SIDES is a leading provider of restaurant and food delivery management software in Europe. The company helps businesses automate their processes with an extensive selection of management software, including POS (Point-of-Sale) systems and delivery portal integrations.
With over 150 employees, SIDES is headquartered in Berlin, has a second office in the Netherlands, and is currently expanding to three other European countries. The tech company strives to build a sustainably growing business that supports its employees’ personal and professional development.
As a rapidly growing business that scaled from 30 to 150 employees in a year, SIDES faced a challenge most fast-scaling companies know too well: How to build a team of great people that support the company’s mission and keep talent engaged?
To Tara Todorovic, People Development Manager at SIDES, this meant providing the company’s young workforce with exciting opportunities and an outlook on their professional development while nurturing a feedback culture.
But employees at SIDES were still missing clarity, and managers would decide on promotions and development plans based on gut feelings. SIDES lacked a transparent career development framework and a structured performance review process across the organization to ensure fairness and avoid biases.
“A transparent, position-specific competency framework brings clarity and fairness. It answers the questions: ‘How do I get to where I want to get in my career?’ and ‘What do I have to learn and master to reach the next level at SIDES?’”
SIDES was also facing issues with its performance assessments process, which lacked a specialized tool. Before adopting Leapsome, SIDES conducted mid- and end-of-probation reviews via “an ugly-ish [PDF] form” shared between managers and team members. This made for an overcomplicated process with no possibility for analytics or tracking progress from previous review cycles.
The gastronomy software provider began looking for a tool to solve the following challenges:
🌱 Growth & Development: Providing a transparent development framework for employees to understand the skills needed for their next career steps
💬 Feedback: Promoting regular feedback and enabling managers to act as coaches
🚀 Performance reviews: Having a centralized way of conducting performance reviews that could deliver analytics and track development progress
“We wanted to help our leaders be the career mentors they wanted to be and give them a tool that facilitates the detection of their team members’ strengths and areas for development.
And most of all — we were seeking a tool that does this in a transparent manner, so that our whole team can access our development framework and understand what skills are needed for their next career step.”
To SIDES, it was evident that implementing a development framework would give teams the structure they needed to deliver clear and actionable assessments in performance reviews, providing employees with the feedback that could enable their development.
The company evaluated multiple people enablement platforms and even considered using features within their HRIS tool. However, none provided them with the level of customization they were looking for — and that Leapsome offers.
With a background in organizational psychology, Tara found it critical for development framework skills to be anchored in behavioral indicators. This would avoid the subjectivity of descriptors like “Beginner” and “Advanced” and enable employees to evaluate their own level realistically.
During the People Development Manager’s search for a tool that would meet these standards, Tara found Leapsome. She decided it was the right fit based on the platform’s customizability and smooth user experience.
“Leapsome makes people development much easier. I notice details being optimized every few weeks, so I know there are some hardworking people behind the platform. And the support is super quick in answering any questions!”
Tara and her team first presented their development framework and plan for performance reviews to SIDES’ leadership team — who loved that Leapsome allows managers to view previous assessments and past feedback, as well as take private notes.
The improvements were felt immediately, as having a clear structure and easy-to-use platform helps managers make informed decisions on their teams’ development. What’s more, having a tool that stores previous and current assessments in one place provides clarity and guarantees that SIDES’ employees receive fair and accurate feedback.
“Being able to view previous assessments and feedback, praise, and private notes directly while conducting an assessment review is crucial for reducing recall bias — and that’s what we’re all about.
We want to do justice to our hardworking team and consider all of their strengths and weaknesses as accurately as possible when helping them mold their careers.”
Clear insights on development
By introducing their competency-based development framework across the company, SIDES finally had a solid foundation for career progression. Leapsome made it easy for employees to navigate the development framework, fill out assessments, and work with their managers on career development and learning initiatives.
Tara also shared that people at SIDES love Leapsome’s insightful spider chart to visualize the differences in self- and manager perception of the assessed skills and competencies.
“Now that all developmental information is in Leapsome, it is so much easier to retrieve information from previous assessments and track the development and skills of our team members!”
Not only do employees now receive more accurate feedback on their skills and development during performance reviews, but the company has also been benefitting from Leapsome’s Instant Feedback feature.
Just in the first month following implementation, SIDES employees shared feedback and praise over 104 times. According to Tara, this contributes to creating a positive work culture at SIDES.
What’s next for SIDES’ use of Leapsome?
SIDES will continue to use Leapsome for its people development goals. Up to now, the company ran feedback cycles during employees’ probation period; however, SIDES plans to also set up biannual feedback cycles with Leapsome, ensuring every employee receives regular skills assessments and can further optimize development strategies.
Following the successful implementation of the development framework, performance reviews, and feedback, Tara is now considering expanding with Leapsome’s Goals module for OKRs and goal-setting.
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