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The People & Culture Platform | Culture Amp

How Overdrive improved employee engagement


OverDrive is the leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video, and periodicals. The company partners with publishers, libraries, schools, and colleges to create reading happiness for millions of readers worldwide.

In the early days at OverDrive, there was a shared entrepreneurial spirit and it was easy to feel connected as a smaller team. As they grew it became more important to think about how employees could work together as one team and evolve to make a greater worldwide impact.

OverDrive participated in a regional survey to increase visibility within the community. However, this didn’t give them insight into what truly mattered to employees or what actions could be taken to improve. While exploring people analytics tools, OverDrive found Culture Amp and exactly what they needed: easy to use visual reporting, benchmark data and competitive pricing.

Lori Franklin, Chief Operating Officer says, “The engagement survey is a fantastic tool for generating momentum because the results provide a shared, data-driven snapshot of life at OverDrive. With that, we can more easily shape our future.”

OverDrive Employee Engagement Increases 10% In One Year

Between 2015 and 2016, survey participation increased from 93 to 96 percent and engagement jumped from 61 to 71 percent overall.

The first survey revealed there was work to do to ensure every team member understood OverDrive’s vision, mission, core beliefs and values. Recognition and celebration, and professional development were other areas that were identified and acted upon.

In addition to creating new Vision, Mission, Core Beliefs and Values statements, OverDrive’s leadership team began communicating quarterly goals to the entire company in a more predictable, structured format. To encourage learning and professional development, they rolled out a Professional Growth Planner. A “kudos” channel in Slack was added for recognition and celebration as a place for anyone to post a message showing appreciation for extraordinary effort or a generous action by another team member.

Survey data review and strategic action planning take place over a month, followed by a summary shared to the entire organization. This final communication step lets team members know they’ve been heard, and shows where the company is headed for the coming year.

For 2016, OverDrive’s cultural goals include: evolving internal systems, boosting innovation, increasing social impact, developing leadership, and providing actionable and timely performance feedback. Franklin says, “Ultimately we want to weave a better way of working into our workplace culture, and we all play a part in making it happen.”


Cleveland, OH

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