Starting today, we’ll be introducing you to a member of the team behind WorkSimple every week. After all, they’re the brains behind the first social goal platform that will take your team to new heights.
Let’s meet Morgan Norman, the Founder and CEO of WorkSimple.
What sparked the idea behind WorkSimple?
WorkSimple started with a simple idea of helping every employee remember their accomplishments and achievements as they happen in real time. We wanted to connect the entire workforce with new levels of visibility and the only object that truly does this is goals. We wanted to connect the workforce with new levels of visibility while allowing employees to be measured on their work vs. subjective performance reviews.
The modern workforce requires that all their employees voices are heard at the organizational level. They also want to understand their influence in the organization goals. Most employees don’t have visibility into what their organization is working towards or on. People want their voice to be heard at an organizational level. They want to feel like they have had an influence the company goals, people and areas of focus.
How do you show employees that their contributions or valuable? Well, it starts with goals. Currently, everyone was managing goals on spreadsheets, emails, and getting updates once a quarter in town halls. To be honest, I’ve been on leadership teams, where I wasn’t even sure what the team next to me was executing on. I wasn’t sure how I could support them in their efforts. We decided that the only object that everyone has in common is goals. It doesn’t matter what department you’re in or what your role is – we are all trying to accomplish something to help the business grow and help our professional careers.
What is Social Goals?
We created Social Goals as a way to connect coworkers, people manager, and leadership. But in the end, it all comes down to every one of us, regardless of our title. We all have goals, and simply put, we all just have different roles.
Social Goals is ability to share work in real time with colleagues and highlight your contributions as they happen. It’s very results-driven – goals are not top down, they are set by employees 85% of the time, and updated by the owners. Contributions are included as they happen and you can quickly understand how your work directly impacts your peers, teams, and the company. Social Goals represents a shift in traditional performance management and focuses on true work and results. It’s also interesting that in social goals it’s okay if some goals are late or pushed.
Social Goals provides a bottoms up model to showcasing what you are working on and working towards. It is the ability to share goals, update your coworkers, receive information. Social Goals requires that the goals are made public the majority of the time. Public goals allow people to interact with you work from any location. Social Goal management allows goals to be collaborative, as the history comments, dependencies can be updated if necessary.
How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
I think the most import aspect from a CEO and founder perspective is to drop the business card title, especially in a startup. The title is nice but is truly meaningless.
I truly believe that if you are not communicating direction, your team has a real problem being creative. Everyone is creative if they have passion about something and it’s up to us to help them push that into our vision. Luckily for us, it’s very easy to get passionate about this concept, as we have all had 5-10 jobs now, and are building our next work portfolio, so our team is really creative about what they like and would not use on a daily basis.
What is nice about leveraging social goals and creativity is that for the first time, employees can look forward and see what I’m working on and it inspires new ideas or directions. Sometimes, it may cause them to push out a goal or say “This is no longer important.” Most importantly, they have a very clear forecast of where we are trying to go (Users, Accounts, The Market etc.).
From that point is where the creativity begins – they can come with ideas and concepts that align with our direction. And sometimes, as we have some strong thinkers in our company, they will challenge a direction. This is healthy. My feeling now is to let employees stretch where they can.
A solid office space with good Feng Shui doesn’t hurt.
What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
I believe good leaders can be great with solid communication, but I’m probably not the best person to ask this question to as I’m pretty modest. While I’ve had leadership roles, I’ve never looked at it that way.
I think good leaders are constantly solving problems and enjoying the puzzle. They celebrate accomplishments daily vs. waiting until the end of the year. They know their most important asset is not their product, not their market, but their people. Good leaders deeply understand that everyone they have interacted with has helped make them successful and will continue to help them.
I can’t make copies without someone ordering paper – if you know that person is vital to you - you’ll have a great company. So maybe I’m saying a partially flat organization. I think it’s also good to understand your team and what each of them want. Don’t expect employees to marry your company – ask them what they want out of this experience and make sure you help them get there.
Love your space and what you are trying to change, like it’s saving the world. I believe our approach will impact businesses and people at a personal level. Helping build better working relationships – that is what we care about.
What excites you the most about WorkSimple?
We have done a lot of industry firsts and we will continue to push the space’s envelope. It’s nice to be an inventor with passion. What is most exciting is the how users love new levels of visibility and seeing how often they use the product. I believe the “Future of Work” is truly focused in our area and we will see more competition (which we are starting to see), more followers claiming they do social goals.
I think it’s fantastic as we are all trying to leverage modern design principles to engage the workforce (The Gen Y Worker, The Virtual Worker, The First Time Manager). I believe the future of work will be based on social goals and social performance. Performance reviews will no longer matter and will quickly come on board or not get adopted by the employee base.
We have some new launches in the next 60 to 90 days that will change the the performance management space permanently. We can’t get into it yet but it will be the biggest change in the industry in decades.
I’m also excited about a lot of the unexpected benefits social goals can bring to the modern worker and the Gen Y workforce – working with them is a huge opportunity.
I know that every employee would select our platform over anything in the market if we did a Pepsi test.
Do you have any questions for Morgan?