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Employees working toward team alignment
7 Min Read

Our Latest Product Updates To Encourage Employee Development, Accountability, & Alignment

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Holly Kennedy

We build software for human beings and that means people, not users. We believe great software should fade into the background, effortlessly supporting people in accomplishing what’s important to them and seamlessly integrated into the way they live their lives.

That has been one of our staple design values since day one, and we continue to live those values every day. Of course back then, 15Five was a simple internal communication tool. Today we have evolved into a complete performance management solution to keep pace with trends in employee engagement and people-centric management.

Here are several of our latest product initiatives and feature upgrades. Some are a sneak peek at what’s to come, and many are only available on our Plus Plan. All of these updates are intended to help with employee development, and to increase team alignment and accountability.

Objectives & Key Results

Self Development Objectives 
According to The Society for Human Resources’ 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report, an organization’s commitment to employee development is “very important” to 40% of the thousands of employees surveyed. Yet only 25% of them are very satisfied with the level of commitment to employee development at their organization.

Based on these numbers, modern organizations must be more intentional about employee development and growth initiatives. 

A Self Development Objective can cover anything from enhancing a strength to improving a skill, knowledge or behavior. These should be focused on what an individual wants, how they want to improve, and where they see themselves heading. Tracking self-development in the workplace is a key driver of both employee engagement and organizational performance.

That’s why you can now create and keep tabs on your Self Development Objectives to track how you are progressing towards your target. Regular check-ins allow you to unblock issues with your manager, and when you get to the end of the quarter you can take the time to grade your objective and reflect on how it went.

Self Development Objectives

We recommend at least one Self Development Objective per employee every quarter. Create your Self Development Objective now…

Aligning Objectives (sneak peak)
Alignment is a key component of goal setting in any company. It’s important to ensure you have a set of clear company-wide objectives. Everybody’s objectives throughout the organization, either on the team-level or the individual-level, should link back to those key objectives.

Keeping everyone aligned can come with it’s own set of communication challenges, especially with a large team. There are two new ways you can align your objectives in 15Five:

1. Converting Key Results
For some organizations, strict alignment rules are key to keeping everyone on the same page. In this case, child objectives are defined by the parent objective key results. Each key result cascades to the next level as either a department or individual objective. For example, the CEO’s key result of increasing outbound opportunities becomes the objective for the VP of Sales. This process continues for each department and down to the individual level.

In 15Five, simply navigate to the parent objective and click “convert to child objective” to set up Aligned Objectives.

2. Aligning with an existing objective
For some organizations, strict alignment is a little too rigid when it comes to setting objectives for every individual. We’ve allowed flexibility for individual contributors to have objectives that don’t align directly to a higher departmental or company objective. If needed, you can retain the visual link, but an Objective owner can choose to opt out of automatic roll-up to the parent objective.

Aligning objectives is currently in beta testing with a small number of companies. If you’d like to be part of this, get in touch to request beta access now.

Software Integrations

BambooHR Integration

According to #HRWins research, conducted by George LaRocque, mid-sized companies use an average of nine different HR software applications today. In this same research, the top technology pain points were “lack of integration,” “gaps in automation,” and “too many systems.” This leads to wasted administrative time, siloed data, and a poor employee user experience.

That’s why we integrated with BambooHR, a best-in-class software provider powering the strategic evolution of HR in small to medium sized businesses. This integration helps companies manage the entire cycle of every employee’s tenure at a company, from applicant tracking and employee onboarding, to quarterly OKR tracking, employee feedback, and weekly one-on-one meeting agendas.

BambooHR Integration

“Using so many tools to manage employees is a pain for many HR departments,” said Ryan Newell, Marketplace Partner Specialist at BambooHR. “We are excited to partner with 15Five to offer our customers a modern, complementary solution to help streamline HR’s processes, allowing them to focus on strategic applications for the business.”

In a few simple steps inside the 15Five application, an Admin can link the 15Five and BambooHR accounts and import the company’s employees and management structure into 15Five. You can customize the sync schedule to run automatically or manually, so that the two systems are updated with the latest employment changes.

Next on our HRIS integrations roadmap is Namely. If you’re interested in helping test this out when it’s ready, get in touch!

One on One Meeting Agendas

Employee-led 1-on-1s

Managers should be 1-on-1 facilitators, not owners. Employees should be able to add their issues and concerns to the week’s agenda for quick resolution. Managers can coach employees through their most pressing challenges and easily create action items based on what is discussed during each one on one meeting.

Both Reporters and Reviewers can now contribute to an individual’s 1-on-1. Right now both parties can view the 1-on-1 agenda, add talking points, and push answers from the 15Five weekly Q&A to a 1-on-1.

This quarter we’re working to take this one step further, giving Reporters much more autonomy over the meeting.

Keeping Managers Accountable

We understand the importance of regular one on one meetings, but realize it’s difficult to track when these meetings are happening and between which employees. While we feel strongly that the content of those meetings are between a manager and their team member, we have recognized the value of tracking how often these meetings are occurring.

1-on-1 Usage

We’ll soon be releasing an update to the Usage Dashboard that will allow Admins to see who is conducting regular 1-on-1s and who is not. This information can be easily extracted from 15Five for further reporting and analysis.

The iOS ApplicationiOS-Objectives

Have you downloaded the 15Five iOS app? It’s a great way to check-in with your team on the go, and we’ve been making some additions and improvements to it over the past 3 months…

1-on-1s on iOS 
Now both Reviewers and Reporters can be prepared for their 1-on-1 ahead of time. By opening up the meeting agenda, employees are given the opportunity to drive the 1-on-1 by preparing their discussion points and owning the meeting. Your 1-on-1s are now accessible on iOS to make those walking meetings and coffee shop check-ins much easier to manage.


Download the latest version of the 15Five iOS app.

Head of Product at 15Five, HollyHolly is Head of Product at 15Five, performance management software that combines continuous feedback, pulse surveys, objectives (OKRs), peer recognition, and 1-on-1 meeting agendas. When not buried deep in 15Five’s roadmap, Holly is busy renovating her home just outside Amsterdam, learning Dutch & feeding her travel bug!

Image Credit: on Unsplash