A quick word about employee engagement
If you’ve found this article, you’ll probably already know what an employee engagement package is. If you don’t we recommend you read our review of employee engagement software.
The Bersin/Delliote report – The state of employee recognition which surveyed employees in 600 organisations in the US indicated that in most companies employee engagement was weak and too focused on financial factors. In addition the OwlLabs State of Remote Work survey showed that managers running remote teams were full of insecurities about how hard team members were working and but were very little concerned about overwork and their mental health. This is a lethal cocktail for remote workers. Building an employee engagement policy addresses this but employee engagement software goes a step further and builds it into the day-to-day work process. We think it’s a no brainer for companies with large numbers of remote employees.
Initial template set up
While most employee engagement packages concentrate on continuous anonymised feedback, 15Five takes a different approach. 15Five is team based – around an employee and their manager.
Employees are are initially asked to fill out a template containing something about themselves, their experience, achievements, career vision and agreed goals and objectives with their manager. There’s some nice stuff in here that asks people to open up about themselves – questions like ‘The type of work that energises me is…’ and ‘The ideal environment for me to do my work in is…’ ‘signs I’m feeling stressed are…’ ‘If I’m having a bad day, you can support me by…’ These are good questions and can really help people understand each other and build better more productive working relationships. This shows how some of this screen looks:
After this initial exercise, employees are asked to complete a weekly ‘check-in’ where they provide an update on how they are progressing against their goals and objectives and to respond to both general and specific questions about how they’re feeling. This shows how some of the check-in screen looks:
We definitely like the approach because it encourages interaction between employee and manager and it concentrates on meeting goals rather than trying to measure productivity by how many hours are being worked or keystrokes hit. It also effectively abolishes the once or twice yearly performance review. 15Five turns it into continuous performance review. This is a far better approach, especially for remote work where employees often need some added reassurance. In our view anything that encourages continuous but focused interaction between manager and team member has to be good.
Great for bringing new employees on board
Many companies struggle with inducting new employees into the company particularly where they are working remotely. This is an area where 15Five stands out by encouraging the right things to happen. Interaction and feedback between manager and employee are built in and the focus on goal setting and measurement gives the reassurance and feedback that new employees need that they’re doing the right things and making the right impression.
Employees and managers can give each other ‘High Fives’ – thank yous for helping or for work well done. This is a small feature but an important one. Everyone thrives on recognition for work done, but this is especially important for new employees finding their way into a new organisation. 15Five also supports and encourages the set-up of 1:1s complete with agenda and actions agreed.
Reporting is comprehensive and features a measurement of the ‘pulse’ of a team or the whole company i.e. the level of satisfaction a team and/or the whole company are expressing through their check-ins. Other reports show if 1:1s are being held, whether employees are setting objectives and reporting on them, filling their check-ins, the numbers of high fives individuals have been rewarded and so on.
There is also an option to send out separate engagement surveys which are anonymised, but these are large 25 question surveys, more like a traditional employee survey than the continuous feedback used by many other packages in this area. 15Five say they are working on improving this.
Impressive Client List
They have an impressive client list including companies who are big on remote and hybrid working like HubSpot, Intuit and Spotify. 15Five’s target customers are companies from 30 to around 3,000 employees – so very much in the small and medium business market.
15Five have a host of integrations with third party packages ranging from HR and remuneration systems to collaboration software like Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace.
The verdict of our 15Five review? This is a very impressive employee engagement package, highly suited to remote work and we’d recommend you take a look. 15Five costs $7 per user per month for the basic version with limited functionality or $14 per user per month for the Plus version with full functionality.
If you’ve enjoyed our 15Five review and have any questions please let me know on email@example.com
You can see reviews of other products for remote work in our reviews section.
Gren Gale is a consultant in Remote Work and Project Management and has been named as one of the top 19 Key Opinion Leaders globally in remote work in Who’s Who in Remote Working? He is author of the Remote Project Manager and Remote Work The New Normal.
Articles and reviews on this site are written from an unbiased viewpoint. We only review products which are relevant to Remote Work or Project Management and ones we believe in. Once this 15Five Review was written we looked to see if some of the links could generate affiliate income. It won’t make us rich but it helps pay the rent!