Google Project Aristotle: How to build more effective teams
Teams turns strategy into reality. In this article we focus on the inner workings of a team and what it takes to thrive as a business with healthy, happy and highly effective teams.
Wolt is a technology company that makes it incredibly easy to discover and get great food, delivered to your home or office. The Helsinki-based company has operations in over 23 countries and 100+ cities, serving food from over 20,000 restaurants with over 40,000 courier partners, and has raised €258M in funding from investors. The company was founded in 2014 and employs over 1500 people today.
The company has grown rapidly: since being founded just 6 years ago, Wolt has expanded to 23 countries. At the end of 2019, Wolt had 710 employees, and today Wolt’s team is made of 1500 people. Growing quickly puts pressure on the entire organization, especially when you are growing internationally. Wolt’s HR has been quick to build tools and documentation for the team that’s doubled in under a year. Wolt introduced Impraise at the beginning of 2020 as part of performance management process.
Prior to Impraise, the performance management process was run using shared documents with no formal framework. This very quickly became a time consuming and administrative nightmare for HR, and provided a poor user experience for Team Leads.
“Documenting processes and personalized goals on shared sheets simply does not scale for a team of over 600 people (at the time). We saw it as a huge obstacle from an admin perspective and also an employee experience.” - Matti-Esko Seppä, Head of HR
Wolt recognised that in order to support fast growing teams in many different countries, they needed to find a tool which was flexible, intuitive and added value for everyone involved.
Knowing that they did not have the luxury of lengthy planning, a phased roll out or hand holding employees, Wolt had to be very focused. This meant identifying and prioritizing business requirements with people's needs, and finding a partner to support them in this process.
They decided to focus on feedback and use Impraise to support them on this journey. Feedback is a fundamental part of keeping Team Leads and employees aligned on performance and development. A good feedback process allows people to connect with their peers for recognition, constructive feedback and also for building trust.
Working closely with their customer success manager, Wolt designed their ideal feedback loop (internally branded as Feedback Chats), which they rolled out across each of the teams in partnership with their Team Leads. Each loop includes a self-evaluation, peer feedback, and Team Lead feedback, all of which is followed up with a 1:1 between the employee and Team Lead. In addition, it is encouraged for people to set personal development goals if the feedback highlights the need for any.
It was nice to find a tool like Impraise that was modern and had peer feedback built in as opposed to traditional top down systems."
Communication and getting Team Leads onboard was fundamental to the rolling out of this process. The challenge of hypergrowth and remote-work due to the COVID-19 pandemic added onto the necessity for smooth communication and getting buy-in. The HR team started sharing ‘Tips n’ Tricks’, recommending best practices for Team Leads, and reminders on how to use other parts of the platform to support their daily needs such as 1:1s and Goals. As much as this communication was geared towards educating their people, HR also used this as a way to learn and gather insights.
An added benefit to using Impraise has been that the team at Wolt is able to use the tool to support and track a part of their recruitment process. Especially in the current situation, where newcomers are starting remotely and have potentially never met colleagues face-to-face, it is extremely important to know that the recruitment and onboarding process is working. Wolt decided to use the 30-60-90 day check-ins to make sure onboarding is good for everyone involved. Benefiting from being able to send out multiple feedback requests at once, they have shared dozens of feedback throughout this onboarding process so far.
“Through the reporting tool we were able to get an idea of the adoption rate of our efforts. At the moment we are focused on 30-60-90 day check-ins as we are scaling really quickly and onboarding a lot of new hires.”- Matti-Esko Seppä, Head of HR
Rolling out Impraise wasn’t simply about HR feeling the benefits, it was important that it was valued company wide. Prior to rolling this initiative out, Wolt’s HR team piloted a feedback round with one department and based on their feedback made adjustments before making Impraise available for all teams.
Following the pilot, Wolt launched Impraise in early 2020 company-wide. The results speak for themselves, with a 93% participation rate on the self-evaluation and 97% of Team Leads having submitted all or part of their review. Not only did they have high participation rates, the post launch experience survey results had an average score of 3.37 out of 4 (493 responses).
The HR team is very proud of what they achieved amongst all the organizational change happening during the time of rolling our Impraise.
Having a dedicated space to capture feedback over time has multiple benefits. Firstly, the feedback recipient to be able to reflect at any given time, and be reminded of the value they bring to the team and company. Secondly, Managers have a source of information to support overall performance assessments of team members over the course of the year instead of one moment during the review process.
Many people in their Wolt career hadn’t had properly structured feedback in a written form, where they could see it and reflect on all the things their peers and team lead had to say about them. Even if you have a great team lead and you get feedback, it is often spoken and you can’t actually come back to it later and remind yourself, hey these are the things I am doing great, or these are the areas I need to improve.
As Wolt continues to experience hypergrowth, it is important for them to not introduce too many new processes or tools. So in the coming months there will be focus on doubling down on what is currently working well, and expanding that Woltwide.
Currently the central HR team is based in Finland, however they are looking to expand their team globally. This will help get closer to the needs of the people in all 23 countries, and to support them accordingly. Supported by their customer success manager with communication templates and insights, Wolt will continue with their ‘Tips n’ Tricks’ to unlock further use of Impraise from Team Leads to employees.
In the coming months Wolt will prepare for the next round of feedback and iterate based on the responses received in round one.
If you would like to learn more about how Impraise can support your organization to achieve what Wolt has and more, read more here.
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