We love our customers and it shows.
Prospects often ask for customer references before subscribing to our performance management software. One customer recently copied us on an email she shared with a company evaluating our performance management solution.
1) Are you satisfied with the system?
We are satisfied with the system. They continue to evolve the system as you would expect and have been open to any suggestions. We think we get more than expected for the cost of the system. The support is more than promised and the guidance is excellent!
2) Is there anything you know now that you wish you would have known prior to choosing it?
We needed a system like this years ago and we could not find one that was web-based and visual. It has been sobering to see that we have to get the communication right once and for all and to realize that we are not exactly sure how to do that. We grew from 25 employees in 2009 to 74 currently and we just did more with less and it has shown what is sustainable and what is not.
3) How was the implementation process?
We are over a year into the implementation and honestly, we continue to implement as the layers require you to be always focused on performance and behaviors and communication. We are already a culture that is invested in leadership and it has illuminated the stumbling blocks that we knew we felt but could not articulate. Making evaluations be more than annual and tied to bonuses is different in the human services world and we had turnover when we started as we did not just focus on KSAs but behaviors. We continue to ask the questions about what are the behaviors needed to impact the work and we involve staff differently in the process than we have in the past. I will say that we are invested in the DISC and that has helped us coach differently in the process as well. We honor who people are and ask them to step into the work differently.
4) Can I ask about your set-up in terms of timing? How often do you do check-ins vs. face to faces vs. formal reviews?
We announced that we were moving to the system and allowed 6 months of transition. This involved Performance Culture staff coming on site and training, etc. Our year is a fiscal year July to June 30. We have completely changed our cycle of review from annual to every 6 months – April 1 – September 30 and then Oct 1 to March 31. Staff like the bonuses that are tied to the reviews coming before Christmas and as they are planning vacations. We are now in our 3rd cycle and our staff has embraced the process as they have now experienced it enough. It is now a part of the onboarding. We do Monday check-ins, twice a month face to face between leaders and their teams to ensure focus and support are there and formal reviews twice a year unless something is happening. We expect teams to be off site at least every 90 days for breakfast or an activity to just get to know each other differently and it surfaces issues that we would not hear. People who know each other better, perform better. We have not used the 360 part as of yet.
5) Any best practices you can share?
You have to expect turnover as some people have coasted and now you are having some honest conversations about their behavior that is getting in the way. All of our staff spend time with The Ideal Team Player and other readings by Patrick Lencioni so their expectations of themselves and their team have risen and that is exciting to see. The meeting agendas have been a game changer for us. Follow up and follow through in an ever-changing and quick paced environment has been our downfall and we started using in January and wow has it helped us be more clear and anyone can refer back who was a part of the meeting. It has also forced us to talk about the things not working and say okay so who has this and when will it be done and you write it down so the follow up is going to happen. The Executive Leadership and Supervisors have to be all in and it can be painful to be more direct than maybe in any other work environment. Our Executive Team has worked through the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team as we know if we are not walking the walk, we will sabotage our effort.
6) Do you feel it has impacted your workplace culture?
Absolutely it has. Many times we can say what we don’t want before we know what we want or need in an employee and the work. This continues to help us define what we want and need on the front in and make different hiring decisions. The weekly check-ins have been invaluable once we got into the rhythm of it. We are a company of 74 employees and while the check-ins do not all come to me directly, I can see them all and it has helped us to be intentional about what staff needs to work independently. It has also helped us to catch things that have been impacting morale and address it sooner than we would have. This system will create different ideas about your hiring as you will recognize more readily the behaviors that you need to get the performance that the company expects. Our staff is happier as they share with others in their life.