didn't know to start would that be something anyone would engage in, but they really have. And when someone does a good job or something small for you know, for a colleague, quick praise to say “Thanks John for doing that for me, it really helped me”. There's been a lot of that and that's changed the culture of how people are engaging with each other, and recognising what people are doing for each other. So yes, engagement culture has really turned around in SL Controls.
"Our people are delighted with Frankli and they really do interact with the platform very well."
Has Frankli met your expectations?
Yes, I think it's definitely met and probably exceeded our expectations, because when you're making a big change to a new platform, people, even though they might like the way things were done, they don't like change. Sometimes change is difficult, but it definitely has transformed the culture in terms of engagement. The usability factor of the platform is really, really good. It looks good. It's easy to navigate around, has some lovely features on it, and we've got some fantastic feedback from the staff that this was definitely a change worth doing. Our people are delighted with Frankli and they really do interact with the platform very well.
What would your message be to other leadership teams looking for a platform like Frankli?
Well, I think the first thing is to look at the purpose, I'm a great believer that you have to have a purpose in your organisation. When you set your strategy, you have to give people purpose, but then they have to know how they're contributing to that purpose. And I think regular engagement is key in driving that purpose. I would say, have the guts to make the change. It's a big deal, it's a big process, and it could be scary to dive into it. But I certainly would. I wouldn't look back now. I'd say make the change, take the time to invest in implementing the process and you will see the rewards. You will see the rewards from how your staff engage, the feedback you get from your staff. I think that has been the most rewarding part of it. To actually get the feedback from the staff that this is great, this is really working for me and actually seeing them engage with the platform.