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Inside Wisedocs: OpenComp’s People-first Employer to Watch in 2023 Award

| Jan 10, 2023 6:00:00 AM | By


Jenna Earnshaw is head of revenue at Wisedocs, winner of OpenComp’s People-first Employers to Watch in 2023 Award in the under 100 employees category. In this interview, Jenna shares how early-stage companies can take a deliberate and thoughtful approach to employee support, engagement, and career pathways. 

A little about Jenna Earnshaw

Jenna has immersed herself in the startup industry for the past 12 years, holding sales, advisor, and investor roles at Canadian companies including PartnerStack, Railz, and Showpass. Jenna joined Wisedocs as an advisor in 2019 and became its head of revenue in January 2022. 


Tell us about Wisedocs.

Wisedocs is an AI platform that analyzes and organizes medical records. We work closely with insurance carriers, law firms, and other organizations that need to analyze medical record data quickly. We were founded in 2018 and are backed by GreenSky Capital, Ripple Ventures, and individual investors.

We have offices in Toronto, Canada, which is HQ, and in Nashville, Tennessee. We’ve doubled headcount over the past year and are at 45 employees at the moment. Prior to the pandemic, we had a very lively in-office community. But then everyone went fully remote, and feedback since then shows most people prefer to work remotely with an option to work in one of our offices, so our policies mirror that. 


How do you define employee-centricity?

It’s about putting employees first. As many great leaders have said, you can’t build a great company without great people, so you have to make sure they’re happy, healthy, enjoying their work, and have opportunities to grow and develop their careers. Given that we’re mostly remote, we ensure we support our employees and give them what they need to succeed from a total rewards perspective. We wouldn’t have the business that we have without our team, so we focus everything that we can on the employee experience.  


What are the pillars of your employee experience strategy?

We focus a lot on feedback, optimizing the loop between employees and management, and giving everyone various opportunities to share opinions publicly and privately. To help us with that, we’ve implemented a platform that gives us a cohesive and repeatable way to collect and deliver feedback. We also send out an employee survey and have check ins with employees throughout the year.  

The other thing we put a big focus on is transparency. We have a monthly all-hands meeting where we update everyone on everything from revenue metrics to how we’re hitting our targets on the engineering side. We really believe that making sure everyone understands the path we're on is a key part of the employee experience. That means we get to experience our wins together.

On the strategy side, we’ve put a big emphasis on diversity and inclusion. We strive for diversity – from leadership down. We’re trying to build an environment where different opinions are welcome, people feel comfortable at work, and everyone has a seat at the table. To support this goal, we decided quite early on to bring on a full-time people and HR manager. We didn’t want to wait until we were a larger company to fill this role because it shows employees we’re dedicated to giving them support from day one. 

Finally, we put a lot of effort into community building and engagement, especially since we’re mostly remote. We fly everyone to Toronto for an on-site kick off for every quarter. And every department head gets a budget for team-building activities like in-person or remote lunches or games. 

We also have a kudos channel on our internal messaging platform where everyone gives shouts for good work. So whether it’s in person or online, we try to bring the community together. 

We also publish employee spotlights on the Wisedocs blog, which also help show candidates the diversity within our company and the opportunities to advance their careers.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your employee experience strategy?

The employee survey is a big one. We also look at participation and turnout rates for online and in-person events. Retention and hiring are obviously big components. The other things we’re starting to measure are the promotional paths people are able to create for themselves at Wisedocs. We’re really proud to say that we’ve had enough promotions to track against on a monthly basis. 


What do you do to optimize candidate experience?

One thing we do really well is lay out the path of the hiring process for candidates. We follow up quickly and make sure candidates understand where they are in the process and what the next steps look like. To make sure we’re aligned on hiring across the organization, and that we aren’t driving our own hiring strategies, we put together a core values rubric to help us evaluate candidates. 


How do you approach career pathing?

We’re proud of the fact that we’ve had so many employees rise from junior roles into senior positions or discover new interests and move to other departments. That comes from strong communication and effective 1:1s, and it informs our total rewards strategy.

It’s about understanding an individual's motivations and career goals and then supporting that. We start these conversations early on so we can create opportunities for everyone.

We’ve done a few different things around this. We have a learning and development fund that every employee can access. And when we identify someone who’s interested in a leadership opportunity or a role on another team, we give them exposure to that. 

We had an individual on our quality assurance and documents team who was really passionate about marketing, so we gave her opportunities to explore that. With training and mentorship, in less than a year she transitioned to a marketing role full time. That’s a really powerful story, not just for her, but for any person who is interested in joining the organization.


How do you ensure pay equity and pay transparency across the employee lifecycle?

We use comp data to guide us in our decision making, and we do formal reviews of total rewards every 12 months to coincide with an employee's annual performance review. We’ve also started to share job levels with employees. I think it’s very important that employees know how they can progress and what the monetary benefits could be. There are some departments where we have levels cleanly mapped out and other departments where we’re building the plane as we fly it. 


What’s your approach to Glassdoor reviews?

We just started our Glassdoor strategy. We hadn’t done much with our profile and hadn’t spoken to employees about it. Recently, our marketing lead has taken the initiative to build out our profile to include things like blog updates, pictures, and more information about Wisedocs. We’ve also started inviting employees to share their reviews.


What tactics are you testing right now to improve the employee experience?

We’ve recently implemented two big things, an employee discount platform and health spending account, which came out of employee feedback about our benefits.

We’re also standing up a social committee. One of its first initiatives is a gifting initiative that gives everyone a dollar amount they can gift to someone for the holidays. We’re trying to experiment with ways to build more employee-to-employee engagement, where people feel more connected with each other and not just the company.

To learn about other People-first Employers to Watch in 2023, head to the OpenComp blog

See all the winners of the People-first Employers to Watch in 2023 Awards