Stockholm - Brighton
MAG Interactive is a mobile games development company with over 80 employees, and offices in Stockholm and Brighton. The company is primarily made up of programmers and designers, but there are also employees who specialise in finance and marketing. In a manager-free organisation, employee appraisal and feedback tools play a key role. Meet Ida Wate, HR Manager at MAG Interactive.
Why have you chosen to work with Heartpace?
In 2014, we decided to change our business structure. We got rid of all manager roles. The reason for this was that we hoped it would promote creativity, engagement and have positive effects across the entire business, if everyone feels they have an equal responsibility. That’s how we’ve succeeded in creating a stronger sense of “us” at the company. More people have had the chance to step up and become more involved, and now we have a stronger sense of community here. It has been a challenge, we should be honest with ourselves about that, but the benefits are massive.
What challenges has this entailed?
A manager-free organisation needs a well-developed system for employee appraisals and collecting feedback properly. Clear, adequate communication has been a challenge, and this is where Heartpace plays an important part.
What services do you use?
Because we don’t have managers to follow up with employees at the end of their probation, we have two evaluations in Heartpace during the probationary period. This is based on feedback from those colleagues who work with them the most and the employee’s assessment of their own work. Then, once they take up a permanent position, we have employee appraisals twice a year. Questionnaires are used as part of the employee appraisal. The employee’s own assessment is compared with that of their colleagues.
What are the strengths of this system?
It provides the opportunity for comparison. Do I have the same perception as my colleagues? My colleagues may think I’m better at some things than I do myself. At the same time, it provides the opportunity to improve on things that you can’t see yourself. It’s about individual performance in the present situation, and about the things that you want to improve on in the future too. It’s just as much about getting support to develop as it is about undergoing evaluation.
How do you use staff questionnaires?
We carry out a major employee survey once a year, as well as some smaller surveys. We do this to set the strategic plan for the year. What do we need to be better at and what successes can we celebrate? We naturally make every effort to keep developing and to be the most attractive employer we can be.
You recently implemented an extensive equal opportunities initiative, tell us more!
We’ve just implemented a long-term initiative on gender equality issues where employee surveys played an important part. Through surveys, we’ve been able to get genuine, honest and anonymous feedback about what works and what needs to change. The information we receive in black on white through the questionnaire has been extremely valuable to us. It goes without saying that with this initiative we hope to maintain and increase the level of well-being and to be the best employer we can be.
What benefits do you see from working with Heartpace?
We were searching for quite some time for a tool that was flexible and could be tailored to us. Heartpace is flexible: we can modify and build templates to suit our needs and easily tailor the tool to our business. Now that GDPR is here, we also need a place to document appraisals properly. We weren’t able to simply carry on as before, keeping information on individual employees in text documents, for instance. In Heartpace, we collect data in a way that’s compliant. The employee can see everything that’s written down: nothing is a secret, and we share our view of the world. It’s yet another benefit.
What challenges are you facing?
One of the challenges for me in our manager-free structure is keeping evaluations and employee appraisals relevant. Keeping the appraisals short yet meaningful is a challenge, and this is where the structure of Heartpace is really helpful. We will probably start using the talk module more and more as we are looking at having shorter meetings more often in the future.
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