In the beginning...
Appraisd is the creation of Roly Walter, who combined his experience working as an HR and business analyst with his interest in coding to build the first iteration of a new performance management system. He began with the kernel of an idea: an employee-first approach to performance and development; something that employees would find genuinely useful, something HR would be proud of implementing and something managers would find a blessed relief from the tired and out-dated appraisal forms they were used to.
In 2012 he took the plunge to follow his dream and built the first version of Appraisd in his garden shed. This early version was very basic, but as more clients came on board and requested new features it began to evolve and come to life.
Since those early days, Appraisd has gone through many changes. Roly, along with our sales manager Drew, moved out of the shed into proper offices, just round the corner in Kentish Town. The team has grown substantially since then, yet still retaining the feeling of being a family that took shape in the shed.
Appraisd is now used by thousands of employees across the world, but its core mission has never changed. As an organisation, we will always strive to make work as rewarding, satisfying and even fun for employees as possible, while providing real value to employers.
Customers = partners
Right from the beginning, we have seen customers as partners. We’re not interested in short-term gains; we want to provide employers something that is useful now and remains so in the years to come. Performance management is not a “once and done” activity, it is a living, breathing thing that changes and grows along with an organisation. We are here to work alongside our customers, helping and advising them how to keep their approach relevant and fresh.
Every change and new feature added to Appraisd has been a result of customer requests and insights. Their feedback is our compass, guiding us to create truly useful innovations. It opens our eyes to what is relevant and necessary, steering us away from developments that might look good but offer little real value.
Exceptional service on every level
Our purpose is about improving employees’ experience of work. We take this seriously and want to make dealing with us as easy and rewarding as possible. We are here to ensure customers can get the most value out of Appraisd, solving their issues as quickly as possible and offering ideas for using it to its full potential. We actively encourage customers to pose challenges to us, these are things that push us forward and make what we do worthwhile.
Doing things our way
The Appraisd way has always been a bit different. Unlike many other start-ups we have shied away from outside investment and the company is entirely self-funded. This means we have the liberty to be masters of our own destiny, here to serve our customers and no one else. There is no hidden agenda, no outside forces distracting from our core goals.
We are proud to be individuals, creating our own path, doing what feels right and natural rather than copying others or slavishly following the latest trend. Everyone in the business is actively encouraged to put forward their ideas and given the license to make the best ones come to life. Our developers work hand in hand with the customer facing team, ensuring everyone understands how our customers use Appraisd and know what challenges they face.
Having spent years, first in a spider-infested shed and then sharing space with a design company who had a lot of equipment and made a lot of noise, it was a huge moment to finally get a dedicated office back in 2018. To have a place to call home was and is very special, even if we can’t be there right now. From the cramped kitchen filled with every type of tea imaginable and an excellent coffee machine to the barbecue on the balcony, it is a friendly, welcoming base.
In the summer of 2019, Bricky, our Tech Lead Phil’s Jack Russell terrier joined the team. Though often a bit excitable in the afternoons and no respecter of the pot plants or wooden floors, he’s been a very welcome addition, offering the perfect distraction for anyone feeling a bit stressed or lost for inspiration.
Getting used to remote working
Like many businesses, Appraisd has had to quickly adapt to remote working. While every employee in the company had worked at home at one time or another, suddenly being remote 100% of the time has been a new experience.
Introducing a daily coffee cup of tea at the end of the day has helped to keep the team together, boost morale and ensure no one feels alone. While we look forward to the day when we can see each other in person, a daily virtual catch helps to keep the Appraid spirit flying high.