How Thirdbridge built a healthy feedback loop with Officevibe
We spoke with five Thirdbridge employees – an executive, an HR leader, and three team members – to see how Officevibe helps their team foster a feedback culture and improve the employee experience across their organization.
Thirdbridge was born out of a college project in 2012 and Polytechnique Montreal’s first-ever business endeavor internship (an internship where you build your own business). Since then, it has flourished into a full-fledged software development firm with over 40 employees and notable clients like Desjardins, Couche-Tard, and Circle K.
Adapting to changing times
Alexandre St-Aubin, who joined as Director of Operations just as the company secured its first major client, told us they signed a lease for an office the team never got the chance to enjoy just as COVID-19 turned the world upside down – a story Officevibe is no stranger to.
Like many tech companies, Thirdbridge decided to become a fully remote organization and never looked back. As the company grew, the executive team continued building it around the remote-first model.
Today, Thirdbridge offers employees co-working spaces whenever they need to collaborate in person, but most of their team still works from home – whether that be in Montreal, Quebec City, or France. Their work-from-anywhere model is flexible and only requires employees to be on time and present in pertinent meetings.
Exploring employee experience technology to build a better place to work
Thirdbridge implemented Officevibe in 2019 and saw a need for strengthening their employee experience (EX) early on – even before going fully remote post-pandemic. The interest in the EX platform came as the team closely followed GSoft, Officevibe’s parent company, and its new product launches. A software development company themselves, it was important to stay connected to bigger players in their field, both in Quebec and across the world.
“Officevibe seemed to align well with our values at Thirdbridge, so we gave it a try without having specific expectations in mind. We were keen and inspired to use a Quebec-based product, and it ended up proving to be valuable very quickly.”Alexandre St-Aubin, Director of Operations at Thirdbridge
Though the company had no prior feedback system set in place, the team was open-minded and eager to try it out. With this spirit, Alexandre said it was easy to mobilize the Thirdbridge team to adopt this new initiative. And it started with employees filling out surveys and submitting feedback at their own rhythm. What was once a very exploratory use of the platform became more robust and even second nature with time.
Driving the company forward with meaningful feedback
Above all, Thirdbridge values constant development and progress. And that wouldn’t be possible without giving and receiving feedback regularly.
For Alexandre, normalizing this constructive feedback and integrating it into workplace culture is key because it fuels continuous improvement, growth, and engagement across the board.
“Since it was the first tool we used to systematically give and receive feedback, I’d say that using Officevibe was the first step in building this feedback culture,” he said.
At the employee level, having a tool that simplifies feedback helps them feel heard and acknowledged, even when their name isn’t tied to the message they send up the latter.
“No matter what I have to say, my feedback feels represented and not outnumbered”Kirsten Sherwin, Product Owner at Thirdbridge
Oliver, Full Stack Developer, echoed this sentiment adding that he feels heard and can speak his mind absolutely freely on Officevibe.
For executives like Alexandre, this feedback is golden and as he so eloquently puts it, “provides a way to visualize the professional well-being of [his] colleagues and helps [his team] constantly work towards improving it.”
The Thirdbridge team also shared that since using Officevibe, they’ve held themselves more accountable for sharing feedback because they can directly see how it translates to a better employee experience.
For example, Kirsten said that giving feedback through surveys paves the way for easier communication during one-on-one meetings. Since everyone on her team flags potential points of improvement on a regular basis, nothing is ever a surprise when it’s verbally mentioned to her manager. “This makes it more comfortable and effective to bring concerns up in meetings because the conversation has already started on Officevibe,” she said.
Addressing misgivings and bridging gaps in the employee experience
In his weekly routine, Alexandre looks at the Pulse Survey report, analyzing all metrics and sorting out the ones with the lowest scores or highest negative deltas. From there, he meets with Thirdbridge’s Talent and Culture committee to discuss strategies to close the gaps in their employee experience.
“Without Officevibe, we probably would have missed out on some opportunities to make Thirdbridge a better place to work.”Alexandre St-Aubin
The actions the Talent and Culture committee takes following their analysis of their Officevibe reports vary depending on their findings. “Sometimes addressing a minor issue is as easy as adding talking points to our one-on-ones. Other times, Officevibe data leads to major change. For example, we recently did a deep revamp of our performance management program because we found that employees weren’t fully satisfied on that front,” said Alexandre.
When issues are specific to a certain team or department, Alexandre works directly with the team lead to sort out possible solutions. One of the goals of using Officevibe, he says, is to empower team leads, managers, and department heads to nip problems in the bud before they worsen.
Communicating results and action plans transparently
Thirdbridge takes improving its employee experience very seriously, and part of that is bringing transparency around it to the forefront of its culture.
“It’s important for us to communicate what’s going well with our team, but also where we’re falling behind and what we’re doing to improve,” says Marie-Soleil, Head of Talent and Culture at Thirdbridge. “We meet with the entire team on a monthly basis to present our average engagement scores on Officevibe and also take the time to walk them through the updates we’re working on.”
These monthly meetings have been successful at Thirdbridge to date and have even proven to increase participation on the platform. Employees can see firsthand how their feedback makes a difference in their workplace. In fact, the meetings themselves are a perfect example of their feedback loop at play given that they came about following an anonymous suggestion on Officevibe.
Kirsten shared her perspective on the first meeting of this kind saying, “Alexandre showed us all the metrics on Officevibe and gave us anecdotal evidence without overstepping anyone’s privacy. He showed us how he and his team used the tool to take actionable steps to improve our lives at work. It was a big turning point for me and for many of my colleagues.”
In speaking with the team, the appreciation for their leadership team’s candor and dedication to bettering the workplace was evident. “I care about my colleagues deeply and I want them to be happy at work. I think they knew it before, but Officevibe gives me a chance to show my dedication more concretely. For that, I am very grateful,” said Alexandre.
Good Vibes: Fan favorites at Thirdbridge
We love asking our clients what they love about our tool, so before we signed off, we asked the team to share their favorite feature, and the answer was unanimous across the board:
“My favorite feature is the Good Vibes tool because I love sending people private recognition letting them know how much I love working with them.” – Virginie, Marketing Coordinator
“I would say Good Vibes because I feel we don’t give enough recognition without it. I like that you can recognize your colleagues without showing your message to everyone.” – Marie Soleil, Head of Talent and Culture
“It’s like a little surprise every time you receive a Good Vibe. It’s nice to know that your colleague thinks you’re awesome and that you can return the fuzzy feeling in the future.” – Olivier, Full Stack Developer
“Aside from Officevibe, we also give recognition on a Slack channel. I like to compare Good Vibes to receiving a little love note in your locker in High School, whereas the Slack channel is like announcing your feelings on the intercom or at the school assembly. The private nature of Good Vibes really pleases the introvert in me. It’s intentional and intimate and leaves you feeling really nice.” – Kirsten, Product Owner
What’s next at Thirdbridge
While Alexandre and his team’s approach to improving the employee experience will always stay nimble, a few things are certain:
- EX technology like Officevibe is here to stay and executives will keep focusing on driving participation rates up to ensure data stays representative.
- Feedback will always be valued and will remain at the heart of Thirdbridge’s EX problem-solving strategies.
- The Talent and Culture committee will make sure employees feel heard by communicating their high-level findings and action plans.
With a culture of transparency and open-mindedness and a team of empathetic leaders, we’re certain that the future for Thirdbridge employees is bright.
Businesses like yours are using Officevibe to elevate their employee experience, our experts can show you how.
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