Finding the positives in 2020

Roly Walter
14th December 2020

We at Appraisd are no different. At the beginning of 2020, we had expansive plans for the year ahead, which rapidly turned on their head when the lockdown began on 23rd March. It is always tempting to dwell on the lost opportunities, the “what ifs”, but now we have reached the end of this year, we find there is much to reflect on with pride and satisfaction.

A positive attitude makes a huge difference so it’s worth celebrating our successes and beginning 2021 in the right way.

We discovered new, successful ways of working

Before this year, everyone at Appraisd had worked at home sometimes, but it was the odd day here and there, no one worked fully remotely. Of course, this all changed in March and the whole company continues to work from home. While there is lots to miss about the office – Roly barbequing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Bricky, the office dog, wanting to play, trips to The Pineapple for lunch on Fridays – the team have adapted remarkably well.

Within in a few days, new routines were set up, with daily morning meetings over Slack for the Development and Customer Success Teams, ensuring everyone was clear on the priorities for the day ahead. We introduced a tea break at 5.45 pm to let people share their news and to signal an end to the working day, encouraging everyone to log off on time.

We’ve discovered staying connected isn’t easy and needs to be worked at, but it’s inspired everyone to be creative. We’ve just set up an Appraisd club on Strava to encourage everyone to stay active and get outside during these short, winter months. This creative energy has also helped us come up with new ideas for the system and highlighted the importance of maintaining close contact with our clients.

We launched a new product that customers love

During 2020, Appraisd dramatically changed its appearance, with a fresh look and feel. Based on feedback from our clients, we created a new platform, that’s not only easier to use but allows us to develop new features more quickly.

It includes many new features like a company announcement feature on the dashboard, standalone and instant feedback, personal notes and an integrated video calling function, all of which clients had been asking for.

The roll out has gone remarkable smoothly and all but a small handful of clients are now enjoying the benefits of the new system. The feedback we’ve had so far has been overwhelming positive, one client even “squealing with delight” when she saw it.

This is just the start for the new look Appraisd. We’ll continue to add new features and improvements throughout 2021, ensuring we keep delivering a product that meets our clients’ needs and that they enjoy using.

We continued to welcome new customers on board

At the beginning of lockdown, we didn’t know what to expect, particularly around new sales. Would companies still be looking to invest in new technology? Thankfully, due to the hard work and diligence of the team, sales have continued, with a marked upturn in the last quarter of the year.

A growing number of organisations have recognised the enormous benefits a continuous approach to performance management brings to a company and their employees. It has never been more important to have regular reviews, progress updates on objectives and timely and relevant feedback.

New clients such as RALLY, a communication agency based in Los Angeles, Jordan International Bank and Revolt, a leading UK brand consultancy have embraced the benefits offered by Appraisd. This year we’ve grown our overseas client base, helping an expanding number of employers and employees around the world.

We won an award!

It is always reassuring and uplifting for others to recognise the work that you were doing. This year Appraisd was lucky enough to be nominated for three awards – Best Digital/E-Commerce Business of the Year at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards, Best HR/L&D Supplier at the CIPD People Management Awards and HR Tech Provider of the Year at the Personnel Today Awards. Two of our clients, Splash Damage and ARAG gave us brilliant case studies for our entries and it was fantastic for the judges to recognise the strong relationships we’ve built with them.

Making the shortlist for both these prestigious HR Awards was a huge achievement. While sadly, we didn’t walk away with the top prize at either one, we did have success at the FSB Awards. We won the London category, collecting our award just a week before lockdown. It was a wonderful afternoon, made even more special by most of the team being there to enjoy it together.

Being successful against strong competition strengthened our belief in what we’re doing and helped us get through the challenges that 2020 posed.

Bring on 2021!

If this year has taught us anything it is that we are stronger when we work together and to expect the unexpected. What does 2021 have in store? While we don’t have a crystal ball, we do have a flexible, adaptable system that aligns and connects employees wherever they a working, something that every organisation needs right now. We look forward to working with more of them, helping them to create their own unique approach to performance management.