Celio is the leading men's fashion destination in France and has nearly 3,000 employees, almost 90% of whom are in the field (in shops or in factories and warehouses), based in some forty countries. As for all retail players, growth and reactivity are the key words to meet the growth challenges of the brand and the demands of consumers. Discover now how the brand has disrupted and transformed annual performance reviews with Zest.


More effective interviews
Feedback culture
Significant time savings

Disrupt annual performance reviews

Celio chose Zest in 2021 as a tool to disrupt and simplify its annual performance review system. The challenge was to thoroughly modify the old, highly administrative system, which made the interview a tedious process with no less than 65 questions to process and nearly 5 hours of management time (for a single interview) per manager! Behind the scenes, it took HR managers 4 months of training to understand the old tool and to create and configure the very first set of interviews…

“Zest’s simplicity has helped to make it a tool at the heart of ongoing feedback, contributing to the performance of Celio employees.“

David RODRIGUES, Human Resources and Recruitment Business Partner

Beyond the change of tool, Celio has a wider ambition: to deeply change the approach of managerial interviews and to establish a more regular, less formal and business-oriented dialogue between the manager and their team, while continuing to develop a culture of performance.

First results: the signs are positive

After just a few months, the initial results are very positive and the simplicity of Zest has enabled practices to evolve rapidly by introducing simple and more frequent exchange rituals. Depending on the team, 2 to 3 interviews are carried out per year, with a streamlined format of around twenty questions, just a third of the size of the previous heavily administrative and time-consuming format.

There is a good participation and completion rate, meeting Celio’s expectations (over 90%), thanks to the ease of response for users and above all to the automatic reminders sent out directly in the tool (planning & mass reminders). This automation saves a considerable amount of human time, up to the equivalent of one full-time employee. The Check-in feature used by Celio allows them to deploy interviews to 2,700 employees in 4 countries in multiple languages, with a questionnaire framework that is almost identical for all populations (standardisation of interview frameworks in Zest, with the exception of a few specificities depending on the area to be evaluated).

Thanks to Zest, some managers who had previously given up on the exercise, have gained a newfound enthusiasm for the project.

“I had a bad habit of not formalising my teams’ annual reviews because I didn’t have the time and the process was too labour-intensive: Zest has “changed my life” in this respect!“ 

Annual reviews: supporting performance

Beyond the ritual of the interview, this project represents a real change in the company’s mindset, placing performance at the heart. Everything must contribute to improving performance and the annual performance review is one of the tools to be used.

Zest allows managers to have a global view of their team and facilitates adoption thanks to its intuitiveness. In Zest, it is each manager who takes ownership of these new management rituals without any specific training.

Feedback, a core value of Zest, is a method of dialogue for continuous improvement, allowing employees (office workers or in the field) to express themselves freely throughout the year. It is also this culture of feedback that Celio is aiming to create in this ambitious project.

Including populations in the field

One of the specific characteristics of Celio is the fact that almost 90% of its employees work in the sales outlets or logistics warehouses. These employees do not have a work computer or work email address, which makes it difficult to complete surveys and interviews online.

In Zest, it is possible to answer interviews by logging on to the website or the application with a unique personnel number. Being able to answer directly on the application offers great flexibility to users and is particularly appreciated.

To make it even easier for employees to connect in the workplace, Zest has set up a specific development to allow Celio employees to connect from their Celio Intranet.

The importance of strong sponsorship

The desire to change and the active sponsorship of management at HR level and the project team have been decisive factors in determining the project’s success. This involvement has been reflected in the regularity of project check-points and their positive outcomes, thanks to the sum of several factors: the mindset of the stakeholders and the agile approach, the precise feedback from the field, and Zest’s recommendations on planning and best practices to be shared.

Celio’s openness to change has also been a decisive factor and has allowed them to quickly test several approaches to meet one of the initial objectives: to simplify performance reviews by moving away from the old model and focusing on meeting performance requirements.

What next?

The next step is to expand the use of Zest with the launch of global and local surveys to develop the QWL (Quality of Work Life) approach within the company and facilitate freedom of expression.

The aim is to launch company-wide surveys on broad QWL issues, but also to launch short surveys on specific topics at the department level, or even to give managers full autonomy to launch their own surveys. See you in a few months to follow the progress of the project and the impact on performance and business.

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