Created by Inc. Studio and commissioned by
Most companies have practices in place to ensure employee alignment and high perfor- mance. 15Five is no exception. More than software, this continuous performance management platform
practices “Best-Self Management” by supporting people in becoming their best selves—not just the best
workers. Founder and CEO David Hassell says that when you
create an environment like this, you create a loyal, passionate
team that cares deeply about the company mission. Then,
performance takes care of itself.
Hassell’s mission is to help companies create positive, high-performing cultures. 15Five does this by facilitating ongoing
employee feedback via its streamlined software. The company’s 117-person team uses the software themselves and credits it with supporting their incredible workplace. In the
company’s eight-year history, only three people have ever left
voluntarily. In company surveys, employees often make comments like, “I can’t believe a place like this even exists.”
Live by values
Hassell left corporate America because he thought the only
way to work at a fulflling company was to create one. Then it
dawned on him: why shouldn’t everyone, not just founders,
fnd fulfllment in their work while contributing to the company’s overall success? 15Five’s deliberate efort to create
meaningful work for its employees, and to treat them as whole
people, earns it a spot on the Inc. Best Workplaces list.
15Five software helps management teams create a positive
environment in which employees feel heard, appreciated, and
supported in doing their best work. But it takes more than
software. Core values are critical. 15Five abides by 10 principles,
including “Embrace Freedom & Flexibility.” This means managers don’t require people to be glued to their desks. They know
self-directed employees do their best work when they can set
their own schedules.
Another core value is trust and transparency. “If you are
good enough to get on our team, we grant you trust from day
one—you don’t have to earn it,” says Hassell. 15Five also values
resourcefulness and challenges people to look for creative
ways to do a lot with a little.
Hassell says the company has produced twice the capital
efciency compared to other successful software companies of
the same size and stage. He credits this to the value system, as
well as employees’ sense of purpose.
Practice relationship hygiene
Part of managing for one’s best self is paying attention to interpersonal health. 15Five does this in multiple ways. The executive team begins Monday meetings by rating their state of
mind. If someone rates low, colleagues ask how they can make
things better. They also deal head-on with interpersonal issues
by inviting people to air grievances. For the company, 15Five
runs three all-hands meetings a week on Zoom. Mondays begin
with a short moment of gratitude, before updating the company on fnancials and OKRs. On Wednesdays, a diferent
employee who’s been selected for that month leads a 5-minute
meditation before department updates are shared. On ”
Question Fridays,” employees break up into random, virtual groups
to discuss a diferent personal question. These sessions allow
people to build trust and rapport.
The benefts of these rituals extend beyond employee wellbeing. Because people feel connected to the company, they are more
likely to act in its best interest. Because they feel connected to
each other, there is less interpersonal drama. Hassell recalls meeting a CEO who vented that his number one job was “chief fre-fghter.” Hassell can’t remember the last fre he had to put out.
Hassell hopes to encourage other founders to give Best-Self
Management a try. He advises that if you genuinely care about
your people, they will feel it. And that will drive loyalty, motivation, and engagement.
15Five helps other businesses create incredible cultures by starting with its own.
FOR YOUR BEST SELF