Aligning global teams & training new managers with Officevibe
Kiran Gawde is the Director of Technology at Object Edge. With teams around the world, he oversees Officevibe for all of Object Edge and is responsible for their tech team.
Object Edge was built from the ground up. It had a close-knit culture that served the company well in its early years, when the whole team was together in a single office. In fact, their informal interactions were their strength – it was the basis of their success and helped them keep customers happy.
But when they began growing beyond one office, it became too difficult to transpose their informal culture elsewhere. They needed to see how employees in different locations were doing. That paved the way for Officevibe – and it’s greatly helped in that understanding. Best of all, their teams love it.
Bringing a company together – even when they aren’t in the same office
Six months into using Officevibe, Kiran noticed Object Edge’s overall engagement score was low, and not improving. He wasn’t about to sit around and let it worsen.
People in the company had low engagement metrics because of the siloed offices in Brazil, India, and the United States. That was the first challenge.
“We needed to improve our [Employee Net Promoter Score]. But the score alone was not sufficient information to work with. So we started tracking things and really diving in to Officevibe metrics. We pushed every manager to look at their teams’ reports. Officevibe really shows you the areas that you should be looking at – that’s where we started.”
That’s how he discovered the Alignment metric – and saw how it was impacting their performance.
Aligning from the top
His first initiative was to align the company’s leaders. Though the Company Vision and mission was long-established, Object Edge didn’t have a defined set of values.
“A company reflects what leadership is,” he says. “Object Edge had acquired the Brazil office by acquiring a company. The employees there had maintained the original business’ identity, and most of their tools weren’t integrated – they were more aligned with their former leader. It was the same thing with India – though it wasn’t a separate acquisition, the way people work in India isn’t the same as the way people work in the US. So to bring them together, we had to start with a leadership exercise to come to an understanding of our own mission and values.”
On top of monthly and leadership meetings, the company began sending out weekly values and behaviors emails to employees, reinforcing what it means to work at Object Edge, and helping their workforce feel like they were part of a greater whole.
Using Officevibe to unify
“It seems obvious, but we’ve grown from 10 people to 120 people since 1994. Some have been here 20 years or more. As we have an open-door policy, many of the tenured staff didn’t think we needed the companywide meetings. We talk to each other, lunch together, and so on. But with the offices in different regions, we needed these meetings – and they really helped. That’s when engagement started going up, and a bunch of our other metrics, too.”
Kiran’s bet on the Alignment metric paid off. Once they started focusing on aligning the company by responding to feedback within Officevibe and launching initiatives, all of their other metrics rose as a result.
Making managers stronger in their roles
Kiran also began to receive feedback about some of his managers.
It was an eye-opener to see that some people were really unhappy with their managers. Through Anonymous Feedback, we noticed that people felt their relationship with their manager was not that great. Sitting in the US, I couldn’t have told you that something like this was happening in other regions.
Kiran pushed all of the managers to dive into their numbers but quickly understood that with new managers, the challenge wasn’t always in the numbers. Many of them had been promoted because of how good they were with technology and didn’t have any formal managerial training.
“With Officevibe, we could see exactly what was happening. We were able to take control of the situation and conduct manager training. I especially like all of the learning material that Officevibe presents, and how it gives articles to read to improve certain manager skills. I shared an article about Emotional Intelligence with the entire company.”
With engagement up, metrics on the rise and a company that’s aligned on a single identity, Kiran says they’ve turned their sights to smaller but crucial metrics, like Wellness. Today, he says they’re talking about stress.
With remote work, people are always connected, and they feel compelled to work overtime if they’ve done something like take a break to spend some time with their family. So now, we’re talking more about stress. We want their Wellness to improve.