How we achieved 100% voter turnout at Paubox

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My Opening Remarks | Paubox SECURE @ Home 2020
Casting my ballot from Soldotna, Alaska

In January we adopted the OKR goal-setting framework. Created by Andy Grove at Intel and taught to John Doerr by him, the OKR system stands for Objectives and Key Results.

As the opening pages of Measure What Matters detail, the OKR system was leveraged by Google to skyrocket growth.

For my fourth quarter OKRs, I set an ambitious goal of achieving 100% voter turnout for our company.

This post is about how we did it.

Add Election Day to Holiday Calendar

Kim Donald: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Kim Donald (Finance) voting in Idaho

After the goal had been set for 100% voter turnout for our 25-person startup, the next step was communicating its importance.

I felt a logical way to signal importance was to add Election Day to our holiday calendar.

After consulting with our COO Rick Kuwahara, I added November 3rd to the holiday calendar and announced it to staff on August 3rd.

As we would soon discover, not every state makes it easy to vote by mail, so making the day a holiday was indeed important.

Frequent Consistent Messaging

Scott Wong: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Scott Wong (Sales) voting in Nevada

After the August 3rd announcement of Election Day being added to our holiday calendar, I covered voter turnout at every weekly staff meeting.

The central messaging was:

  • Are you registered to vote?
  • I don’t care who you vote for. I care that you vote.
  • I expect 100% voter turnout.

In my opinion, covering it every week until Election day was also a signal of what I considered important.

Send Simple Surveys

Hannah Trum: Getting out the Vote: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Hannah Trum (Marketing) voting in Texas

Chloe Bowen is our Product Specialist and jack of all trades here at Paubox. I asked her to help me with my 100% voter turnout OKR by sending out a simple survey before the election:

  • Are you registered to vote?
  • How are you going to vote? (By mail / In person / I’m not going to vote)

Keeping with the tone of consistent messaging, Chloe carefully noted in her email to staff that we didn’t care who they vote for, we care that they vote. The survey was also anonymous.

In addition, Chloe tracked down resources for our distributed staff on how to register to vote in their respective state.

Note: Texas does not make it easy to vote by mail.

Assemble a Skeleton Crew

Tyler Clark: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Tyler Clark (Support) voting in Utah

Leading up to Election day, Pete Kirsheman (Customer Success) astutely pointed out that most of our customers would not have the day off and we should assemble a Skeleton Crew to work on November 3rd.

Being the leader of the department, Pete volunteered himself to work on Election day. Emir Ibrahimbegovic (Engineering) also volunteered. It would turn out to be a wise decision because their services were indeed needed that Tuesday.

From an HR perspective, we let each of them take a day off at their choosing at a later date.

Post Election Survey

Sierra Reed Langston: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Sierra Reed Langston (Marketing) voting in Texas

A day after the election, Chloe sent out an anonymous one-question survey to staff:

  • Did you vote?

Using the honor system, the tabulated results revealed we had in fact reached 100% voter turnout.

It’s another data point enforcing the position we are leaders, not followers.

OKR achieved.

Enjoy the rest of our staff pics!

Evan Fitzgerald: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Evan Fitzgerald (Finance) voting in California

Greg Hoffman: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Greg Hoffman (Sales) voting in California

Eddie Prislac: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Eddie Prislac (Engineering) voting in Texas

Travis Taylor: How We Achieved 100% Voter Turnout at Paubox
Travis Taylor (Sales) voting in California

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About the author

Hoala Greevy

Founder of Paubox. Kayak fishing when I can. Native Hawaiian CEO.

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