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Case studies:

Establishing employee surveys at Zeelo

A fast growing, hybrid working tech start up

Zeelo - smart bus platform

“People Insight were able to deliver the project really quickly, and I appreciated the support throughout. We’re looking forward to establishing regular pulses to check in on our progress as Zeelo goes from strength to strength.”

Lea Golding, People Business Partner

Establishing culture in a young organisation

Zeelo is embarking on an ambitious growth plan to build the world’s leading smart mobility platform for organisations. They design and run bus routes and shuttle services for schools, universities and businesses such as Amazon, reducing single occupancy car journeys and CO2 emissions.

Established in 2016, Zeelo is progressing from start-up to scale-up with around 100 employees across UK, USA, South Africa and Spain. They are growing fast, and with such growth comes an exciting pace of change for their predominantly millennial workforce.

Led by founders with a strong vision, Zeelo are establishing a culture where “people work smart, move fast and work together; where high performance is rewarded and all team members feel supported on the ride of a lifetime.”

Zeelo Mission

Hybrid working has become the norm at Zeelo, as employees across the globe connect virtually or in person. Talking to Lea Golding, People Business Partner, whilst the new world of working has many benefits, there are also challenges;

“With so many of our team members working remotely across the world, it is difficult to gauge how engaged all our Zeeloites are with their work and our culture. We feel that most colleagues are passionate about our vision and doing a great job – but we haven’t had any data to track metrics and variations across the business.

“I knew we needed to start using engagement surveys to listen to colleagues, establish a baseline, and identify any groups where engagement was an issue.”

Zeelo’s employee survey with People Insight

People Insight were recommended to Lea by her network. We were able to deliver a fast project set up, with a full organisation survey based on the PEARL model for employee engagement, launched across 4 countries in just 10 days.

It can be a challenge to launch an employee survey so quickly. You need to ensure you have communicated to employees that the survey is coming, reassure them about anonymity and convince staff that the effort of giving feedback will be worth it because tangible changes will be made, otherwise, you risk low awareness, trust and participation.

The existing communication structure at Zeelo made the survey comms swift. CEO Sam Ryan announced the survey at the next All Hands, which was immediately echoed by managers in team meetings and through follow up email communications.

Zeelo values

“There’s a good culture of trust here which enabled us to move fast with the survey. We’ve recently revised and relaunched our values, which our leaders and employees alike were really involved in, and I think that process really reinforced that we listen and involve.”

Lea Golding, People Business Partner

Results highlights


Overall engagement

Most critically the overall employee engagement score is high, 4 points above the overall People Insight benchmark.


Overall leadership

An impressive 13 points above the external start up benchmark and a key driver of the employee engagement score.


Belief in action

Outstandingly, 75% of respondents believe action will happen as a result of the survey. That’s 20 points above the benchmark.

Impressive employee engagement at Zeelo

Thanks to the culture of trust and effective communications at Zeelo, they achieved an incredible 97% response rate to the survey. Particular standout results included overall engagement and leadership, belief in action and support for the new hybrid working policy.

Given the culture discussed above, the overall results are perhaps not surprising. They are fantastic, a real cause for celebration. Digging deeper, the online results dashboard did however reveal differences across business areas and departments.

A few clicks on the dashboard revealed which factors were driving some lower scores at the business area and department levels. These results were further explained by using the open-text comments to dig deeper into department level themes such as communication, decision making and growth.

Zeelo illustrative Dashboard

The survey dashboard helps you compare results using multiple filters, so you can identify areas that need attention. The above example is illustrative and not indicative of Zeelo’s results.

Zeelo took swift action following their employee survey results

Lea was able to share the survey results straight away with leaders and department heads. She said, “The dashboard is really user friendly – it is really straight forward to use.”

Department heads worked with their teams to review results and create action plans, supported by guidance from Lea and the People Insight Client Content Hub.

“The Hub was really useful for sharing practical how-to advice for managers on action planning around the organisation.” said Lea.

Lea ran focus groups to probe specific issues, then all action plans were taken to the board and quarterly progress reviews have been committed to. Lea commented,

“We know career development is a high priority for our ambitious colleagues. Feedback from the survey helped us understand that whilst we have a strategy. The key now is getting PDPs embedded as business as usual.”

What has been the impact of the employee survey with People Insight?

Lea commented that she found slicing data and sharing it really useful features of the survey results dashboard;

“It’s been so valuable for leaders to see all the differences in results across departments; the dashboard really facilitated that. Now we know objectively what’s going on in every area of the business.

People Insight were able to deliver the project really quickly, and I appreciated the support throughout. We’re looking forward to establishing regular pulses to check in on our progress as Zeelo goes from strength to strength.”


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