People Development: Manager-free. Empowering Employees to Own Their Development

Modules Used: Continuous Feedback, Analytics, Reviews. Planned: Goals

Advertima is a marketing technology creating personalized, customer interaction backed by artificial intelligence. Advertima’s organizational model is inspired by holacracy, a flat, self-directed, agile management and operating structure. Nadja is responsible for People & Culture. Advertima is 2.5 years old and 40 employees strong.  

Nadja, what was your motivation for introducing Leapsome at Advertima?

My primary goal was to build an ongoing feedback culture, improve communication about performance, and allow both individuals and Advertima as a whole to better understand individual and collective competencies. Especially in an organization without managers to coach people, it is important to actively foster peer communication and feedback. People need to be able to have information about their competencies and performance, and how to improve on them.

What has your experience been implementing Leapsome in the last nine months?  

Before Leapsome, we didn’t have any feedback processes at Advertima. I could see the need for it from the company-wide satisfaction survey we send out every few months. Now that we are using Leapsome, employee satisfaction has increased significantly on metrics related to giving and receiving feedback. Employee’s understanding of their own performance has also increased significantly. Leapsome has done a great job enabling me to achieve the goals I set regarding feedback and performance management. That makes me happy.

I have also observed an increase in other factors, such as the feeling of being valued, and satisfaction regarding team and company communication. These are a bit harder to directly attribute to Leapsome, but I have a sense that Leapsome is a big reason behind them. Feedback is about so much more than simply marking down what is good or bad: its value is not just the feedback itself, but the larger effect of fostering team spirit, the trust that is built across the company and employees who value and appreciate each other’s contributions.

Advertima has a flat operating model, with no traditional hierarchy. Without managers to give guidance how do you enable employees to take charge of their own people development?

At Advertima, there is no manager in charge of guiding those below them. People are individually responsible for what roles they take on, and how and in what direction they develop.

Leapsome supports individuals at Advertima in facilitating their own development. People receive regular feedback, and have data and analytics to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Everyone can set specific development goals, and is supported by the platform to monitor progress. Leapsome enables peers to support each other’s development.

How have your teams responded to using Leapsome?

Initially, the business teams were very curious, but the software teams were rather skeptical. They thought feedback was better delivered only face to face. However, we discussed the importance of having feedback recorded in a structured way: both so that people had data from which to understand their performance over time, and so that we as a company can assess our organizational capabilities. Now the software teams are using the platform, and I have received a lot of positive feedback.

What would you say to anyone considering Leapsome?

I fully recommend it. What I really like is that it is so hands-on and user friendly. The tool is very intuitive. It enables people to actually use it. Feedback is often something people need to be pushed to do, as they only find out the benefit after. Leapsome is so user friendly though that people actually like using it.

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