Aunalytics’ journey towards building a culture of recognition 

Written by: Sofia Acosta
Published on: August 24, 2022 |  Reading time: 7m

Part of the Graham Allen Partners’ portfolio of companies, Aunalytics is a data platform company that helps enterprise and midsize companies through their digital transformations. Having undergone rapid growth through hiring and acquisitions in the last few years, Aunalytics knew that maintaining their culture would take care and attention. 

Aunalytics looked to Officevibe to improve their overall team member experience and quickly uncovered areas of concern along the way. With recognition being one of their lowest scoring metrics, Aunalytics partnered with Officevibe to beta test our new recognition tool, Good Vibes. 

We sat down with Mary Jo Ogren, Head of Talent for Graham Allen Partners (working closely with Aunalytics), to map out the company’s journey towards building a culture of recognition.  

How long has Aunalytics been using Officevibe and what was the main driver behind its implementation? 

Aunalytics was founded about 10 years ago, and we were a very small team up until 2018. Towards the end of that year, and through early 2019, Aunalytics acquired two other companies and started ramping up our hiring. Our team rapidly grew from 35 team members to 165 in a matter of months. 

Integrating legacy companies into one new company can be very stressful for team members. There is a lot of uncertainty, which tends to lead to low morale. I was very much concerned about how this would impact the Aunalytics culture we had worked so hard to build. So, I went looking for a tool that would help me get a pulse on how our team was feeling and I found Officevibe. We were very excited to launch it as our employee engagement platform! 

Since then, what is the biggest impact Officevibe has had on your organization? 

When we first launched Officevibe, I set up subgroups for each legacy company we were integrating so that I could see how each group was feeling and adapting to life at Aunalytics. Almost immediately, it was clear that some groups were struggling, and morale was low.   

“By using Officevibe, I was able to quickly spot trouble areas and see exactly where we weren’t doing as well as we’d like and where we needed to focus our attention.”

We especially loved that with Officevibe, newly acquired team members who didn’t trust us quite yet could provide feedback anonymously when they needed help or when they were concerned about something.

On a more positive note, Officevibe also helped us gather insights and ideas, allowing us to merge the best parts of each legacy company’s culture. 

As an HR professional, why do you think it’s important to recognize team members? 

I was a teacher before I jumped into the world of HR and that influenced the way I now see team members at work. In my teaching days, I was really inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is a motivational theory in psychology that studies human needs and how they shape our behaviors. According to this theory, after physiological needs (water, food, shelter) and safety needs (security, employment, health), humans are motivated by a sense of belonging.  

To me, the biggest drivers of belonging are feeling recognized, valued, and respected. I always keep this in the back of my mind at work now.  

“Recognizing team members is important because it’s simply human nature.”

For small to medium-sized companies, having a great culture, including one of recognition, can also really set you apart when hiring and retaining great talent. We can treat people in such a way that they know we value them, they feel like they’re part of a team, and they belong. This makes people want to come to work. And in the face of the Great Resignation, we hope that makes people want to stay. 

How were employees recognizing each other when Officevibe first came along? 

Through the regular Pulse Surveys, Officevibe helped us identify that our lowest performing metrics were wellness and recognition. Naturally, the state of the world at the time (early 2020) exacerbated both metrics.  

This was when our journey towards building a culture of recognition started. The first initiative I implemented thanks to our Officevibe findings was a Teams channel called “Aunstars”. The goal of this group was to give our team a platform to recognize each other for jobs well done.  Today I joke that Aunstars was my own made-up Good Vibes! 

It caught on quickly and some people enjoyed posting kudos on there, especially when recognizing entire teams or groups of people. The main problems I noticed were that it was too public, it didn’t have any prompts, and you had to actively think about going on the channel. All these factors acted as barriers to post. On average, we had about 5-10 posts per month. 

Aunalytics was one of our first clients to use our new Good Vibes tool. How has your culture of recognition been impacted since then? 

Good Vibes was a game changer for us. It was the perfect tool to help us ramp up our cadence of recognition while making our team members feel truly valued.

“I love that Good Vibes is more private and genuine. Praise walls can be great for extroverts or for team shoutouts, but they can also be awkward for some people. Whereas everyone feels amazing when they receive a Good Vibe.”

With reminders at the end of our weekly Pulse Surveys, giving recognition has become a part of our weekly process at Aunalytics.  

In the last 30 days alone, our team sent out 72 Good Vibes, which is amazing to see as an HR professional! 

Which metrics have been impacted most since this feature was implemented? 

Since we started using Good Vibes, we’ve seen our recognition, feedback, and relationship with peers metrics go up. If you’re an HR professional, you know that moving the needle on these metrics is difficult and takes time. So, even if the changes are small, we’re really proud of the difference we made! 

Aunalytics’ metric improvements since using Good Vibes:

Recognition – 7.5 to 7.7 
Feedback – 7.8 to 8.0 
Relationship with Peers – 8.2 to 8.4 

I’m also excited about the impact Good Vibes has had on our overall Officevibe participation rate. In just a few months, we increased it from 90% to 95%. I love that this feature drives our people to use the tool. 

What do you like most about the Good Vibes tool? 

I like how easy it is to use. The simplicity of the tool makes it effortless for anyone to give recognition. This makes it happen more often, and more people end up getting recognized. It creates a great cycle of recognition. 

“The Good Vibes prompts are also super helpful because they get people thinking about actions or behaviors that wouldn’t traditionally get a shoutout. They’re unique, fun, and quirky! And they keep recognition top of mind for our managers and team members.”

Would you recommend Officevibe to other HR professionals? 

Absolutely! After using Officevibe at Aunalytics, we decided to implement it across Graham Allen Partners’ portfolio of companies. Every new company that we acquire also makes it a part of their people and culture toolkit.  

Personally, I also recommend it to my HR network because I think it’s so important to have a pulse on how your team members are feeling. The anonymity of feedback is also crucial because it gives people a safe space to give what they might consider to be hard feedback. 

That’s all we have for today! Do you have any closing remarks before we wrap this off? 

I would just say that the Officevibe team is incredible. Being a part of a beta test for Good Vibes, I had a chance to work closely and collaborate with the team. 

I truly felt like my input was considered and I can even notice my contribution at play when I use the Good Vibes tool. This tells me that Officevibe cares about their client’s experience, but also the employee experience in general. They’re always looking to make their tools more functional for the end user. 

We have been so happy with our partnership with Officevibe, and we look forward to what the future has in store!