Team evaluations in 2021

Team evaluations in 2021

Team evaluations in 2021 presented extraordinary challenges and achievements. It was the year of lockdowns, vaccinations, tentative returns to some face-to-face contact, hybrid working and Omicrom.

More data, deeper understanding

Here at Aprais, we passed 24,000 team evaluations in 2021, since our inception 20 years ago. In that time we’ve built up a fascinating picture of client-agency relationships, observed trends and deepened our understanding of exactly how stronger relationships build stronger business.

In 2021 we carried out a total of 1,600 evaluations involving up to 16,000 individual participants, across 66 countries. 


Team evaluations in 2021 highlighted trust, as the top-scoring of the seven behaviours we use evaluate client-agency relationships against. The other six behaviours are; goals, function, communication, challenge, accountability and resilience. 

Whilst the previous year (2020) was undoubtedly the year that resilience rose to the forefront as a key component of successful client-agency teams, in 2021 it seems that the trust that clients and agencies have in one another has defined top performers.

Opportunity to challenge more

Perhaps unsurprisingly the bottom-scoring behaviour of 2021 was challenge. Thrown into new ways of working, with ever-changing regulations and limits on our ability to network with one another, teams may not have been so minded to challenge the status quo in 2021 and risk rocking the already unsteady boat. 

Our data does show however that challenge is a key area clients and agencies alike can improve on to boost overall scores. We’ll be fascinated to see what 2022 holds in terms of this vital behaviour.

Functional disciplines

In terms of the functional disciplines of marketing, the best scoring discipline among agencies was production. For clients, partnering and collaboration came out top. Conversely clients scored less well on their network communication, which may well be a side-effect of the predominantly virtual ways of working brought on by the pandemic. Agencies, by turn, scored worst in the discipline of digital. 

It’s clear already there are some key areas that clients and agencies alike can improve in team evaluations in 2022, to develop stronger relationships that in turn lead to stronger business.