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15Five Hears the Voice of the Employee

The concept of the “360 degree” review, where the employee being reviewed gives feedback about management and the company in general, has gained popularity in recent years. A new HR technology startup called 15Five aims to turn 360 degree reviews into an automated weekly process.

The 15Five solution gives employees a customized template to write weekly reports that record their insights on company performance, morale, etc. The reports are designed to take no longer than 15 minutes to write and no longer than five minutes for managers and executives to read. Proprietary algorithms help managers sift through feedback to discover commonly raised points they can “roll up” into meta-reports for the CEO and other top executives.

15Five Gets $1M Funding

As reported by BetaKit, 15Five has received US$ 1 million in new funding from the Richmond Global venture capital firm, with participation from 500 Startups and several individual investors including Yammer founder David Sacks and Xobni founder Matt Brezina. BetaKit notes that the investors include several prominent figures from the social enterprise space, including Sacks and Brezina who “created tools that made the workplace more social.” Sacks reportedly tried to invest in 15Five when it launched its beta version in March 2012.

New funding will reportedly go to product development and marketing and version 2.0, expected to have an expanded feature set including new ways to analyze the information in the weekly reports, is set to launch in the first half of this year.

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The Timely Intranet

15Five appears to solve a key problem of corporate intranets (and it essentially functions as an intranet tool) identified in June 2012 CMSWire guest column from Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) founder Andrew Wright – intranets take up too much precious employee time. “The number one (intranet) complaint, by a huge margin, that employees have of their intranets is: "It's a WASTE OF TIME!",’ wrote Wright.

He suggested a strategy of providing services (and training), such as online forms and collaboration tools, which would seem to describe 15Five pretty well. Ironically, Wright was actually advising organizations on ways to make intranets more efficient so that employees would spend MORE time on them, but 15Five instead takes the approach of maximizing the quality, rather than quantity, of intranet time. With all due respect to the very accomplished Wright, it seems like a solid approach.

 
 
 
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