Chief Growth Officer at RevUnit
RevUnit’s most crucial challenge: Keeping employees happy, increasing employee retention... and what about those Millennials?
RevUnit is a digital B2B agency that is experiencing rapid growth. The agency is building custom software to help large companies succeed in increasing employee engagement and productivity via better task management and communication tools, where they can discuss their work.
When a company grows rapidly it can be difficult to maintain the company culture, Seth Waite, Chief Growth Officer explains. And in a company like RevUnit it is very important to have that strong company culture in order to attract and keep talented people, who in truth are the product.
RevUnit is not the only company dealing with this issue, as the workforce of today (and tomorrow) is demanding more and more of their workplace. The world is changing, and in a few years Millennials will make up 75 % of the world’s population. This group of people have different and more specific demands than the generations before them. This well educated and digitally native generation poses a major challenge for companies, as they also have to adapt to these new trends. (Read more in our blog posts about Millennials here and here).
60 of Millennials are open to a new job opportunity - Gallup 2016
As a result of this, RevUnit decided to deal with the issue head on, before facing any real problems with attracting and retaining talent. The question they asked themselves was: “How do we keep our employees happy and increase employee retention?”
The answer was simple. By talking to them, of course.
RevUnit continues to experience rapid growth. To keep company performance at an all time high, RevUnit knew it needed to start with 1-on-1s. But, how to keep the meetings consistent and efficient?
At RevUnit, it has always been important to have 1-on-1s. Seth has tried, and sometimes even failed, to do 1-on-1s with each and every employee every single week, and was experiencing difficulty in keeping up a stable frequency of the 1-on-1s. Somehow they always seemed to get postponed due to other pressing matters - and before he knew it, he had missed two or three 1-on-1s with his team.
As a whole, the inconsistency of the 1-on-1s at RevUnit was causing a lot of stress and discontent for everyone. In business relationships you don’t always show your full personality, so if you don’t meet regularly for 1-on-1s, you start to lose empathy for your teammates. Empathy drives your ability to assume best intent and loyalty and to do what’s best for that other person, Seth argues. It was just harder to understand people when they didn’t have regular conversations with their teammates.
However, having frequent 1-on-1s doesn’t make up for a good company culture in itself if the conversations are mainly work related. Unfortunately, this was the case in RevUnit. The manager would focus on the tasks to be done and the projects they worked on.
Talking to employees about their personal life can seem daunting, but the personal aspect of a 1-on-1 with a manager is very important, especially since Millennials, compared to other generations, don’t separate their work and private life as much. They don’t want their manager to just be their manager - they want to know that their manager cares.
“1-on-1s are important for us to attract and keep the best talent. They have to know that we care regardless of whether they work at RevUnit or not.”
Duuoo helps with scheduling and meeting notifications.
Duuoo helps by facilitating the 1-on-1s with new questions for each meeting.
With Duuoo people leave with actionable agreements.
Agenda-setting, scheduling, and following-up. All crucial aspects of having 1-on-1s in an organization, but a lot to keep up with. Enter Duuoo!
With this on his mind, Seth discovered Duuoo and found it to solve several of the issues he had: agenda-setting, scheduling and following-up on the 1-on-1s. He and several other managers at RevUnit tried out the platform and now it is implemented company wide.
“The best thing about Duuoo is that it is a facilitator for one of the most important relationships you can have in business: the relationship between an employee and a manager. For me it’s the place that I go to foster that relationship.”
The conversations between Seth and his employees took a turn. All of a sudden, they were talking about other things than work performance. The conversations were personal - even emotional, which forced both manager and employee to self reflect. The conversations also act as an early detection system, as issues are tackled before they become too big. When asking both work related and emotional questions, it forces you to reflect on things which people might not otherwise have thought of, Seth argues. In this way, the 1-on-1s are also working as a source of inspiration and new ideas.
As active users of Slack (it even activates the coffee machine in their office), RevUnit were naturally excited about Duuoo integrating with the communication tool.
“The fact that Duuoo probably has one of the best integrations with Slack that I have even seen has made it a million times easier to use. Now I can focus on the substance of the 1-on-1.”
In order to focus on the essential - the actual conversation - and spend less time on logistics, it was a great help for RevUnit that the conversation tool was integrated with the existing workflow.
Using Duuoo allowed for the tracking of agreements - turning talk into action. From now on, there are no unexpected surprises. Everyone knows the project at hand, leading to an overall increase in productivity and responsibility.
With more frequent and well facilitated 1-on-1s, the employees at RevUnit’s level of trust and confidence have increased. No more dreading whether the next meeting with the boss is about getting fired, promoted or just everyday work life. The employee now knows what to expect from each 1-on-1.
As a result of this, RevUnit has experienced an increase in collective responsibility for doing well at work. Everyone is working together towards a common goal. Both employee and manager leave the 1-on-1 with actionable agreements, and some of these agreements are worked into a growth plan document for each individual employee. Each 1-on-1 at RevUnit is now a continuation of one long conversation with that particular employee, Seth explains.