Kolibri Games

How Kolibri Games defined succinct performance reviews and set up clear consistent career growth paths using Leapsome

Kolibri Games is a mobile game development company on a mission to create the best and most inventive idle games in the world by focusing on innovative ways to develop player-centric experiences. They're most well-known for the popular game “Idle Miner Tycoon” and the follow-up success “Idle Bank Tycoon.”
Berlin, Germany
Company Size:
Features Used:
  • Performance Reviews
  • Competency Frameworks
Mobile Gaming

“Leapsome is very intuitive and easy to set up. You also get a lot of support, and there’s always somebody available to answer questions.

It has so many features you can use. If you’re starting to develop your feedback processes, go for Leapsome and make full use of every feature.”

Emilie Farnir
HR Manager

The Challenge

Like many young companies, Kolibri Games was confronted with the challenge of setting up a structured process for performance reviews and career paths — a crucial factor for retaining and developing top talent.

After a period of rapid growth, it became even more important to focus on developing the existing talent and supporting career growth, so the team set out to find the perfect tool to support them.

Initially, the team conducted performance reviews without a dedicated tool supporting the process. However, they soon realized that the feedback provided to employees lacked depth and wasn’t very useful. Although Emilie Farnir, HR Manager at Kolibri Games, was not present during the development of a new review process, she shares that there was a clear need for greater visibility and transparency surrounding performance reviews, feedback, and how this feeds into career development.

Additionally, the frequency of review cycles was not standardized. There was a lack of transparency about whether all employees had received reviews from their team leads and how often this happened. At the time, it was up to managers to decide what criteria employees would be measured on. This level of subjectivity ran the risk of the assessments being biased and inconsistent, which in turn could impact trust and engagement.

To avoid this from happening at Kolibri Games, the People & Culture team decided to find a tool that would consolidate reviews in one place, set up a regular frequency, and allow them to define a consistent set of core “competencies” to measure employees against, known as a competency framework — a strong basis for reviews.

The Solution

After deciding their performance review process would need to be revised; the team came across Leapsome, which covered all aspects they were looking for in a tool, including

  • Automated performance review cycles
  • Ability to set up customized competency frameworks
  • Switch to 360-reviews rather than just manager- & self-assessments
  • Ability to connect skills in competency frameworks with assessments
  • Possibility to set meeting agendas and discuss development goals
“The team leads are still responsible for their direct reports' growth, but we in the People & Culture team can support them with the Leapsome competency models. The managers define the skills and layout precisely what is expected at every level.

We also support in kicking off the performance review. We do monitor this, but we also want to enable our team leads to take ownership of the tool and leave the development of their direct reports up to them.

We heavily encourage using the Leapsome Meetings module and have a template set up for 1:1 meetings to ensure that the right questions are asked. Managers are enabled to dig deep with their direct reports and uncover areas for development and in need of support.”

With Leapsome, they were also able to switch to 360 assessments and give employees different perspectives on their own performance and development, as well as enable managers to assess how well their direct reports work with other team members.

To ensure fairness in reviews for every team member, the People & Culture team started developing competency frameworks. With the help of managers — who know the skills needed for roles within their teams best — they defined the competencies that would be used to assess employees in their reviews.

The People & Culture team began rolling out these frameworks for every department — a process that would take them more than a year to complete.

After some reiteration and feedback from employees, Emilie and the rest of her team experimented and launched a small pilot project with the following objectives: give reviewers enough time to assess team members as well as creating a better quality of assessment by reducing the number of competencies employees would be assessed for. Leapsome as a tool offered the team the flexibility to adapt the competency models and skill assessments accordingly.

The positive results of the newly reiterated process confirmed that it would be most beneficial to focus on as few competencies as possible, and the team would now begin rolling this process out for the whole company. This would help the employees hone in on specific skills to develop without becoming overwhelmed. It would also help them create succinct assessment forms, allowing reviewers to really focus on the most important questions and ultimately provide better, in-depth feedback.

The Result

Up to 47% increase in satisfaction towards career opportunities at Kolibri Games

Close to 100% of reviews conducted in Leapsome

The new performance review process, including slimmer, more concise competency frameworks, has been positively received by the employees. In a recent pulse survey, agreement on the question of whether Kolibri Games offers good career opportunities increased by up to 47%, with one team even going from 33% agreement to 80%. 

Since Kolibri Games made the switch to 360 reviews with Leapsome, it was especially important to them to make it easier for every person involved in the review to give meaningful feedback. With fewer competencies, employees responded better to being selected as peers in a review. They started giving more feedback and are more likely to complete their reviews within the set timeframe.

The new, structured development process in Leapsome also encourages team leads to follow up with their direct reports post-review in a 1:1 meeting and to set personal goals. This makes it easier for employees to identify opportunities for improvement and take actionable steps to progress within the company. 

Due to the improvements and positive feedback Emilie and the rest of the team have received about Leapsome, they’re committed to encouraging every manager to transition fully into using Leapsome. Emilie realizes that change can sometimes be hard, and people might be attached to the processes they’re familiar with. The team definitely has made a lot of progress already, and close to 100% of performance reviews are regularly being conducted through Leapsome.

“I wish that we had implemented Leapsome sooner. There are some features not everyone is using because they already have tools in place, even though Leapsome could do it even better.”

What’s next for Kolibri Games and Leapsome

Emilie and her team are committed to consolidating more of their people development processes into Leapsome and adopting it as their all-in-one solution for employee enablement.

Next, the team hopes to use the Instant Feedback module more by using the customizable badges and Slack integration. They’re also consulting with their Leapsome customer support manager about setting up a Praise Wall at the office.

“By implementing the Leapsome Praise Wall, we could level up the feedback process. We can link them to our values, have customizable icons, and make everything more personalized. It would be nice to display that in our office, and it would motivate people to give out more recognition.”
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*Photo for header image by Lydia Hersberger

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