Impraise is a great tool to encourage peers to share feedback on a daily basis.
Impraise is a great tool to encourage peers to share feedback on a daily basis.
Sandra van Heeswijk HR Manager

Background

Tam Tam is one of the top digital agencies that offers a full range of e-business and digital marketing solutions. Created in 1996, the company has grown rapidly with clients such as HBO, the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Walibi Holland and Oxxio. With its continuing success, Tam Tam has begun acquiring a number of smaller companies and, as a result, it has grown by 200% in the last year. Tam Tam’s company culture and values are based on three pillars: Equality, Freedom and Camaraderie. With a rating of 9.6 from Great Place to Work®, the company has built up a fun and dynamic company culture that has attracted a young talented international workforce.

 

Challenge

Tam Tam recently went through a structural change. Previously, they had different departments that were more focused on a business perspective. The idea behind this structural change was to put people with different skills together to share knowledge and come up with more innovative solutions. As a project based organization, there is now more freedom of movement with people regularly working in different teams with different clients.

To administer this type of environment, Tam Tam introduced a flat organizational structure in which everyone is equal. Everyone has their own areas of competence and are responsible for their own agenda and results. Instead of managers, the company has competency leads which act more as coaches to their fellow teammates.

Giving your employees more responsibility and autonomy over their work can greatly boost motivation and creativity. The question then becomes how do you encourage teamwork and help individuals settle disputes in an autonomous working environment? If you want to create a more flat company culture you need more peer collaboration, knowledge-sharing and a positive working environment. To sustain this type of culture, HR lead Sandra van Heeswijk identified the need to facilitate more feedback between peers.

Tam Tam has always had a very open culture. Even before using Impraise, employees were encouraged to ask for 360-degree feedback before their performance reviews. However, previously feedback requests were done by e-mail, taking up much more time and effort. This clunky process actually discouraged feedback. More than just at formal reviews, Van Heeswijk explains,

 

Tam Tam wanted to improve feedback on a day to day basis and not only on skills. If you don’t give each other feedback on those little things that irritate you, then it’ll end up getting in the way of cooperation.
— Sandra van Heeswijk, HR Lead

 

While giving regular informal feedback is extremely helpful for individual development, HR also needed a way to track feedback interactions in order to identify when more training or assistance might be needed. Without any aggregated overview or statistics, HR also had a long and difficult process sorting and analyzing the information collected.

 

Solution

Tam Tam started using Impraise in September 2015. To get more people involved, they decided to lead by example. They started off by creating an event during which competency leads asked for feedback. “This way everyone came in contact with Impraise, everyone received an invitation,” van Heeswijk explained. After the event they were encouraged to communicate the results. Having role models demonstrate their willingness to receive and act upon feedback resulted in greater trust and wider company buy in to the system.

 

Results

Since using Impraise feedback exchanges have increased significantly. So far a total of 9,002 pieces of feedback have been exchanged through the system in total. The interesting thing is that 69% came from feedback requests outside of formal performance review events, demonstrating that people are using the tool to ask for feedback on their own initiative.

According to Van Heeswijk, the feedback process is now far more structured and specific. The aggregated reports generated by Impraise have helped her team to more accurately analyze performance and pinpoint areas for improvement. In particular, the data received has enabled HR to get a better picture of who or what departments might need extra training and in what areas. This is especially important for consolidating a strong feedback culture. As she explained:

 

One of Tam Tam’s values is honesty. To encourage this we set some feedback rules. A part of our onboarding program is Tam Tam culture during which we explain those rules and why we think feedback is so important. Last year we gave all of our competency leads and project managers a feedback course but this year we’re going to make it an open subscription for everybody.
— Sandra van Heeswijk, HR Lead

 

Impraise helps facilitate this process by making it fast and easy to give and receive feedback effortlessly.