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Case Study: Building a Culture of Performance and Development through Integration of Departmental Feedback in Performance Appraisal

Posted by Karen N. Caruso, Ph.D. on Aug 17, 2011 12:04:00 PM

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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROCESS

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The executive team of this high-performing financial services firm sought to develop a culture of feedback and performance improvement to support its on-going growth. The senior partners of the firm believed that the talent of the firm drove its success and that talent would be the key to continued growth and differentiation in the market. While the firm had historically provided rewards for high performance, associates and leaders were uncomfortable providing specific feedback on performance that could serve to stimulate development.

Performance appraisal processes and tools had previously been met with a negative response when they included any sort of peer or upward feedback.  As such, firm leaders wanted to find a way to reinforce the process of providing performance feedback in a way that would build trust.  They envisioned a process that allowed associates at all levels to provide feedback on the service level, capability, strengths, and opportunities for improvement of work groups across the firm. Human Resources sought out a technology solution that could:

  • support the complex structure of the firm,
  • integrate team level feedback with the associate/manager performance appraisal process, and
  • ensure confidentiality of responses. 

SOLUTION

viaPeople partnered with the firm to create a Performance Appraisal solution that met their strict requirements. 

  • viaPeople’s consulting services team (comprised of Industrial Organizational Psychologists) collaborated with HR to tailor the associate, manager, and work group appraisal forms to focus on relevant criteria that would form a complete picture of performance.  Customized feedback forms were created for each departmental work group.
  • viaPeople’s flexible, intuitive, and easy to use  Performance Management solution was configured to simultaneously facilitate self, work group, and manager appraisals, while ensuring strict access rights.
    • Associates were able to view all outstanding appraisals from one task menu.
    • A custom interface was designed to allow senior level leaders access to review and summarize these comments anonymously to ensure the integrity of the process. 

RESULTS

The integration of the department feedback process into the traditional employee/manager performance appraisal process yielded a more comprehensive review process, yet maintained the simplicity and efficiency of a typical Performance Appraisal process.

  • The firm utilized the information collected to identify key themes and target departmental feedback sessions appropriately. Specifically, they leveraged the department feedback to form a better understanding of the unique departmental strengths and development needs and to tailor the appropriate coaching and development initiatives. 
  • Participants in the process recognized changes based on their feedback, and felt that the highly secure and anonymous viaPeople platform ensured their individual feedback was never attributed directly to them. As such, honest and open data were collected resulting in a stronger feedback process and more effective follow up change initiatives.

The successful implementation of viaPeople Performance Management met the objectives of the senior partners. The foundation has been built to continue to develop firm talent by facilitating open feedback and promoting a culture of trust.

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Topics: Performance Evaluation, Case Studies