Scaling with care: Employee Experience at Glean

Emily joined Glean in 2018 and has been at the forefront of scaling the organisation’s employee headcount from around 30 to over 100, including building an Employee Experience team of six. As Glean's Head of EX, Emily has given us some insight into her role, including the successes and challenges of working in a scale-up environment.

Clock 2 min read Calendar Published: 13 May 2024
Author Jacob Goodwin
Scaling with care: Employee Experience at Glean



Why is your team called Employee Experience rather than HR at Glean?

Emily Blake Headshot

Over the last five or six years we’ve seen a huge shift in HR departments, largely driven by changing needs of the workforce and a move towards people-centric ways of working.

Employee experiences leans into product management principles of design-led thinking; applying problem solving approaches to  address challenges and improve the overall employee experience.

By changing our approach to ‘people’ strategy, we better understand and address the needs of employees, enhance the employee experience, and drive organisational success. 

What do you love the most about your role as Head of Employee Experience?

I love how varied and broad the scope of the role is. It’s a function that’s still maturing and exploring new ways to make greater impacts so there's always something exciting going on.

Likewise, there are countless opportunities for collaboration across many levels of the organisation as we search for new avenues for innovating and making our employee experiences even better. 

How do you manage strategy in a fast-paced scaleup environment? 

It all stems from creating a real focus on the top priorities. Given the pace and size of Glean, you have let go of things and sometimes say no.

Naturally, this can be difficult, because everything feels important, but letting go lets us lean into what really needs to be focused on.

It's also vital that we constantly review the data to inform our decisions. By ensuring that you have review points to stop, listen and reflect on the data, you can tap into the feedback & insights available to you to make the best decisions at speed and keep stakeholders informed. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role at the moment?

This is a tricky one because all them are good challenges to have! But I'd say our key focus areas are:

  • Implementing high performance structures and getting the much needed buy-in.
  • Managing three different environments; remote, hybrid and office and creating strategies that enhance all three.
  • Creating and strengthening our relationships across all levels of the organisation.

What would you say is your proudest achievement over the past year? 

Top of the list would have to be being a woman and a working mother in a senior role.

Over the past year I've been transitioning back to work post maternity leave for the first time. This has had a profound impact on my outlook and I hope to lean into my own experiences to create and foster an environment of supporting women and working mothers in the workplace. 

Who do you find to be a great source of insight and inspiration?

There are too many to list! But these are my top four:

  • Jessica Zwaan
  • Vanesa Cotlar
  • Hacking HR
  • Adam Horne at Open Org

And finally, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To read people's minds!

Interested in working for Glean?

At Team Glean, we're always on the lookout for talented people to join us.

To learn more about working with us, and explore our latest opportunities, follow the link below!

Visit our careers page
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