Despite what we have been told, human beings are not fixed. Every person possesses the ability to learn, grow, and transform into better versions of themselves. No one has to stay mired inside limiting beliefs or circumstances, and we as business leaders have the responsibility to guide our people towards greatness.
This profound realization is what led to the creation of 15Five. On average, employees from across the globe are spending most of their waking hours at work, and unfortunately, most of these people are disengaged and dissatisfied. 15Five wants to ensure that the moments spent at work provide some of life’s best experiences.
When people contribute their gifts to the fulfillment of a greater purpose and continually grow, their experience of work is wholly transformed. 15Five has proven that by granting higher levels of trust and focusing on employee development, leaders have the ability to create a cultural revolution at their own company that translates into improved business outcomes.
From the beginning, we have set out to transform the world of work by helping organizations understand and increase the value of every employee. Through this journey, we have solidified our mission to create the space where people become their greatest selves. And it seems we are not alone…
Today, 15Five is thrilled to announce the close of a $30.7 million Series B round led by Next47, a global venture firm created by Siemens, with participation from Matrix Partners, PointNine Capital, Jason Calacanis’s LAUNCH Fund, Newground Ventures, Bling Capital, Chaifetz Group, and Chicago and Salt Lake City-based Origin Ventures, which led our Series A funding. This latest round of financing brings 15Five’s total capital to $42.6 million.
We’ll use this funding to further accelerate the growth we’ve experienced, scale our sales and marketing teams, and continue investing heavily in our innovative product. Two quarters into the year we have already doubled our 2018 headcount and are looking to expand to 190 employees by the end of 2019.
With this latest round coming only several months after our Series A, we see this as a firm testament to the demand for continuous performance management in the marketplace. To quote world renowned industry analyst, Josh Bersin, “[performance management] is a highly strategic process in companies and it has gone through a huge transformation. What used to be an annual year-end appraisal has now become a whole plethora of new practices falling into a new category we call ‘continuous’.”
This paradigm shift in organizations’ people management practices is driven by a newer generation of employees. Millennials perform at their peak when given regular feedback, flexibility in how they work, and growth opportunities. In fact, these practices benefit everyone, not just younger employees.
Now as managers, directors, and even founders, Millennials see the value of investing in technologies that enable thriving workplaces. We believe that the market has arrived and the strong demand for talent management software like 15Five will continue to rise.
Millennials are being recognized as the largest adult generation, and they have wasted no time in changing the rules that their predecessors built. As this newer generations come into roles of leadership, they are redirecting focus onto the people that make up their companies, and the cultures they co-create with them.
According to Matthew Cowan, Partner at Next47, the Siemens-backed global venture firm and lead investor in this Series B funding round, “[15Five has] a simple yet elegant technology solution that reflects the needs of the modern day employee. As millennials take on an increased percentage of the workforce and workforces become more distributed, corporations such as Siemens and the customers they serve, are rethinking how they manage their employees. We look forward to leveraging our relationships to help 15Five achieve accelerated future growth.”
What sets 15Five apart is that our software is based on the latest research in organizational development and positive psychology. This science also influences our Best-Self Management methodology, which posits that when leaders build cultures and institute practices that support people in being and becoming their best selves, then high performance and uncommon loyalty naturally result.
We begin with a “Best-Self Discovery” process that involves setting at least one Personal Development Objective along with other quarterly OKRs. This then ties into other key 15Five features, like the Weekly Check-in and 1-on-1s between employees and managers.
A concrete example of a product tie-in with this methodology is our Best-Self Review, which replaces the ineffective and archaic annual performance review by primarily focusing on employee development and career trajectory every quarter. One meeting a year doesn’t provide the continuous feedback that is conducive to real-time growth. The Best-Self Review provides a well-rounded view of each person’s impact, and lays the groundwork for strengths-based employee development conversations.
Engaged employees are the ones who feel passionate about their work, and that requires the full support of management and leadership. Creating a workplace culture that responds to every person’s deep desire to grow begins at the very top. Leadership teams that actively practice open communication and solicit regular feedback are yielding more loyal and productive people than ever before.
15Five intends for every employee to experience transformational breakthroughs in their workplaces, and achieve the life that they want—not necessarily in the accumulation of things or hitting some end point way out in the future but through finding satisfaction in the moments of their work.
David Hassell is co-founder and CEO of 15Five, continuous performance management software that guides employee development while empowering people to become their best selves. Through strategic weekly check-ins, managers can unlock the potential of employee performance via continuous feedback, OKR tracking, peer recognition, and 360° reviews. David regularly speaks and writes about leadership and culture and has been featured in Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Inc. Follow him on Twitter @dhassell.
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