How OKRs help Rakuten, BetterCloud & Formstack run remote teams
Every company has their own story on how they’ve had to change, for better or worse, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have organizations had to deal with the business impacts, but they have had to work on how to smoothly run fully remote teams. It’s not easy to make that switch, especially when you weren’t planning on moving your entire organization to remote.
In a recent roundtable discussion with Ally.io CEO Vetri Vellore, leaders from Rakuten, BetterCloud and Formstack shared how their companies have adjusted goals since COVID, and how they’ve used OKRs to foster alignment, transparency and focus at every level of their organization.
The shift to remote
Miranda Nicholson, VP of Human Resources at Formstack, said that even though the company was operating 60% remotely before COVID, it didn’t mean that switching to completely remote didn’t come with challenges both at an employee and business level.
When the switch happened, the data management company looked at adjusted schedules and supporting self care and mental health for their employees. They are also learning how they can further support their customers, many of which have new needs.
One unexpected surprise Formstack has seen is an uptick in their eSign product. Because of COVID, customers are now needing to digitize their paper processes.
For Rakuten, VP of Corporate Strategy Ashish Sharma said that the move to online has benefited the e-commerce and online retail company greatly as shoppers turn online while stores are closed.
Because of this, Sharma says the company is pivoting to new categories where they’ve seen demand explode.
As for employees, Sharma said that although most were in the office pre-COVID, they were used to video conferencing with Rakuten satellite offices in other locations.
The increased adoption of video conferencing because of remote work is something Sharma thinks will stick long term.
At BetterCloud, VP of Financial Planning & Analysis Joseph Iantosca said the switch to remote for their 300 employees was flawless from the technology standpoint for the SaaS management company.
“In a lot of ways it was just new location, same laptop,” Iantosca said.
Iantosca said the company has been focusing on keeping employees engaged in the new environment and also focusing on mental health as employees face new challenges outside of work such as balancing child care.