Determine your desired outcome with 15Five

As you roll out 15Five to your organization, we recommend identifying one "top priority" HR Outcome to focus your efforts on based on current company needs and initiatives, either: maximizing employee performance, increasing employee engagement, or decreasing regrettable turnover. While all HR Outcomes have an impact on each other, selecting one outcome to focus your attention on at a time allows you to direct your energy and maximize returns. As you continue using 15Five, you can re-evaluate your outcome priority periodically (e.g. each quarter or half).

This article contains the following sections:

What are the three HR Outcomes?

Over the past several years, 15Five has had the privilege of working with thousands of HR leaders to uncover what actions drive organizations’ most important priorities and have the most significant impact on overall measures of success.

At this point in our journey, we are confident we have honed in on three key areas that consistently achieve business outcomes. By focusing on these outcomes under the guidance of HR and People Ops leaders, organizations can achieve the highest level of impact, maximize their organization’s potential, and drive success in today’s highly competitive business environment. These three key areas are:

Maximize employee performance

Employee performance is an employee's consistent and effective contribution to their role and responsibilities within the organization, demonstrated by their ability to meet or exceed performance expectations, contribute to the achievement of the company's objectives, and consistently deliver high-quality work that positively impacts the organization's overall success.

Learn how to maximize employee performance with 15Five.

Increase employee engagement

Employee engagement is an employee’s intellectual and emotional connection with their employer, demonstrated by their motivation and commitment to positively impact the business’s vision and goals.

Learn how to increase employee engagement with 15Five.

Decrease regrettable turnover

Regrettable turnover occurs when somebody’s departure from the company has a negative impact on the organization, or when a high-performing employee that the company would have liked to keep decides to leave of their own accord.

Learn how to decrease regrettable turnover with 15Five.

In addition to these outcomes, 15Five enables organizations to improve manager effectiveness. The manager-employee relationship influences nearly every aspect of the work experience and has a significant impact on engagement, performance, and retention.



Read more about these outcomes in 15Five's HR Outcomes Playbook.

Why should we focus on only one outcome?

To achieve strategic progress and make a lasting impact on their organizations, it's vital for leaders to shift from a focus on activities to a focus on outcomes. Picture this: you have a jar that you want to fill with various-sized objects—sand, pebbles, and rocks. Each represents different tasks you need to accomplish.

If you fill the jar with sand first, followed by pebbles, you'll run out of space for the rocks. However, if you start by placing the rocks in the jar, then add pebbles and allow the sand to fill the remaining gaps, everything fits in.


Without this strategic shift, an organization will continue to be overwhelmed by sand. By prioritizing outcomes, you can achieve greater results and make a lasting difference in your organization. 15Five is here to provide the tools, education, and support necessary for leaders to make this shift and achieve better outcomes.

By aligning your efforts with a specific priority, such as performance, you can make a meaningful impact and drive real change. This approach allows you to concentrate your resources and attention on what matters most, ensuring that you're not spreading yourself and your team too thin.

Check out this video for more information about shifting focus to strategic outcomes ⬇️

How do I know which outcome to focus on?

As you work to discover which outcome you should focus on at this point in your organization's journey, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the top challenges your company has today?
  • What initiatives are most urgent and important?
  • What does success look like 3 months from now?

Below, you can read through the symptoms or "red flags" that may indicate you should focus on a specific outcome.


Low employee performance can manifest in various ways depending on the individual, the nature of their job, and the organizational culture. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Falling ratings in reviews: More employees are being ranked as low-performing in performance reviews.
  • Unknown or stalled goal progress: Leaders are either unaware of employees' goal progress, or employees are consistently failing to meet set targets or objectives.
  • Uneven accountability or "fairness issues": Employees are complaining about inconsistent task allocations and perceived favoritism, or are surprised when they're put on performance improvement plans.
  • Lack of goal achievement: Consistently failing to meet set targets or objectives.
  • Missed deadlines: Regularly failing to complete tasks on time.
  • Decreased output: A noticeable decline in the quantity or quality of work produced.

  • Lack of initiative: Not taking proactive steps or showing reluctance to take on new tasks.

  • Avoidance behavior and isolation: Avoiding meetings, skipping team events, or not being available for discussions. Withdrawal from team dynamics, reduced collaboration, or not participating in group discussions.

  • Decline in work quality: Errors become more frequent, and there's a lack of attention to detail.

  • Resistance to feedback: Defensive behavior when given constructive feedback or unwillingness to adapt.

  • Negative attitude: Displaying a pessimistic outlook, complaining frequently, or expressing dissatisfaction regularly.

  • Increased dependence: Constantly seeking help for tasks they should be capable of handling or over-relying on colleagues.

  • Avoidance of responsibility: Shifting blame, not taking ownership of mistakes, or avoiding accountability.

  • Decreased motivation: No improvement in skills or knowledge over time, even with training and opportunities. Lack of interest in professional development, promotions, or additional training.


Low employee engagement can manifest in various ways. Some of the most common ones we see are listed below.

  • High employee turnover: When employees are disengaged, they are more likely to leave the organization, resulting in a high turnover rate.

  • Decreased productivity: Disengaged employees tend to be less motivated, which can lead to a decline in overall productivity and output.

  • Increased absenteeism: Disengaged employees may frequently miss work or take more unplanned absences, indicating a lack of commitment or interest in their roles.

  • Complaints about leadership or direction: Low employee engagement often leads to complaints about leadership or direction as disengaged employees perceive a lack of effective guidance, clear communication, and support from their leaders, resulting in frustration, confusion, and a breakdown of trust.
  • Lack of initiative or innovation: Employees who are not engaged often show a lack of enthusiasm for suggesting new ideas or taking initiative to improve processes.

  • Low morale: Disengaged employees may exhibit low morale, leading to a negative work atmosphere and reduced collaboration among team members.

  • Poor communication: Disengagement can contribute to breakdowns in communication, resulting in misunderstandings, conflicts, or a lack of clarity regarding goals and expectations.

  • Reduced customer satisfaction: When employees are disengaged, it can affect their interactions with customers, leading to lower levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Increased errors or quality issues: Lack of focus and motivation can result in more mistakes, quality control problems, or a decline in the quality of products or services.

  • Lack of employee development: Disengaged employees may not actively seek growth opportunities or take advantage of training programs, which can hinder their professional development and overall performance.

  • Negative impact on team dynamics: Poor employee engagement can create a negative ripple effect on team dynamics, with disengaged individuals potentially affecting the morale and performance of their colleagues.


The following symptoms might signal the onset of regrettable turnover in your organization:

  • Quiet quitting/morale issues: Employees have mentally or emotionally checked out of their jobs but haven't formally resigned. They might be doing the bare minimum to get by and often display a lack of enthusiasm or drive.
  • Surprise 2-week notices: These are unexpected resignation notices from employees who showed no overt signs of dissatisfaction.
  • Repeated low engagement scores: Your organization or specific teams are receiving consistently low scores on engagement surveys. Employees are consistently reporting low Pulse scores in their Check-ins.
  • Anonymous feedback to HR: When employees choose to provide feedback anonymously, it often indicates they're uncomfortable or fear repercussions for voicing concerns openly. A culture where employees feel the need to remain anonymous to voice concerns is indicative of trust issues. Without trust in management or HR to handle issues appropriately, employees may opt to leave instead of dealing with persistent problems.
  • Confusion around expectations/Lack of role clarity: Employees are unsure about their responsibilities, what's expected of them, or how their performance is measured.
  • Complaints about leadership or direction: Employees express concerns about the decision-making, communication style, vision, or actions of their leaders.

How can I use 15Five to achieve these outcomes?

You can read more about how to use 15Five to achieve each outcome in the following articles:

Customers on our Total Platform pricing plan also have access to 15Five's revolutionary HR Outcomes Dashboard and Manager Effectiveness Indicator, which allow leaders to track outcomes across their organization and measure how initiatives impact engagement, performance, turnover, and manager effectiveness.

Check out this video to learn more ⬇️

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