What 2021 looked like at GoodRequest from the CEO's perspective
Overall, year 2021 was great for GoodRequest. We were able to grow, we were able to attract new talent and sign new parners. All these are crucial for us, for a company which in its DNA is hungry for growth, excited about all new things and always challenging status quo to push forward and make processes better.
- the team has grown by 21 great people
- 10 new partners
- 3.2 mil EUR turnover
- 30% profit shared with employees
- OKR used for planning
- and new brand😉
But let’s recap and reflect a bit. What was most important for me? Well I would need 10 pages to wrap it up, but let’s take a look at the top 3.
We as a service-oriented company are doing our best for our clients. It’s tough business, let's be honest. It’s competitive, challenging, cost oriented and sometimes it is hard to prove you are the right fit. So that's why I'm so happy that we've started great projects with KIA to improve employee satisfaction and internal communication with thousands of employees. We started a partnership with Forbes, where we are building digital experience for Forbes Slovakia, Czechia and Hungary. Fitshaker was on blast, on their way to bring the best online fitness studio. And we've delivered great apps for TV, mobile and web to make it happen. Don't miss the next edition of Forbes, you'll find more info there😉. With Tatra banka and ZSE Drive, our long term partners, we worked hard on user experience, bringing tens of new features alive and most importantly, challenge how things are working today and what we can do more. Long-term hard work is already visible in the awards won by projects such as Tatra banka'S Adam School or Mobile banking. Another "award" for hard work was the sale of Bistro.sk for 50 mil. €, the largest food-delivery service in Slovakia, whose mobile development we have been covering since the beginning. With Innovatrics we worked again very closely on new biometrics apps, which improve product experience, improve safety and try to make the world a better place. There were many other great projects and partners and the fact I didn’t mention them has nothing to do with their importance for us. Thanks to all our partners without you, there would be no GoodRequest. I’m so proud of our PM team, which grew more than 100% and passed the newest agile certifications. In 2021 we made 3.2 mil EUR in turnover (~45% growth).
Our leaders had time and space to invest their energy primarily into their teams. This may sound easy, but ask other IT companies about utilization and if they invest time of the most skilled and most expensive team members to internal projects & people which are typically non-billed. We did it, it's a great investment and it’s worth every penny. We were able to grow faster than ever. Our employee net promoter score is 82/100. Improved onboardings, innovation platform and many other innovations brought higher quality to hiring and talent management. And most importantly, we introduced an internal ranking system for technical positions, which transparently shows where you are, what are your next steps to get to a higher position or eventually how to switch roles in the company. By the end of the year 2021 GoodRequest counted 83 heads and that was ~33% growth. Well done People team.
I’m really satisfied, we built strong middle management. Again, in many IT companies, they used to say, we don’t need HR, backoffice or any other role. We manage it by ourselves. Sounds interesting, but usually it’s mainly about optimizing costs. We believe that if you are serious about your software you need to build your hardware.. wait a second what? OK sorry, that was actually Alan Kay who said that. 😄
So once again, if you are serious about your software, you need to take care of your people, build strong leadership, tune your processes, work with the best partners and always challenge how things are done. Basically, build a culture of learning. Easy to say, hard to implement. We believe in transparency, fairness as well as relations. So we dedicated ~30% of the profit on end of year bonuses to our employees, not because we think it’s popular (we do it every year), but because we believe in the longterm game. And that’s how we want to play it. In 2021 we've also introduced our new brand with our strong values Lead by example, Build to last and United like Manchester.
OK, how about this year? What’s our strategy? Simply, we want to continue in our long term priorities, which are:
- Business growth
- Effective brand
- Leadership & teams
- Quality & processes
- Employee wellbeing
We have switched to OKR (Objective Key Result) approach. Methodology by Google, very flexible, result oriented, but a bit challenging in the beginning, when you are switching from your old-planning-thinking, but definitely worth it. In case, this is interesting for you just let me know. I would be happy to share how we set our OKRs, what tools we use for it, and how we plan to handle monthly/quarterly evaluations. Any questions, comments or ideas are welcome.
Thanks. Stay safe. With love Tomas 😉