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11 Min Read

The Future of HR: 15Five’s Spark AI and HR Outcomes Dashboard Unveiled

Logan Hendrickson
Logan Hendrickson

The performance management landscape is ripe for transformation — and industry experts agree. As Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President of Research and Global Industry Analyst at The Josh Bersin Company, says, “Performance management – done right – has the potential to deliver great value to the business, to employees, and to HR, but most companies struggle to get it right.” 

This is why we are so excited to announce the launch of a groundbreaking solution from 15Five that promises to redefine performance management as we know it. 

HRIS limitations and the need for change

In a world where HR leaders often find themselves resorting to their HRIS (Human Resources Information System) to fulfill expectations that these systems were never designed for, it’s evident that the time for a transformative solution has arrived.

While HRIS platforms serve as essential repositories for employee data and administrative functions, they were not built to address the complex and dynamic needs of strategic performance management. HRIS platforms were initially designed to streamline administrative HR functions such as record-keeping, payroll management, and benefits administration. Their core focus was on data accuracy, compliance, and efficiency in handling routine HR tasks.

Then, the promise of performance management came on the scene — platforms that promised to help both their business AND their people thrive. But they haven’t done that.  Instead of streamlining processes, many platforms have simply added more tasks to HR leaders’ plates, with HR leaders finding themselves entangled in processes that consumed time and resources, all without a clear demonstration of how they were enhancing business performance or employee satisfaction.

But the tide is turning.

As the demands on HR leaders have evolved, so too must the tools at their disposal. That’s where 15Five comes in. 

Introducing The HR Outcomes Flywheel

15Five is a system of action for HR leaders to deliver higher performance, retention, and engagement through managers. The HR Outcomes Flywheel framework is the new way to do strategic HR, redefining how HR can impact business goals and enhance performance, retention, and engagement across the organization. It is a dynamic loop, driving HR initiatives from outcome definition to action scaling, all powered by data-driven insights and AI-powered recommendations. First, let’s break down each crucial element of the HR Outcomes Flywheel.

Outcomes: What does HR need to accomplish to support our business goals?

At the core of the HR Outcomes Flywheel are the desired results. HR professionals are no longer just administrators; they are strategic partners responsible for aligning HR initiatives with the broader objectives of the organization. Defining clear and measurable outcomes is the first step in this transformative journey.

Signals: What’s going well and what can be improved?

To progress toward desired outcomes, you need to continuously monitor your organization’s performance and engagement. This entails identifying what’s working effectively and pinpointing areas that require improvement. Signals act as valuable feedback loops to fine-tune your HR strategies.

Insights: Where should we focus our energy?

In the ever-evolving HR landscape, data-driven insights are the compass guiding your actions. They help you determine where to channel your energy and resources for maximum impact. Insights are not mere observations; they are the strategic directives that empower you to make informed decisions.

Recommendations: What should we do?

Informed by data and driven by AI, recommendations go beyond observations to offer practical, tailored solutions. These are the action plans designed to propel you toward your predefined outcomes efficiently and effectively.

Actions: How do we scale this across the organization through managers?

Scaling your HR initiatives across the organization is where the true transformation happens. Managers become the catalysts for change, empowered with easy-to-use resources and training that enhance their effectiveness. AI seamlessly integrates into existing workflows, making the execution of actions smooth and sustainable.

How 15Five’s system of action comes to life

15Five’s HR Outcomes Flywheel is a powerful system that brings HR leaders, managers, and organizations together to elevate performance, retention, and engagement. Through the strategic integration of performance and engagement data, amplified by cutting-edge AI technology, we’ve established an invaluable layer atop your people data that not only uncovers insights but drives actionable change. Our system of action prescribes precise actions tailored to achieve prioritized outcomes, delivering tangible and quantifiable results that matter.

The numbers speak for themselves — a handful of early adopter customers have seen impressive results within just 30 days of implementing the Flywheel. 

  • 74% of managers improved one or more manager effectiveness competency
  • 23% of managers improved the performance of their team
  • 19% of managers improved intent to stay (retention)
  • 24% of managers improved engagement on their team

Here are a few ways this system of action comes to life within the 15Five product.

Outcomes Insights

The HR Outcomes Dashboard is a centralized hub for the vital metrics that HR leaders aim to enhance through 15Five—Performance, Engagement, Retention, and Manager Effectiveness. While this dashboard provides a treasure trove of data, the challenge lies in distilling it into actionable insights. Our latest release features a revamped HR Outcomes Dashboard that streamlines this process, allowing HR leaders to spend more time making impactful decisions and less time delving into data.

Through HR Outcomes Insights, HR leaders can easily identify the opportunities to make the biggest impact on the outcomes that matter. Leaders are served headlines of their outcome themes based on their own data and given specific, actionable, insights that empower them to act in a way that moves the needle.

HR Insight Signals

HR Insight Signals are specific data inputs from our various measurement tools that point to patterns that impact HR outcomes in meaningful ways.

HR has often found itself in the challenging position of being perceived as a secondary function, invited to the executive table but not given the full recognition it deserves. This is where HR Insight Signals come to the rescue, bridging the gap between HR and business outcomes. These signals are not just data points; they are specific inputs derived from a range of measurement tools, each serving as a beacon that points to patterns critical to HR outcomes. By connecting HR initiatives to business goals, we empower HR leaders to rise above the limitations and demonstrate how their work aligns with broader business objectives. 

Examples of Signals include:

  • Engagement Drivers: Data collected for engagement drivers is rich and directly tied to performance, engagement, and retention.
  • Manager Effectiveness Assessment: Whether measured in Engage or through performance reviews, data about manager effectiveness is also directly tied to HR outcomes.

HR Action Recommendations

HR Action Recommendations easily identify the opportunities to make the biggest impact on the outcomes that matter.

Recommendations provide HR leaders with specific and data-backed guidance on where to direct their efforts and what actions to take. Furthermore, they offer invaluable insights into how to actively involve managers in the process of improving outcomes. This approach ensures that HR leaders no longer have to navigate the labyrinth of generic solutions, but are equipped with a precise roadmap that leads to impactful change, backed by evidence and tailored to their unique organizational needs. 

With HR Action Recommendations, the path to positive outcomes is clear, and the burden of change management is lightened, creating a win-win situation for both HR leaders and their organizations.

Here’s an example of an Action Recommendation:

Theme: Feedback

Recommended Actions:

  1. Manager Training: 3 Micro-learnings to strengthen manager skills in giving and receiving feedback
  2. Weekly 1:1s: Regular conversations that include a focus on what each employee needs in order to make progress on their top priorities. 
  3. Weekly Check-ins: Focus on priorities when reviewing weekly check-ins. Interact and comment on challenges that have been raised.  
  4. Best Self Kickoff: Leverage the Best Self Kickoff to learn more about the ways in which each employee prefers to give and receive feedback.

Introducing Spark AI 

HR is all too familiar with the fact that if you don’t have proof, you don’t have power. Spark AI is the first-of-its-kind assistant for managers and HR leaders, designed to drive measurable improvement in engagement, performance, and retention.

Seamlessly integrated into your daily workflow, Spark AI leverages cutting-edge generative AI technology to help managers and HR leaders drive impact through the HR Outcomes Flywheel – from outcomes to actions – at scale.

Spark AI helps you close the measurement-to-action loop even faster by supporting HR and Managers with things such as:

  • AI synthesized feedback insights from engagement surveys, reading through thousands of open-text comments and providing themes, insights, and next steps
  • Reducing bias and save time writing manager reviews with AI-assisted Reviews
  • Providing managers with an AI Manager Copilot for real-time assistance within the flow of work so they can support their teams with things like creating more effective 1-on-1s

And we’re just getting started. Spark AI is continually evolving, harnessing the power of AI to develop innovative ways to assist employees, managers, and HR leaders.

Learn more at

Other new features to look out for

We’re not done yet! Read on as we introduce some new additions that are going to shake things up for HR pros as they tackle performance management in their organizations. We’re big believers in the power of data-driven decision-making, and our latest innovations are here to make it super easy for HR leaders to harness that power.

Turnover Profiles and Timeframe Configuration

With “Turnover Profiles,” HR professionals can delve into the reasons behind employee departures, gaining insights into engagement levels, performance, manager effectiveness, and tenure. This data equips HR leaders to distinguish regrettable turnover, identify trends, and make informed decisions. Meanwhile, “Turnover Timeframe Configuration” provides flexibility, enabling HR leaders to customize turnover analysis over varying periods, including 30, 60, 90 days, or year-to-date data. These features mark a significant step towards proactive workforce management.

To leverage these capabilities, users can easily access turnover profiles by navigating to the HR Outcomes Dashboard and clicking on the “Employees Turnover over in the last X days” link. The new “Turnover Timeframe Configuration” allows HR professionals to select their preferred timeframe for turnover metrics, enhancing their ability to assess and manage organizational turnover more effectively. These enhancements are designed to bring insights and customization to the forefront of HR, enabling HR leaders to make data-driven decisions and address the challenges of employee turnover with precision.

Manager Effectiveness Indicator Heatmap

This invaluable tool is set to revolutionize how HR leaders monitor and enhance manager effectiveness. The Manager Effectiveness Indicator (MEI) was designed to provide HR leaders with daily, real-time insights into manager effectiveness. It is the easiest way to quantify the effectiveness of your managers with a customizable, science-backed metric and see how it impacts employee engagement, retention, and performance.

Now, the MEI heatmap makes it a breeze to understand where each manager is effective and where they need more support and investment. With this new feature, admins are able to view all factor data across managers, identify groups of managers that have similar strengths or opportunities, and identify strengths or opportunities at the organizational level.

Measuring Manager Effectiveness in Engage Survey

We’ve made it even more convenient for our customers to gauge the effectiveness of their managers within the framework of our Engagement Survey. Now, as 15Five customers run engagement surveys within their organization, they have the option to seamlessly integrate the Manager Effectiveness Survey into the process, enabling them to gain comprehensive insights into the performance and impact of their managers. This empowers organizations to have a more holistic view of their team dynamics as they relate to manager effectiveness, which is a major driver of employee engagement and performance.


With all of these new features, we are ready to change the face of performance management, and as a result, HR, as we know it. HRIS platforms, while crucial, were never designed for the dynamic needs of strategic performance management. They promised to streamline processes but often added complexity without clear benefits. Now, with the HR Outcomes Flywheel, we’re empowering HR leaders to set clear outcomes, make data-driven decisions, and take purposeful actions. Furthermore, Spark AI, our revolutionary assistant, closes the loop between measurement and action, driving measurable improvement in engagement, performance, and retention. 

As Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President of Research and Global Industry Analyst at The Josh Bersin Company, says,  “15Five has filled a major gap in the market with the launch of Spark AI and the new HR Outcomes Dashboard. Finally, it’s much easier for managers to drive business objectives and develop their teams, and HR can use meaningful insights to take the right action, delivering business value through performance management.”

It’s time for a change, and 15Five is proud to be leading the way.

To dive deeper into the new features and register for our virtual launch event to learn more, go to