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Elevate’s leadership keeps employees in the know

Elevate LLC (Elevate) is a grant writing firm based in Washington, DC. The organization builds smart, sustainable grant programs that help nonprofits succeed. Since they started four years ago, they’ve grown from two employees to 50 full-time staff.

Through this growth and change, the Elevate leadership team is keeping the entire company up-to-date using their Jostle® platform. Led by CEO Alayna Buckner, Elevate is the recipient of the Best Leadership Participation of the Year (<250 employees) award in Jostle Awards 2016. Elevate is currently achieving an impressive 98% employee engagement rate.

The challenge

Elevate has a six-person Executive Management Team (EMT), led by its founder and CEO, Alayna Buckner. They hold an annual retreat that focuses on team bonding, organization-wide communications, and department goal setting.

“Last year, coming out of our 2016 retreat, we recognized that our staff wanted more information from me as CEO and the management team.”

Alayna Buckner

Alayna Buckner

The Elevate staff were looking for more real-time updates about decisions the EMT was making; trade-offs the EMT was considering, future planning, and a greater understanding of new policies being rolled out.

The solution

Elevate took this feedback seriously and began looking for a way to get more information into the hands of their employees. Elevate launched their Jostle intranet in August 2016 and their leaders have been effectively using the platform’s rich feature set to connect with the entire company since.

“We realized that tackling internal communication with a platform like the Jostle intranet could help us achieve all of these goals; what we didn’t realize is how FUN it would be in the process!”

Alayna Buckner

Alayna Buckner

How is Elevate using the Jostle platform?

CEO connects and shares with everyone

To respond to staff requests for greater insight into organizational decision-making, Alayna quickly introduced weekly CEO Updates. These are NEWS Articles that include celebratory Shout-Outs (a short, personalized thank-you message that appears on the live-feed), updates on policies and procedures, birthdays and Elevate anniversaries, information about new and departing clients, as well as new staff and departing staff.

Alayna’s updates are concise, yet informative, and the articles reflect organizational changes since the last installment. She often makes her posts interactive by encouraging staff members to reach out if they have any questions or concerns about anything mentioned. Her articles are sometimes light, sometimes serious, but always include relevant GIFs and links to social media.

“Alayna has an adorable rescue dog, a Shar Pei and Pit Bull mix, named Tucker Q. Buckner. Tucker is a frequent visitor to the office and Alayna’s use of Tucker pictures are aligned with Elevate’s value of authenticity and acceptance because a key element of Elevate’s culture (and our intranet culture), is to encourage everyone to be themselves and share what they most love with each other,” shared Alicia Elba Williams, Director of Operations.

NEWS Article on Elevate’s Jostle Intranet

NEWS Article on Elevate’s Jostle intranet

Teams communicate openly and clearly

Elevate created private Discussion groups for each department in DISCUSSIONS—the Jostle platform’s chat tool. They use these Discussions to share information, ask questions, and stay connected as a team.

“This is helping us fulfill our mission and better serve our clients by sharing information about different funders,” Alayna told us.

Policies are easier to digest

Elevate has found an impressive use for the Jostle intranet’s Poll feature - they’re using it to ensure staff have read important updates and policies. “All members of our management team now use the Jostle platform to announce new policies and procedures. To improve our staff engagement with long (potentially dry) new policies, we started incorporating fun ‘Poll’ questions after we roll out policies to ensure people are fully engaged,” shared Alayna.

Elevate employees

Elevate employees


Elevate is seeing an impressively high employee participation rate on the Jostle intranet. Their employees’ desire to feel more connected to leadership has been met. The entire firm is logging into the platform and staying abreast of company updates on a regular basis.

“The Jostle intranet has been an excellent addition to our company culture: we’ve been able to increase (and improve!) our company-wide communications through regular CEO Updates, operations newsletters, Poll questions, beautiful photo albums, and robust Discussion boards. We use it as our go-to place for all major announcements, events, and key information.”

Alayna Buckner

Alayna Buckner

About Jostle Corporation

Jostle’s People Engagement® platform is helping organizations around the world become extraordinary. It creates connected and vibrant workplaces by connecting employees, enabling communication, and driving workplace culture. We make it easy for companies to engage their employees. This allows our customers to achieve employee participation rates of over 85% — that’s over 5X industry norms. For more information contact or visit us online at