At Airware, performance is everything but autopilot.
Since January 2013, Airware has scaled from 5 to 70. As the team grew over the past few years, communication never was an issue. It was easy to get everyone in the same room to discuss priorities, tackle roadblocks, and acknowledge individual accomplishments. The biggest challenge Airware faced was ensuring everyone in the team understood what was most important and impactful to the organization during rapid team expansion.
As a result of continuously bringing on new hires, working hard to empower everyone, all while tackling pre-market initiatives, it got tough to balance competing team priorities in any given quarter and communicate priorities as they shifted.
Jonathan Downey, CEO and founder of Airware did not want to sacrifice team culture or lose the engagement that came from collectively coming together to recognize and celebrate accomplishments during the process of prioritizing organizational objectives. Being equal parts fun and flexibility that comes with startup growth and the seriousness of an aerospace company, the team took proactive measures to ensure key initiatives weren’t forgotten.
They sought out a goal-tracking, continuous performance solution to keep them cutting-edge not only in the market of commercial drone operating systems, but also in being a great place to work. That solution was, and still is today, 7Geese.
Keeping Airware ahead of the curve in the market is their top priority. With 7Geese, everyone on the Airware team can discuss what’s blocking priorities and what’s keeping them from accomplishing quarterly objectives in real-time.
Having a tool that was not just about the visual display of objectives, but about engagement, personal development, and continuous organizational excellence, Airware uses 7Geese to bring together organizational core values, goals, and highlight progress to ensure everyone, including new hires, know exactly what is important at any given time.
Transparent, continuous updates provide insight from bottom-to-top on what each team is working on in real-time. As a result, roadblocks get overcome as they occur, priorities shift when they’re most meaningful – not at the end of the quarter when it could be too late.
Doing the small things to drive engagement.
In addition to adopting the OKRs goal-tracking paradigm, the Airware team is a true believer in the 7Geese Recognition Program. For their team, it was a clear example of how to celebrate the small things. In the grand scheme of things, it’s the small, action-based behaviours that create the culture and vibe of collaboration and high performance.
At Airware, recognition is so important within their culture that it happens consistently – on the regular 60-70% of their staff are recognizing others, while in any given quarter 100% of the team is being recognized. One attribute to this high rate of success and engagement is biweekly all-hands meetings where the leadership team collectively decides to draw attention to one individual whose recognitions reflected a particularly significant impact to the business and award that individual with the Golden Goose Award in front of the whole organization.
This unique small gesture goes a long way to reinforce what their core values mean and makes clear no action, small or big, goes unnoticed.
On a quarterly basis, they also engage their teams in culture questionnaires, asking questions such as if staff feel they have enough autonomy to perform jobs effectively through the processes they have established around goal-tracking – 93% of the team acknowledged due to the visibility of priorities from top-to-bottom and the trust that comes along with ownership over success of these goals, they have enough autonomy to perform their jobs not just effectively, but happily!
Other areas that stood out to the Airware team included that 78% of the team felt that Airware would be an increasingly great place to work at, as the company lives its Core Values and that the responses to that question were most highly correlated with high levels of engagement at the company. Adopting a continuous, transparent goal-tracking and recognition process means Airware can easily communicate strategic objectives while scaling.