My Experience with OfficeVibe, and How It Addresses Employee Engagement

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I feel like I should start this post out stating that I am in no way affiliated with the OfficeVibe product. I simply want to write a review because it’s a pretty cool tool that is currently helping me identify areas of improvement with my team morale. In this article, I go over what the OfficeVibe service is, how it works, and how my team is using it.

What is it?

OfficeVibe is a software service designed specifically for measuring employee engagement. It has all the functionality you would expect. The survey asks specific questions geared towards topics like Health, Economics, Camaraderie, Overall Happiness, etc. And once the data has been collected, the results are packaged up and delivered through customizable reports.

Pulled from OfficeVibe Website

How Does it Work?

OfficeVibe can be used through email, but it also has a plugin for the communication platform Slack. If you are unfamiliar with Slack, that is another post for another time, but in a nutshell; Slack is a persistent messaging platform built for quick collaboration and efficient communication.

Slack also allows for Bots (Artificial Intelligence) to interface with it. This means independent software companies can program tools into the communication platform. That’s how OfficeVibe built their system. The bot they designed helps users take the quick survey by interacting with them inside the Slack platform. So, when I open Slack to interact with my team, I may see a message pending from the OfficeVibe bot containing my survey question. Having a native interface like this makes the survey questions easy to respond to.


If you don’t have slack, the email version works similarly. Instead of reaching out through Slack, the questions are emailed to the employee with a link to respond.

What makes this service different from other engagement services, is that OfficeVibe is set up to track a persistent and near real-time pulse of your team. It’s designed to address one of the biggest pitfalls typical Engagement Surveys have: Time/Cost (See my previous posts about short comings).

It does this by giving smaller surveys (1-5 questions) on a more frequent basis (1-2 weeks). This helps the person responsible for team engagement know what the team engagement level is at any given time. You can now monitor your teams stress levels throughout the year.

An added benefit of the near real-time results is that you now get instant feedback on engagement efforts. Previously it was difficult for me to experiment because I was trying to answer questions like, are the changes we implemented having the desired outcome? Are they making things worse? With this style of feedback loop, I feel like I have more flexibility to experiment and make adjustments quicker.

How we use it

We have OfficeVibe set up to ask 5 questions to everyone each week. The results are anonymous, and the survey is always optional. The questions are given at random, meaning not everyone gets the same questions as their coworkers that week. This provides a healthy spread of engagement area results.

We also have it set up to allow for commented feedback. The anonymity on this section is optional. We have found that the commented feedback is one of the most helpful parts of the survey. So much so, that all team administrators have banned together to respond to every piece of feedback we get. Even if the feedback is short, one of us will reply through the OfficeVibe tool with either clarifying questions or appreciation for the feedback. It’s always good to reinforce positive behavior. The tool helps ensure anonymity throughout the process, so there is no conflict.

We have our custom reports broken out into teams, where we can compare our engagement against the benchmark of other OfficeVibe users. Trophies are given for the level of engagement at any point in time. This gamifies the process and welcomes goal setting. As an organization, we have decided that we are going for Champion status (Top 10%).


Wrap up

For me, OfficeVibe is the answer to the question, “how do I keep a pulse on the happiness and engagement of my team?” I have only been using it for 3 months, but the results have been awesome. Coming from a system where we received engagement results every 2 years, having daily feedback has made this process so much easier.

We are starting the process of experimenting with custom questions as well as going through OfficeVibe’s library of improvement resources. I believe this is going to help my team and me substantially.

I hope this has peaked your interest enough to at least check out the site. If you choose to try it out, I look forward to competing against your team in the benchmarking J. As I said, I’m aiming for their champion trophy, and I am currently at Diamond  (Top 20%).

If you have experience with OfficeVibe or have a different system you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.


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Less Than 1/3 of American Employees are Engaged with Work…Where Do You Fall?

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You may be able to tell by now that I truly believe that a leader’s first responsibility is to put their employees in a position to be successful. However, being put in a position for success and being successful is a two-person job. It doesn’t matter the number of opportunities leaders give their people; it’s all for nothing if they lack the motivation to make the most of it. In this article, I plan to discuss the way you can achieve motivation through employee engagement. I also plan to leave you with a few pitfalls I have found with my experience.

Why This is Important

Earl Nightingale said “We are at our very best, and we are happiest when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” Its hard to find a quote that could better sum up a “why” than this. Simply put, an engaged employee is a motivated employee. Even better, the motivation is intrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation can be way more powerful than motivation out of economics or fear. Intrinsic motivation is the reason why there are so many “it started in their garage” stories in the world. If you want a great example, read about a man named Samuel Pierpont Langley.

A short sum up of the story follows: Samuel Pierpont Langley was trying to build the first machine capable of attaining consistent flight. He was a renowned inventor with a large financial backing, and the best research team money could buy. His competition, two men working on a farm. They were not near as funded nor did they have the team Langley did. Their names were Wilbur and Orville Wright (the Wright Brothers).

The reason most of you know the Wright Brothers instead of Langley is because the Wright Brothers won. They defied the odds and beat out the “top dog” team. This story highlights the power intrinsic motivation has while in the arena against fame and money.

1903_first_flightThis is exactly the reason that companies are caring more about the engagement level of their employees. It’s even to the point that companies are hiring independent consultant groups to come in and conduct thorough Employee Engagement Surveys. They are taking the chance to invest in employee engagement because they know the potential benefits they will see in return.

Speaking on behalf of the employee for a second, my company conducts employee engagement surveys, and even the act itself is a motivating force. Just the display of caring gives me a small sense of happiness.

Some Problems I’ve Ran Into

Now that I have talked up Employee Engagement, I need to switch gears a bit and share a few pitfalls that I have seen with some employee engagement efforts.

There are two main problems that I have with standard Employee Engagement Surveys; Closed door action item lists, and the overall cost of the survey. So first, I’d like to explain what I mean by closed door action items.

When we have received these surveys in the past, the responsibilities have been separated by data submission (the employee) and data analysis (the supervisors/executives). When the results are published, the data analysis begins at the highest level to come up with an action plan to increase engagement across the workforce. Despite the best intentions of management, the resulting list will usually be a list of our most thoughtful guesses.

We sometimes think that since our employees took the time to give us the feedback we need to respond with a decisive plan to show that we are listening. The problem with this tactic is that we may have missed the mark. There is no guarantee that the correct diagnosis was made.

For this to work, we need to start building the action plan with the ground floor employees, to make sure we are on track. Otherwise, we put ourselves in a situation where we have to wait until the next survey to see if we were successful in increasing engagement at a significant level.

This brings me to the next issue, cost. Because these surveys require both time and money, they are typically only given annually, bi-annually, or even less frequently. So if you did your closed door session, it might take years for you to know if your actions worked. Because of the time and money needed for these surveys, it’s not practical to experiment. So it’s possible to have wasted years of effort because there is not a cheap way to get feedback along the way.

Wrap up

Despite these two problems we have run into, we are actively finding ways to build action plans by working with the ground and giving lighter weight engagement surveys at a faster rate. My next post will talk about the software we use and how it is helping in our effort. This is a very important topic and one that I hope keeps growing.

If you have any experience with employee engagement, please feel free to use the comments to share. I hope you enjoyed the content and make sure to look for my next post regarding some of the things I’m doing to increase my team’s engagement.


Further Reading:Top Eight Reasons Employee Engagement is Important

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