ORIGO Education team enjoying lunch together

How Officevibe helps ORIGO Education measure engagement and realign priorities

Success Story

4m

Michael Graves, CEO at ORIGO Education, spoke to us about how Officevibe helped improve communication and transparency within the company’s growing team.

ORIGO Education is a math and STEM resource company dedicated to supporting elementary school children to develop their computational fluency.

Location Queensland, Australia, Worldwide

Company size 75

Industry Educational publishing

The onset of the pandemic was a turning point for most companies across nearly every industry. Leaders and managers were forced to reassess not only their business strategies and priorities but the way they managed their teams to reflect the new reality of the modern workplace.

For Michael Graves who stepped into the role of CEO at ORIGO Education in April 2020, it was a challenging time, but also an exciting opportunity for growth. When classes shifted to remote learning, the Australian-based publishing company of math and STEM resources doubled down on their efforts to offer crucial and accessible digital educational support for elementary school students. They made it their mission to ensure no child lacked the tools they needed to continue learning despite the disruption to their daily routines.

With 75 employees based in Australia, the United States, Thailand, and Ireland, Michael set his sights on adapting the workplace to foster a more positive, transparent, and communicative culture for his distributed teams.

“As a small-to-medium organization with teams internationally, one of our biggest challenges is communication. How can we gauge what our team is up to, how they’re feeling, and what we can do as an organization to improve their engagement and their well-being, and ultimately improve our culture.”

Michael Graves, CEO at ORIGO Education

In 2019, ORIGO Education’s human resources team looked at different communication tools to keep up with its growing workforce. Among them was Officevibe, which was implemented on a trial basis early that year. When Michael moved from COO to CEO, one of his first executive decisions was to use the tool more comprehensively across the organization.   

Looking at the bigger picture   

In the early stages of their Officevibe usage, the leadership team mainly looked at Pulse Survey data for different engagement metrics including wellness, relationship with manager, and happiness to keep a cultural pulse on their team and allow managers to catch issues and address them in real-time. By examining employee feedback and survey data, they were able to spot management challenges, have tough but necessary conversations, and make personnel changes.   

Serendipitously, just as Michael introduced the idea of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) into the ORIGO Education strategy early in 2022, Officevibe launched its own built-in goal-setting tool.

ORIGO Education's engagement score improvement on Officevibe
For ORIGO, team engagement has always been a top priority, and with the new goal-setting feature, Michael noted that their overall engagement score went from 6.9 to 8 in a year.  

“Our use of OKRs is evolving. Goal setting is a muscle that you need to exercise, and we just hadn’t flexed it for some time. So now we’re getting back to basics: I’m setting overarching organizational goals and being transparent about them,” said Michael.   

With the help of the OKR framework, Michael communicates these objectives to the board and with the rest of the ORIGO Education team during town hall meetings every six weeks. From there, different departments can set their own quarterly objectives more efficiently and see how their work contributes to the company’s larger mission.   

“We need to move away from siloed objectives. We’re now trying to broaden our goals and look at what the most important priorities are for the organization to drive everything forward,” said Michael.   

Having the tough conversations  

While Officevibe has helped them with some alignment issues, including managing teams in different time zones, Michael said goal setting is a continuous work in progress for the organization, as well as increasing transparency.   

“One of the great things about the OKRs feature is that there is accountability across the board, even for me and other members of senior leadership. Yes, there’s success, but there’s also failure. You can have a really open conversation about failure.” 

Michael Graves

Michael sets aside a minimum of half an hour weekly to comb through his Officevibe feedback. During these contemplative moments, he can spot changes or trends and schedule a time to speak with his team to overcome challenges.  

“Some feedback can be harder to swallow, but in the end, constructive feedback is always helpful to improve your organization and your employee experience.” 

Looking to the future 

Moving forward, ORIGO Education remains committed to supporting their distributed teams and improving employee engagement. Through town hall meetings and brainstorming sessions, managers and team leaders explore different ways they can focus on employee wellness and foster a healthy and inclusive work environment.

A firm believer in the power of constructive and positive feedback, ORIGO Education employees have been recently encouraged to start sending their colleagues kind words with Officevibe’s latest feature, the Good Vibes peer-to-peer recognition platform. 

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