How do you know what’s going on with your remote employees? What are they working on, what is being prioritized, what challenges are they facing?
There are plenty of technological solutions that help you keep tabs on your people—but sometimes, simpler is better. Patagonia clothing founder, Yvon Chouinard thought so when he invented the “5/15 Report”—a weekly communication that takes no more than 5 minutes to read and 15 minutes or less to write.
At the end of the week, employees complete the following form:
Accomplishments for the week:
Work completed, things that went well, goals you met?
Did you come across an idea that would improve your job, team, or the company at large?
Priorities for next week:
What’s planned, what’s most important next week?
What might prevent you from realizing your plans or set you back?
5/15’s provide a steady upward flow of information while demonstrating employees’ capacity for planning, problem-solving, and self-awareness when articulating the nuances of weekly experiences.
This form of bottom-up communication offers you an efficient way to understand day-to-day happenings and look for trends. It gives your people a means to share ideas, frustrations, brag about themselves, and identify recurring challenges. It gives them a voice.
When you roll it out and introduce it the concept to employees, be sure to stress the 15-minute spirit of the form, and your desire for honest feedback (if that is, in fact, what you want). Use it as an opportunity to express your appreciation for their willingness to contribute ideas and flow information.
5/15’s let you keep your finger on the pulse of your company while making your people feel heard. It's a win-win.