Seymourpowell Moving Beyond Performance Management Case Study

Andrew Heath · August 31, 2015

Seymourpowell Moving Beyond Performance Management Case Study

Seymourpowell is one of the world’s leading Design & Innovation Consultancies. Many familiar products and brands – Lynx aerosols, Aqualisa showers, Cadbury’s chocolate and Fairphone – owe their existence to the talented team based in London.

With 100 staff and a constant flow of demanding projects, the team are engaged, motivated and on track for success. So why did the Directors choose WeThrive?

Here Kate Askey, HR Manager shares her thoughts on using WeThrive.

What was the problem you thought WeThrive could help with in your organisation?

Kate-askey-seymourpowell-hr-manager“Seymourpowell has, historically, had a very traditional approach to performance management, relying on an annual appraisal with often little or no follow-up. We wanted to bring contemporary thinking around motivation and behavioral science into the company, in a bid to understand how we could help our staff perform to the best of their ability.

We trialed WeThrive in our largest department in the first instance to see how it would work with our existing processes and company culture.”


How did you use the app in relation to that problem?

“Each of the team completed the short survey and then met with their Director to discuss their thoughts on both the process and the output.

What became immediately apparent was that simply by focusing attention on the various elements of the survey staff were able to gain a clearer picture about what might be impeding them and how they might be helped, and management were able to swiftly identify problem areas and discuss these in a focused way, in ‘real time’.

For example, many of the team surveyed scored quite low in the areas of resources, control and space.  Identifying these issues allowed management to address them specifically – prioritising extra resource support and encouraging more healthy work habits.”

Results – what changes did you notice as a result of using the app?

“There was an immediate change in the way the team felt they could approach issues. Rather than experiencing a general feeling of dissatisfaction, they were able to put a name to their problems and thus address them specifically.

This meant that conversations could change from ‘having a generalised moan’ to ‘these are the things that aren’t working right now’.  This clarity, of course, also allows for targeted action on management’s part.”

WeThrive have also been supporting Seymourpowell with seminars for associate directors – helping them understand how to frame a conversation with their staff, agree the issues and co-create a plan to get things back on track where necessary.

In a creative business where ideas are the real currency – keeping designers mind clear and sharp is essential to maintain a high level of creativity and productivity.”

About Seymourpowell
Seymourpowell-moving-beyond-performance-management-case-study-workFounded in 1984, Seymourpowell is a Design and Innovation Consultancy, known globally for creating world firsts.  We pride ourselves on the ability to make innovative ideas tangible and commercially successful by combining specialist skills, knowledge and experience to provide a seamless client experience.  2,000 products launched into markets round the world are testament to that.

Bringing together unique creative minds, Seymourpowell delivers a holistic approach to the design and innovation process, which goes beyond the traditionally connected limitations of skill-specific design teams.

We believe design and insight are strongest together. By pairing them, we get to better results, faster for the clients we work with. Our strategy and research team deliver compelling foresight about people, markets and businesses; when combined with our specialist teams of transport, product, branding or packaging experts, we deliver future-proof ideas, products and services to our clients.

Ultimately, Seymourpowell is about making things better: better for people, better for business and better for the world.

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