15Five Keeps Offices Happy with Open Communication

15Five blog featured image used to describe keeping employees connected and communicating
No matter the office, no matter the environment, the usual office problems always seem to crop up.
Disagreements. Employees feeling unheard. No matter the problems, if not addressed, they can bring an office down. Productivity can decline while turnover rises if the proper intervention isn't taken.

Enter 15Five.

Recently profiled by Inc., the San Francisco-based start-up launched in 2011 behind founder David Hassell and aims to resolve many of these potential problems with a creative spin on the employee review system.

Known mainly for its weekly survey product, 15Five offers template or customizable 15-minute surveys for employees to evaluate every facet of their company, as well as air any other feelings they have. The company's list of 1,000-or-so clients includes fellow start-ups as well as parody news site The Onion, eyeglass maker Warby Parker and the American Red Cross.

Questions like "What are the challenges you are facing?" or "Where are you stuck?" aim to probe the employee for their insights. By starting conversations, the hope is that a resolution can arise, or a dialogue can at least start. This is also designed to let employees know their boss is listening and cares about their opinions, even if they can't be present at all times.

From there, managers receive the results and review each survey individually. 15Five estimates each review to last about five minutes, with some managers claiming to invest more than that.

This has helped resolve issues great and small. In the case of The Onion, according to Inc., 15Five's surveys brought to light employees' wishes for healthier snacks in the office. Within days, healthy snacks were available for the staff. On a deeper level, one employee revealed they were considering leaving the company. By addressing the issues in a timely manner, the employee felt heard and decided to stay.

It's too early to tell if 15Five has reinvented the proverbial wheel when it comes to office reviews and communication. What is evident, so far, is that the 15Five approach has paid off for many of the companies involved, according to Inc. Employees have stayed on board and morale appears high. If used correctly, the instant reaction system could help proactive managers stay on the pulse of their workforce without changing much else in the workday.
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