How Swapfiets streamlined their review process and shaped a culture of continuous feedback using Leapsome

For a monthly subscription fee, Swapfiets members receive a fully functional bicycle or e-mobility solution for their own use and get access to a free repair service and exchange if the bike breaks. This way, the customer can always access a working bicycle whenever needed.

Amsterdam, Netherlands (HQ)
Company Size:
Features Used:
  • Goals
  • Reviews
  • Surveys
  • Meetings


“By collecting feedback throughout the different review cycles, we can promote this culture of listening. In June, we ran company-wide 360° reviews, and everyone started self-assessing, providing feedback to managers, and receiving feedback from managers and peers. It’s this really great moment. I really like the process of taking a look at yourself and understanding your strengths and your opportunities to develop even more. It’s also always very rewarding to be able to provide feedback to the people around you as well.”

Victor Tomas
Learning and Development Specialist

The Challenge

As a large scaleup company with operations in multiple European countries and different types of employees — some working in-office and others being based in the warehouses and retail shops — Swapfiets was struggling to define a coherent process for performance reviews across the organization. Previously, the process involved the HR team handing out questionnaire templates and recommending that managers hold reviews, feedback sessions, and development conversations with their direct reports, and the interaction with HR and the rest of the team would end there. There was little oversight over whether employees received feedback and how this process was conducted. As the team was redesigning the performance and development cycle, it became increasingly apparent that a tool was needed to support them with administering reviews to employees and tracking progress. At the time, many employees weren’t completing their reviews or receiving enough feedback and support to thrive in their roles.

”If you don’t have a good platform or process in place, it’s harder for you to fit performance reviews into your daily routine. It takes time out of your day — you have to understand the process before you can give insightful feedback. Back then, even if people were willing to have a review, they lacked the structure and support to do this well. 

The HRBP’s would try to support managers throughout the process and encourage them to hold reviews and follow-up meetings, but it was all very rudimentary.”

Without a centralized tool, storage, privacy, and security also presented a challenge. The review templates weren’t kept in a dedicated place, and with reviews being kept in Gdrive folders, the HR department had to stay vigilant to ensure that these were only shared with the right people and that personal or private info was not accessed accidentally. 

To make performance reviews a worthwhile experience for employees, Carlien van Woensel, Ella Greer, and Victor Dutra Tomas, the People Experience Team at Swapfiets, were tasked with developing a new process for how reviews should be conducted and managed. The new process would enable every single employee at Swapfiets to give and receive feedback in a structured manner. The team would essentially be starting from scratch, and they needed a platform they could trust and partner with to assist them as they rolled out the process and defined an approach uniquely suited to Swapfiets. 

The Solution

Before finding Leapsome, the team had already been in contact with a few vendors, including the company they had chosen as their HRIS a couple of months prior. Although the HRIS provided modules for reviews, surveys, feedback, and onboarding, the team recognized that, while this platform might serve them well with their core HRIS offerings, it wasn’t specialized in employee management and engagement tools. They decided they needed a stand-alone people enablement platform that would be able to support their review process and enable them to run engagement surveys to continuously gather feedback from employees on the changes.

They came across Leapsome, and immediately, the great design and layout of the platform stood out to them. As a company with a relatively young staff base, a platform with an outdated design wouldn’t have the same impact and adoption rates — they needed something that fit their image as a scaleup and a partner aligned with their fast-moving, flexible working style.

“We can identify with Leapsome — it’s a product that looks young and a product that continuously expands and grows. Swapfiets is also constantly changing, and we’re building out our service and our brand. 

Compared to other competitors, it felt easier to communicate with Leapsome because they understand what it means to be a scaleup.”

The team also liked that they could heavily rely on Leapsome’s expertise and best-practice approach to performance reviews and engagement survey topics to develop processes that would work for their team. From the first sales call, they reported feeling supported and understood, realizing Leapsome would offer them a holistic partnership with excellent support rather than just a product they had to figure out themselves. They also felt they would be able to share feedback and ideas on how the product could be shaped and improved and felt confident that the team at Leapsome would listen and adapt.

“We really appreciated the holistic approach Leapsome took to understanding our needs and our people as well. One big positive is the support Leapsome offers to every single user. 

This has a huge impact on me because I can just tell people to reach out to Leapsome directly instead of everything having to go through me. Especially in the implementation phase when we had a lot of questions and needed support to define and clarify our processes — Leapsome was very involved.”

The Result

Today, Swapfiets is using Leapsome to support engagement and performance processes for their entire staff base of 1,300 employees. A newly designed 360-review process encourages peer-to-peer feedback, self-reflection, and development. With standardized competencies that vary per seniority level, Swapfiets staff can understand what is expected of them in their role. Employees can also look at the next level to grow within the organization. With a clearly laid out skills matrix, everyone has the ability to own their personal developmental plan. Regularly conducted surveys ensure every employee across every location feels their voices are heard and they’re encouraged to share their opinions. Additionally, creating a framework around feedback has resulted in more honest and specific responses. It helps people feel enabled to think critically about their interactions with the employees they are reviewing.

Swapfiets has recently finished its second review cycle in Leapsome, and employees reported feeling more comfortable than ever with the process. Managers now clearly understand how the review process works and enjoy the easy navigability of Leapsome. They can cross-reference information from past reviews, so important context isn’t lost. Having a platform like Leapsome ensures sensitive information about employees is kept private, and the entire process can run smoothly from start to finish. 

Both managers and the HR department now save a lot of time because administering reviews is simplified, and working with review templates is much faster. The templates are saved in Leapsome, and reviews are automatically kicked off every year. Teams know exactly when it is time to provide feedback, and the process is standardized to ensure fairness and consistency.

Teams without consistent access to laptops were not left behind and are also receiving reviews in Leapsome. Their managers are responsible for leading the conversation with their direct reports, guiding them through the process, and recording everything in Leapsome.

Nowadays, performance reviews at Swapfiets are shaping a culture of continuous feedback and supporting the development of every employee. They also highlight high-performers at the company by conducting an end-of-year “Talent Review” cycle where managers are encouraged to highlight the top performers in their team. In the following calibration meeting, the team ensures that everyone agrees on the potential and performance of employees.

What’s next for Swapfiets and Leapsome?

The team is very happy with the review process they’ve created and looks forward to continuing this. They’re also using Leapsome to conduct engagement surveys and use their feedback to create action points and initiatives. Victor and the team look forward to further strengthening the culture of ‘safety and listening’ at Swapfiets and giving every employee a space to give and receive valuable feedback.

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