15Five Earns A Spot On Inc.’s 2019 Best Workplaces List

By David Hassell

Through the power of our performance management solution and Best-Self methodology, 15Five has officially secured a spot on Inc. Magazine’s 2019 Best Workplaces list. (Ok, that’s old news given this was announced in May, but we wanted to wait to share with each of you until we actually had a feature in Inc. to share.) The below is exactly that, and can be found on page 59 of the July issue.

Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, on topics including trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future. Inc. gathered, analyzed, and audited this data. From there, they ranked each employer using a composite score of survey results.

A (Work)Place For Your Best-Self

Most companies have practices in place to ensure employee alignment and high performance. 15Five is no exception. More than software, this continuous performance management platform practices “Best-Self Management” by supporting people in becoming their best selves—not just the best workers. Founder and CEO David Hassell says that when you create an environment like this, you create a loyal, passionate team that cares deeply about the company mission. Then, performance takes care of itself.

Hassell’s mission is to help companies create positive, high-performing cultures. 15Five does this by facilitating ongoing employee feedback via its streamlined software. The company’s 117-person team uses the software themselves and credits it with supporting their incredible workplace. In the company’s eight-year history, only three people have ever left voluntarily. In company surveys, employees often make comments like, “I can’t believe a place like this even exists.”

Live by values

Hassell left corporate America because he thought the only way to work at a fulfilling company was to create one. Then it dawned on him: why shouldn’t everyone, not just founders, find fulfillment in their work while contributing to the company’s overall success? 15Five’s deliberate effort to create meaningful work for its employees, and to treat them as whole people, earns it a spot on the Inc. Best Workplaces list.

15Five software helps management teams create a positive environment in which employees feel heard, appreciated, and supported in doing their best work. But it takes more than software. Core values are critical. 15Five abides by 10 principles, including “Embrace Freedom & Flexibility.” This means managers don’t require people to be glued to their desks. They know self-directed employees do their best work when they can set their own schedules.

Another core value is trust and transparency. “If you are good enough to get on our team, we grant you trust from day one—you don’t have to earn it,” says Hassell. 15Five also values resourcefulness and challenges people to look for creative ways to do a lot with a little.

Hassell says the company has produced twice the capital efficiency compared to other successful software companies of the same size and stage. He credits this to the value system, as well as employees’ sense of purpose.

Practice relationship hygiene

Part of managing for one’s best self is paying attention to interpersonal health. 15Five does this in multiple ways. The executive team begins Monday meetings by rating their state of mind. If someone rates low, colleagues ask how they can make things better. They also deal head-on with interpersonal issues by inviting people to air grievances. For the company, 15Five runs three all-hands meetings a week on Zoom.

Mondays begin with a short moment of gratitude, before updating the company on financials and OKRs. On Wednesdays, a different employee who’s been selected for that month leads a 5-minute meditation before department updates are shared. On ”Question Fridays,” employees break up into random, virtual groups to discuss a different personal question. These sessions allow people to build trust and rapport.

The benefits of these rituals extend beyond employee wellbeing. Because people feel connected to the company, they are more likely to act in its best interest. Because they feel connected to each other, there is less interpersonal drama. Hassell recalls meeting a CEO who vented that his number one job was “chief firefighter.” Hassell can’t remember the last fire he had to put out.

Hassell hopes to encourage other founders to give Best-Self Management a try. He advises that if you genuinely care about your people, they will feel it. And that will drive loyalty, motivation, and engagement.

Find the full 2019 Best Workplaces list here!

This post was created by Inc. Studio and commissioned by 15Five. The article is based on an interview I participated in with Inc. Magazine.

Other Best-Self Resources: 
Best-Self Management Podcast
Best-Self Management Webinar

David Hassell, CEO of 15Five

David Hassell is co-founder and CEO of 15Five, industry leading continuous performance management software that helps leaders and managers drive high performance by bringing out the best in their people. David formerly served as President of the San Francisco chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and was later named “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley” by Forbes Magazine. David has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Wired. Follow him on Twitter @dhassell.


Some of the world's most successful businesses use 15Five to maintain a healthy company culture. Learn How!


Human Resources Today