Why the traditional 9-5 no longer matters when you have OKRs

Back in 2013, as the Vertical Leap team began to scale they needed a system to help with the actual tracking and goal-setting process of OKRs instead of a spreadsheet. CEO Matt Hopkins did a brief search and came across 7Geese. What 7Geese offered that fit directly into the culture of the team was a sense of accountability and goal orientation. As a result, Vertical Leap has been utilizing the 7Geese solution for providing better goal and progress management for teams since December, 2013.

Over the past two years of utilizing OKRs, it’s a unanimous no-brainer that transparency is no longer an issue when aligning priorities. With an online, social solution to professional growth, everyone in the team can see what everyone is doing and exactly how they contribute to the overall goals of the company. One of the biggest benefits for the Vertical Leap team is that this all happens in real-time, all the time.

Personal growth as a business priority means increased transparency

Moving from goal-tracking and planning, the team began utilizing the coaching and feedback tools to hone further in on creating a transparent, accountable team. A standout favourite for the team is having a recognition program directly linked to organizational values. The clear link between actions done day-to-day and organizational vision helps everyone on the team get continuous real-time feedback on everything they do, not just during performance reviews. For Vertical Leap, the implementation of OKRs ensures the team is driven to be personally accountable to grow.

Even in the small day-to-day of the team’s routines, they’re incorporating 7Geese to innovate their performance goals. 7Geese acts as a forum where they can have conversations without worrying about getting defensive receiving feedback. 1-on-1s and feedback offer opportunity to prepare and share constructive follow-up notes where everyone has time to reflect, voice ideas, and expand on opinions.

With OKRs and a central hub to build community around business priorities, every team member at Vertical Leap feels like they belong to a larger goal – there’s always something to look towards.

A sense of belongingness is an integral part of the Vertical Leap culture

With OKRs and a culture of coaching merged in their management process, the Vertical Leap team can now see what everyone is up to at any given time. The alignment and coaching processes provide each employee with a sense of belongingness – their day-to-day is directly aligned up, accounted for, and efforts aren’t forgotten in the grand scheme of things. Team goals have created a centralized and transparent performance management process. For managers, having everything in one central location has also acted as a reality check. It’s easy to forget what employees are thinking, so with the ability to balance the fun, flexible, peer-driven feedback process with the quarterly mandated required check-ins, everyone stays in tune with each other’s thoughts and responsibilities. With 7Geese as the online, central hub solution to ensure everyone’s connected, it’s no longer just about what your direct colleagues are up to, but the conversation becomes how everyone in the company is synced.

“What I like about 7Geese is how it has become an integral part of the culture now. We use it to document one-to-ones with employees, request feedback, and recognize achievement.

Implementing OKRs has been a huge success for us and a large part of that success is down to the way that 7Geese works.”

 — Matt Hopkins, CEO

Since adopting 7Geese and OKRs, everyone on the team has a clearer understanding of what they really want from their career as well as what the company needs from them. The team have personal optional objectives in addition to their professional goals. These are growth-based, career-trajectory objectives supported by the organization.

Tom, joining the Vertical Leap team as a content specialist within the past year had no time getting oriented in his new career as a result. With core values and business goals clearly defined, accessible, and kept at the fore-front of his day-to-day with OKRs, he was able to understand and begin acting on the organizational vision immediately.

“I’ve worked a few agencies before, very much a case of you’re a cog in the endless machine and you don’t ultimately know what you’re working towards, it’s day-in-day-out and you go home.

That’s definitely gone from my point, and my team’s. Helps employees to get a grasp on a purpose and what we are aiming towards.

 — Tom Chapman, Content Specialist

For Tom and the rest of his team, they understand that OKRs aren’t about the tasks that get you to achievement, but the act of challenging themselves. This boost their culture, where the mentality of as long as you’re showing up and working hard, you’re moving towards growth, means the team as a whole is moving towards more opportunities.