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Customer Stories
6 Min Read

Scaling Effective Managers: Pendo reduces turnover by 21% while onboarding 163 managers

Logan Hendrickson
Logan Hendrickson

Pendo is a trailblazer in product experience platforms.

Scaling Growth, Engagement, and Retention

Rapidly scaling any company while maintaining engagement and retention is a daunting challenge for HR and People teams. Scott Morgan, Head of Growth at Pendo, experienced this firsthand as Pendo expanded from 200 to 1,000 employees. However, their success in onboarding 163 managers, remaining in the top 25% of employee engagement, and significantly reducing turnover to 11% stands as a testament to their focus on manager effectiveness and their strategic partnership with 15Five.

“We are rapid growth, we are scaling revenue, we are building product features, we are innovating. All of that relies on a great strategy for the business and the people to execute the strategy. And that’s why I love the work I get to do and the people space. You can’t do any of this without people and without a People team.”

Scott Morgan, Head of People Growth

The Challenge

As Pendo surged in size, onboarding managers became a critical focal point. With the pivotal role managers play in fostering employee engagement, productivity, and retention, it was imperative to equip and support them effectively. Pendo recognized the need to streamline onboarding processes while ensuring that their growing team of managers aligned with the company’s culture, values, and operational strategies.

The approach: The HR Outcomes Flywheel

HR and People teams can’t drive organizational change without proving impact. Proving the impact of HR programs on business impact is essential to build buy-in and support for organizational change. 15Five helps teams start by aligning their initiatives with the HR Outcomes, transforming performance, retention, and engagement data into guided actions that drive clear results. 

By following 15Five’s Flywheel approach, the Pendo team is able to focus on the HR outcomes that matter most to the business while continuously measuring and improving them.

Targeted HR Outcome: Turnover

Pendo’s primary HR goal centered around improving retention rates amidst rapid company growth.

Signals: Gathering Data and Measuring Progress

Pendo embraced 15Five’s suite of performance management tools, harnessing the power of the HR Outcomes Dashboard, continuous performance reviews, weekly check-ins, 1-on-1 meetings, and more. These tools became the cornerstone of Pendo’s focus on increasing manager effectiveness in order to impact engagement and retention.

1. HR outcomes Flywheel: Pendo has followed (while helping develop) the strategic process of transforming performance, retention, and engagement data into guided actions that drive clear results.

2. HR Outcomes Dashboard: Pendo monitors their performance, engagement, retention, and manager effectiveness all in one place within 15Five to continuously have their finger on the pulse of how their HR programs and practices are influencing the metrics that matter most to the business.

3. Manager Effectiveness Indicator: Going a level deeper, they also make sure they know how managers are impacting their teams from a department, cohort, and even individual leader level. Pendo can look at both subjective and objective data to have an accurate and actionable indication of effectiveness for their managers.

4. Performance Reviews: Pendo uses 15Five’s performance reviews to establish clear performance benchmarks and objectives. This framework facilitates transparent discussions, enabling managers to set meaningful goals and track progress collaboratively with their teams.

5. Check-ins: Regular check-ins provide a structured platform for managers to communicate with their teams. These brief but impactful meetings ensure that goals remain aligned, feedback flows seamlessly, and challenges are addressed proactively.

6. 1-on-1 Meetings: Pendo empowers managers to delve deeper into individual employee growth and development. These personalized sessions foster trust, encourage open dialogue, and boost team morale.

Insights: Leveraging Data for Action

Pendo harnessed the collected data to glean valuable insights:

  • Identifying Top Talent: Analyzing performance review data allowed Pendo to pinpoint top talent within the organization. Pendo has even been able to hone in on their top 13 individuals that they know are making an outsized impact on the organization so they can proactively engage and retain them.
  • Facilitating Growth Conversations: The data has helped facilitate meaningful growth conversations, a key driver in Pendo’s development and retention efforts.
  • Early Adopter of Manager Effectiveness Indicator: Embracing innovative tools like the Manager Effectiveness Indicator offered deeper insights into managerial effectiveness and impact and its correlation with engagement and retention.

“When you are trying to scale up a business and provide a path for people that provides meaningful managerial experiences you do not want variance, you want everybody skewing towards what you know works well at your company, at your point in the growth curve. 15Five gives us that structure to remove the variance and guide managers towards what we know works well.”

Scott Morgan, Head of People Growth

Recommendations and Actions: Manager Onboarding

Under the guidance of Scott, Pendo took decisive actions:

  • Elevating Strategic HR: Pendo knows that HR Outcomes like engagement, retention, and performance have a significant impact on business objectives like revenue and company growth. The leadership team continues to invest in their people, knowing that nothing is possible without them.
  • Manager Onboarding: Operationalizing an effective onboarding process empowered managers from day one, emphasizing the importance of check-ins, performance reviews, and utilizing OKRs and personal development OKRs.
  • Continued investment in manager development: Pendo knows that people leave their managers, so they are continuing to use tools like 15Five to make sure they’re managers are all continuing to upskill and do the right actions.

Impact: Tangible Results and Achievements

Pendo’s strategic actions have yielded significant impact:

  • High Adoption Rate: Achieving a near 99% adoption rate for the performance review process indicates that people see their People practices as important and worth their time.
  • Top Quartile Employee Engagement: Employee engagement has consistently remained in the top 25%, regardless of market conditions.
  • Recognition of Managerial Influence: Employees regularly acknowledge individual managers and leaders for their positive influence on their work.
  • Turnover Reduction: Most importantly, Pendo has seen a drop from 14% to an impressive 11% in turnover.


Pendo’s journey showcases a comprehensive approach to leveraging 15Five’s HR Outcomes Flywheel approach to performance management to drive impactful HR outcomes. By starting with an outcome in mind, focusing on data-driven signals and insights, and prioritizing manager effectiveness, Pendo not only improved retention but also bolstered employee engagement and is seeing record participation in their important People programs. 

Pendo remains committed to cultivating an environment where managers thrive, employees excel, and the company continues its upward trajectory of success.

Their story stands as a testament to the transformative power of strategic HR practices intertwined with innovative tools like 15Five.

Learn more about 15Five.